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Meaza Abate ’18

Math & Computer Science

Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

How Reed changed me: Reed has taught me to pursue more options. When I applied, I didn’t think I would get in, and that also stands true for most things I ended up doing here. It has definitely encouraged me to go after my interests.

What’s next: Working as a developer for a company in North Portland.

Financial aid: Financial aid made my education at Reed possible. I am very grateful to Reed and those who donate. It really does make a big difference.

Desired superpower: Instant sleep.

Actual superpower: Patience.

Pet peeve: When people refer to specific places in Africa as Africa.

Thesis adviser: Prof. Jim Fix [computer science 1999–]

Thesis: A Runtime System and Translator for a Concurrent Language

What it’s about: It is an exploration of concurrency, which is computers’ ability to handle more than one program at a time (this was not possible once upon a time, gasp!). I got to do this thanks to a new and simple concurrent programming language called JML.

What it’s really about: Doing things I didn’t get a chance to in my computer science classes.

On my first day of class: I was excited to engage in a community that valued my education over my grades and scared that I would not live up to Reed’s high standards.

Cool stuff I did: I taught fifth-graders computer science as part of Reed’s Computer Science and Math Outreach program. Tutoring computer science at Reed has been one of my favorite things. Reed is a hard place to navigate alone and it feels good to help someone out a little. I won an award from the Davis Projects for Peace that allowed me to return to my home country one summer and work with high schoolers to increase awareness and reduce stigma around  HIV and AIDS. I made great friends through the International Student Services InterConnect program.

Influential book: Medea in Hum 110. It was great to read a book with a strong, independent female protagonist whom I could appreciate not because she was likeable but because she was unapologetically flawed.

Favorite professor: To be honest, every professor I have had makes my favorites list. That is what makes Reed so great. I'm grateful to all my professors for their time and dedication.

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