Benjamin Escobar (’20 computer science) is driven to explore computers, programming and technology – and his ambition is unlimited at Iowa State.
“There are so many opportunities for computer science students at Iowa State, both inside and outside of the classroom,” Ben said. “I’ve always loaded up my plate with experiences, jobs and academic challenges because these opportunities practically fly at you on this campus.”
Create new connections
If an opportunity doesn’t exist, you can invent one. Ben started ISU’s Linux Club when he found out there wasn’t one on campus. Today, the club meets weekly with upwards of 50 members.
“We’ve also sparked interest in Linux to those who are in non-computing fields as well,” Ben said. “We’ve formed a community, we have fun and we’re learning from each other.”
Innovate the future
As a student employee with The Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) on campus, Ben conducts research with real-world impacts on forensics investigators and detectives.
His algorithms and code help add data and science to the art of handwriting analysis.
“There is a signature uniqueness to a person’s handwriting,” said Escobar. “The space between the letters, the shape of the letters and the space between letters — all of these ratios and metrics, and more, are calculated within our program.”
Stretch your interdisciplinary imagination
“Working at CSAFE, with so many experts in a variety of fields, is the ultimate in mind sharing,” Ben said. “A computer science researcher thinks differently than a statistics expert, and we bring different strengths and viewpoints to our job. It’s amazing.”
Ben has a minor in bioinformatics and computational biology. In the future, he hopes to use his interdisciplinary interests to develop specialized computer programs that solve biological- and forensics-based problems.
Ben’s adventure also included: