Beyond Grateful

Tyler Stevens is beyond grateful for the generosity of the donors and the scholarships that have changed his life and allowed him to participate in amazing research like the Pain Buddy project.

A product of his own scientific ingenuity, Marvel’s Iron Man is a super science-hero and industrious role model for humanity….or at least he is for Tyler Stevens, a third year computer engineering student at UCI. “Iron Man is basically an engineer” with some pretty cool technological powers Tyler hopes to emulate in real life. Tyler has always had an interest in engineering. As a child he loved to build things, especially Legos and robots.

“Because of private support and the opportunities it has afforded me, I feel well prepared to pursue a career in computer engineering or software development.”

When it was time for him to choose a college, Tyler was well versed and enthusiastic about UCI. He lived in UCI campus housing while his father was a student here and became familiar with the spectrum of wonderful opportunities available. Still, it was the exceptional faculty at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, the chance to participate in research and design projects and the opportunity to join the Campuswide Honors Program that made UCI a huge draw for him. Tyler especially appreciated the Campuswide Honors Program as it focused on cultivating the whole individual rather than on just one aspect of a student’s skill and abilities. Their Friday morning coffee hours also offered access to faculty and valuable tools and resources that he found immensely helpful in furthering his research and studies.

As a freshman, Tyler joined UCI’s California Plug Load Research Center as a student researcher.  He also participated in a year-long energy efficiency competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in which Tyler’s team patented a new technology they created involving a smart power strip for televisions that would eliminate phantom loss of power. They tested it and discovered its success.

Tyler’s current area of research focuses on Android programming for the Pain Buddy project. Started two years ago as a proposal by expert psychologist, Dr. Michelle Fortier, Pain Buddy is a mobile application developed for child cancer patients ages 8-18 at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County that allows them to report their symptoms and pain levels to their doctors without having to leave their homes. Tyler’s hope is that the children can receive the same quality care without having to schedule so many visits to the hospital, while improving their overall quality of life and easing the stress on their families. The app, a disguised survey, was created to appeal to kids and have game-like qualities, which taps into another area of interest for Tyler, game development.

Tyler feels very fortunate to be a recipient of the Regents Scholarship, UCI Alumni Association Scholarship and the Campuswide Honors Distinguished Honors Scholarship. These scholarships have given Tyler the chance to focus on improving his skills as a software engineer and also to participate in worthwhile research like the Pain Buddy project. He’s acquiring a wealth of experience and knowledge here at UCI, including an internship this summer at Rockwell Collins, that he is excited about and he says is preparing him very, very well for a future in computer engineering or perhaps software development.  “From my time with the Campuswide Honors Program to my research with the Pain Buddy project, I am thankful for the wealth of knowledge and experiences I have gained here at UCI over the years,” shared Tyler. “Because of private support and the opportunities it has afforded me, I feel well prepared to pursue a career in computer engineering or software development.  I am beyond grateful for the people behind the generous funding who have made this possible.  You are the real superheroes.”

Tyler Stevens

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