Congratulations to Chloe Zirbel and Jodi McWhirter, who will be honored with the College of Science & Engineering hood at Commencement on May 28! Read about their accomplishments below, or at the SF State News site along with the other colleges’ awardees.
After creating an augmented reality mobile application for an internship, Chloe Zirbel saw potential in the technology that went far beyond video games.
“We are living in a time of great technological wealth,” she said. “There is so much opportunity to provide aid and enrichment to consumers whose primary goal is not simply entertainment but physical recovery and well-being.”
Zirbel is graduating with a B.S. in Computer Engineering, and her research has been focused on developing a low-cost, interactive, virtual reality system to aid the rehabilitation of stroke survivors. She won first place for this work at the 2018 CSU Research Competition in the area of undergraduate engineering and computer science, and later that year she was the first author of a peer-reviewed paper on her research published in the Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference.
After graduation, she plans to pursue a software development job at a Bay Area company with a strong sense of social responsibility and a mission of making the world a better place.
Jodi McWhirter is the daughter and granddaughter of math teachers. After earning a B.S. in mathematics from Calvin College, she went on to SF State, where she found both a community of fellow students excited about studying higher mathematics and a field of math she could call her own, combinatorics.
“I always loved counting things and finding patterns, and I didn’t realize there was a whole area of math devoted to that,” she explained. She will receive an M.A. in Mathematics from SF State and hopes to publish some research from her thesis, titled “Ehrhart Quasipolynomials of Coxeter Permutahedra.”
Outside of her research, McWhirter held officer roles in Mathematistas, a group working toward gender equity in math. “We’re trying to create a safe space for gender minorities in mathematics to come together and encourage each other,” she said. She also led the creation of a seminar series in which students practice giving talks about their research.
McWhirter was accepted to five Ph.D. programs around the country, and in the fall she will continue to study combinatorics at Washington University in St. Louis.