Visualization Hacks

Written by Waseem Ahmad. Posted in Blog

Close your eyes and imagine meeting someone you really like.

Take your time and add as much detail to the image as you can: their facial expression, what they’re wearing, what they’re doing, where you’re meeting them, the time of the day, and so on. Let yourself smile as you enjoy being in this person’s presence. And then open your eyes.

You just stimulated the same areas of your brain that would have been stimulated had you actually met them in real life.

This phenomenon is very powerful. Olympic athletes make visualization a major part of their training.

I have begun to practice more visualization exercises and have gotten interested in the topic through meditation and reading The Charisma Myth, which mentions a lot of visualization techniques.

I would like to share some of the techniques that I have incorporated into my life and found particularly effective.

Computer Science: Lessons Learned

Written by Waseem Ahmad. Posted in Blog, Computer Science

The efforts made by and many others for students to learn computer science seem to be working as there has been an “Explosion of Student Interest in Computer Science.” There is no doubt that we need more people with a computer science education as the demand for software engineers continues to vastly outpace the supply. But as you can read in these Reddit comments and based on my personal experience, computer science is very hard and attrition rates are often high. There were computer science classes I took at Rice University which took more time, effort, and grit than all the other classes that I was taking at that time combined.

Due to my early interest in computers, I declared CS as my major 10 days into college and never looked back. While I came in with a strong interest and a minor head-start in programming i.e. knowing what basic data structures, functions, and loops were, I quickly learned that computer science isn’t programming and that I would have my fair share of struggles as I went through this challenging discipline.

Over the next few years, I absorbed a lot of knowledge and wisdom from my professors and mentors. I took a lot of computer science classes and TA’ed for 2 of them. I had very productive and fun summers as I did research in collision avoidance for UAVs for my first summer and interned at Google and Facebook for my following summers. During my senior year, I became the President of the Rice Computer Science Club and through my visibility I got to mentor lots of my peers at Rice. I also got to have deep conversations with hundreds of students both at Rice and other universities about their careers and aspirations. As I leave with a birds-eye view of an undergraduate CS education at a top university, I feel obligated to pass on my advice in the form of this writing on how to navigate and succeed in obtaining a CS education.

Read the rest of this post on Medium.