Willie's Story

Willie McClintonWillie McClinton
Class of Spring 2019
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Willie McClinton, originally from Alamogordo, New Mexico, is a proud recipient of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST-SURF) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. This award allowed him to work on this year's annual TRECVID Multimedia Event Detection Evaluation by creating new event kits and writing scoring scripts.

During the application process, Willie worked closely with ONS. "Dr. Basu, the current Director of ONS, recommended the NIST-SURF program to me, helped me with the application process, and made sure everything was smooth sailing, even though we were pressed for time," he says. "I would not have known about the program without his help and I owe much of my success to him."

He says his success is possible because of his strong support system. "I attribute my success to all the supporting people around me," says Willie. "I have constantly been blessed with amazing individuals who have taught valuable lessons to me and guided me throughout my journey."

This award will help him hone his skills for future career opportunities. "At NIST, I learned a lot of the foundational skills of being a good programmer, but more importantly, I learned how to communicate my ideas and connect with extremely successful people," he says. "Over my time at NIST, I have learned not to fear failure or pushing myself to the limit. I feel I am now ready to take the next step in towards my future career."

In the future, he plans to attend graduate school and utilize his skills in complex programming positions. "I am interested learning how to quantify thoughts and actions in order to translate them into a language a machine can understand," says Willie. "I would love to use this information to create a more intimate connection between man and machine." He is also interested in machine learning, specifically in neural networks applied to deep learning and general purpose artificial intelligence.

Congratulations to Willie on winning the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST-SURF) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship!

Interested in undergraduate research fellowship opportunities? Please contact Dr. Sayandeb Basu;