Undergraduate Student Spotlights

Martin Diges

Hometown: Cedarburg, WI, USA / Calicanto, Valencia, Spain

Year in School: Junior

Interests/Hobbies: Gaming (souls-like and platforming games), Logistics & Overthinking

Involvements/Employment/Activities: Epic Software Developer Intern (summer), Undergraduate research, Mercile J Lee Scholars Program.

Why did you decide to attend UW-Madison? 

UW-Madison is highly ranked among universities for both its Economics and Computer Science Undergraduate (and Graduate) programs. While my choices included a handful of other institutions with similar prestige, UW-Madison’s financial assistance made for a compelling choice. The central teaching of Economics rings true: incentives matter.

If you have any other majors or certificates in addition to Econ, how did you decide to add Econ or add the other major/cert?

I entered UW-Madison with the intention of majoring in both Computer Science and Economics. In practice, both disciplines revolve around finding efficient outcomes and are therefore complementary to each other. I would highly recommend the Data Science major (my 3rd major) to Economics students, as it provides many of the practical skills learned in Computer Science while keeping its focus on the kinds of data-based problems endemic to Economics.

How do you manage your course load?

Strict time management and willpower. The unfortunate reality of aiming for straight A’s in a STEM major at UW-Madison is that it will likely come at a hefty (>=50hr/week) cost of your time. I pursue non-harmful avenues of stress relief such as exercising and gaming to stay afloat.

What advice do you have for students seeking an internship/research experience? 

So long as you are respectful and polite, the worst someone can say is “No.” You need 0 experience to start making connections, so Freshman year is a great time to start.

For industry: attend career fairs and chat with several employers. You’ll build relationships, practice your “elevator pitch”, and improve your interview skills.

For research: if you like one of your professors, go to their office hours even if you don’t need help; ask questions that dig deeper into course material, ask them about their research. (If you don’t like any of your current professors, you can also find professors by area of research on your major department’s web page)

Do you know what you want to do after graduation? If yes, what? If not, what advice would you give to another student who may not know either? 

What I want to do after graduation has changed greatly during my time at UW-Madison. Internship and research experiences in your prospective field during your Undergraduate years will grant you priceless insight toward choosing your career path. Through these experiences, you may find that you:

  • despise your work; this is fine! It is far better to find that out while you’re still in university and have time to change your mind
  • love your work; this is great! you can get a head start on your career, make connections, and accumulate experience

Informed by some experience in both industry and academic research, I would like to attend Graduate school to conduct research on Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI).