Undergraduate Research Explorer
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Zichun Xu

Zichun is a third-year student in the Faculty of Arts & Science specializing in Computer Science and Data Science. She held a Work Study position with Professor Mark Chignell in the Interactive Media Lab working on the Exergaming Technologies for Older Adults project.

Zichun used Figma and ReactJS to design and create a data visualization dashboard, user interface and login page for 2RaceWithMe software– an interactive exercising software for seniors. She also used engineering techniques, like machining, to help assemble and improve the physical exercising device used alongside the interactive software. 

Working with the Interactive Media Lab opened up new interests and career pathways for Zichun, as she was exposed to hardware engineering and manufacturing and learned how to apply her coding knowledge to actual products. She shared that this experience involved a lot of front-end design and programming whereas most of her coursework has involved back-end design and programming. In turn, Zichun realized that she is interested in a career as a full stack developer.

This opportunity also allowed Zichun to improve her communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills. She made valuable personal, professional and academic connections with other students and shared, “I think it is great to connect with like-minded peers and to work with and get inspired by professors.” Zichun is excited to seek out further research opportunities at U of T in the future and is considering a summer research project or a research course next. “This research experience is my first one at U of T, and I think this marked a great start for me, and helped me be more prepared for my future research experiences.”

Research Type(s): Work Study Program