Computer science major takes part in an intelligent transportation interface design project

Minh Phan ’24

A computer science major at The College of Wooster, Minh Phan ’24 spent her summer at the University of Pittsburgh, interning as a UX designer. The APEX Fellow was part of a project which involved modeling an AR-based (augmented reality) vehicle interface drawn up from various studies of human factors present in intelligent transportation systems. Inspired by pursuing the Digital & Visual Storytelling Pathway, Phan’s interests were aligned with the aim of this model, which was to improve driving safety and user experience. 

“This internship allowed me to realize designing is not as easy as I thought, which is great because I would love to have a career that pushes me into new challenges on a daily basis.” 

—Minh Phan ’24 

How did you learn about the internship opportunity for your APEX Fellowship?  

“I found my research supervisor by scavenging LinkedIn for summer opportunities to work as a UX/product designer. Upon realising her research interest lies in the discipline of human-computer interaction in the transportation segment, I was fascinated and prepared all the necessary documents required to work in her lab. This opportunity was a great way for me to continue building my career profile during the summer.” 

What were some of the things you did each day?  

“My work primarily involved reading grey and scientific literature on problems in designing, and futuristic concepts of safer and more accessible transportation. I also had a set of deliverables to present, which included user data, wireframes, and prototypes. A unique task I was responsible for was to chart out ‘pain points’ present while using the current navigation system interface by drivers with deficient vision. The next step was to group common themes together and see if my conceptual design product could solve them.” 

Who was your fellowship mentor and how did they help you to succeed in this position? 

“Associate Professor of Psychology Grit Herzmann was my assigned mentor for the APEX Fellowship. My project mentor was my supervisor, who was a professor from the University of Pittsburg. Both of them helped by giving me a platform to structure my schedule to keep track of my work. They also helped me to reflect on the lessons I learned from the experience.” 

What are some skills you’ve learned that you see yourself carrying forward in your career? 

“Project management, literature review, prototyping, and creating presentations.” 

How has the internship helped you to see what’s next for you?  

“This internship allowed me to realize designing is not as easy as I thought, which is great, because I would love to have a career that pushes me into new challenges on a daily basis.” 

Posted in Experiential Learning, Showcase Stories on August 15, 2022.

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Related Areas of Study

Digital & Visual Storytelling

Tell stories using digital and visual media and find a career that fits your passion


Computer Science

Solve complex problems with creative solutions using computer programming and applications

Major Minor

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