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Faces of Fairview #1: Andrea Lin

By Emma O'Leary in Student News


Senior Andrea Lin has recently concluded a fourteen month project to program the PhET projectile motion simulation.

PhET is based in the University of Colorado at Boulder and “provides fun, free, interactive, research-based science and mathematics simulations”, according to PhET Interactive Simulations.

Lin’s interest in computer science began in middle school.

“I had a math class where my teacher taught us a little bit of programming, and then I just thought that was really cool,” she said. “I like how you can make and create stuff.”

Lin found the internship with PhET through a speech and debate coach who was a computer science major at CU.

“He introduced me to one of his professors who later on sent [my resume] across CU, and then the director of development at Phet contacted me based on that resume,” Lin said.

Lin began interning at PhET two summers ago. At first, she worked on small coding projects before moving to the projectile motion simulation.

“[The simulation] was in a format that wasn’t accessible to a wide range of devices,” Lin said. “So I decided to take that project and convert it into newer technology so that more devices such as iPads, which a lot of schools are using right now, can still use it.”

The whole project took Lin around fourteen months. Lin was responsible for coding the simulation, but she worked with other people to run tests on the simulation and work out design elements.

According to Lin, “taking it to the finish line” was the most rewarding part of her work on the simulation.

“This summer I was really trying my hardest to get [the simulation] out because physics students start classes in the fall, and generally the first unit in a physics class would be projectile motion, which is what the simulation talks about,” Lin said.  

Lin is focusing on school work this year but plans on continuing computer science in the future. “I definitely anticipate a lot of other computer science projects,” she said.

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