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Aliyah Clayton

I am a fourth year Software Engineering undergraduate at the University of Califorina, Irvine (UCI). At this institution, I engage in rigorous Computer Science and Informatics courses, partake in the Women in Information and Computer Science (WICS) Club events, and organize people who create entertainment in the Video Game Development Club (VGDC).

My incentive for pursuing a major where women only make up 18% of the U.S. Computer Science graduating classes (acm.org), is to assure underrepresented groups (regardless of gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation) that there is a place for them in the STEM community.


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    Jan 24th: Trip to NorCal to tour UC Berkeley's campus!


    Dec 11th: Submitted my undergraduate internship application to Microsoft Research Labs(MSR)! Research statement can be found here.

    Nov 17th: Presented at the STEM Program's 6th Annual Fall Research Symposium!

    Oct 31st:
    IMPORTANT NEWS: Look out for my collaboration the Cypress College's STEM Program in launching our very first high school outreach programs designed specifically to support underrepresented groups. Check out one of the resources we are implementing -> Google igniteCS!

    Oct 19th - 22nd: Had an amazing time at the HENAAC Conference! Definitely attending next year.

    Oct 5th: Got the secretary position for the LGBT Club at Cypress College!

    Sept 22nd: Got selected to attend the HENAAC Conference!

    Sept 6th: Turning 20 years old! ;D

    Aug 29th: - Got the STEM Club leadership position: STEM Science Ambassador! Excited!

    Aug 28th: Start of the Fall 2017 semester. One more semester after this one and I'm transferring! #stayingstrong

    Aug 23rd: Got the position of STEM Family Group Leader for the STEM Program! The position allows me to showcase my leadership skills by conducting activities/events among an intimate group of STEM scholars all while assisting them with personal and school-related concerns!

    Aug 19th: Marks the end of the STARS program at UC San Diego. Such an enriching and educational experience!

    Aug 18th: Presented my research work and experience at the STARS Conference! (video posted soon)

    Aug 16th: Created my first professional twitter account!

    Aug 16th: Presented a talk at UC San Diego's Design Lab on 'Creating Tutorial Videos to Improve Public Enagement with Scientific Websites'.

    Aug 14th-15th: Practiced my presentation for the STARS Conference.

    Aug 11th: Completed the Gut Instinct Features Video and Gut Instinct Introduction Video.

    Jul 17th: Submitted my abstract to the STARS program for my summer research project.

    Jul 15th: Had a cool first experience at San Diego PRIDE!!

    Jul 12th: Registered for Fall 2017 courses!

    Jul 11th: Applied to be a family group leader for Cypress College's STEM program!

    Jul 6th: Attended a STARS workshop conference.

    Jul 1st: First time at the San Diego Zoo!

    Jun 29th: Attended a Gut Instinct update meeting with The Knight Lab and Design Lab.

    Jun 27th: Attended my first GRE course.

    Jun 25th: First day of UC San Diego's STARS Program!

    May 4th: Awarded the Cypress College Foundation Scholarship!

    Apr 28th Attended UCLA’s Annual STOMP Conference.

    Mar 30th: Received acceptance to UC San Diego’s Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) program!

    Mar 19th: Made the Cypress College Newsletter for feeding the homeless at La Palma Park via Coast-to-Coast Foundation.

    Feb 9th: Achieved Dean’s Honor Roll Fall 2016 Semester (Top 6% of the student body).


    Sept 18th: STEM Club Feeding the Homeless Event via Coast-to-Coast Foundation.

    Sept 9th: Got my first job ever and its at Gamestop!

    Aug 28th: Got accepted to the STEM program at Cypress College!

    Jul 21st: Achieved Dean’s Honor Roll Spring 2016 Semester. Makes up top 6% of the student body.

    Jul 12th: Participated in Dr. Porter’s research on African Americans in STEM majors.

    Apr 22nd: Achieved President’s Honor Roll 2015 Fall Semester. Makes up top 4% of the student body.


    Dec 10th: Completed my final English research paper on women in STEM careers with a specific focus on technological departments.

    Oct 4th: Completed my first PC build
    (Photos under 'Projects' section).


Building My Custom PC
October 2015

After saving a bit of money from birthdays, holidays and high school graduation, I assembled my first desktop PC during the summer of 2015. At this time I had two incentives. The first was to produce a machine with the ability to support games and programs who heavily demanded certain necessary specifications. The second was to produce something related to my major for me to call my own. With minimal help from an IT Technician family friend, it was successfully built in a span of one week. The total cost accumulated to 1300 USD solely for the PC components including the case.

Specs w/ Photos

Beneficial Reads


  • Data Abstraction & Problem Solving with C++ 6th Ed. by Walls and Mirrors, Frank Carrano & Timothy Henry
  • Introduction to Python
  • Problem Solving with C++ 8th Ed. by Walter Savitch
  • The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman


  • How to See Yourself As You Really Are by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Hayley
  • Twelve Theories of Human Nature 6th Ed by Leslie Stevenson, David L. Haberman and Peter Matthews Wright


June - August 2017

During the summer of 2017, I was selected by UC San Diego to engage in their Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) program. I collaborated with PhD student Vineet Pandey as well as the inspiring Cognitive Science and Computer Science & Engineering University of California San Diego professor Scott Klemmer. For the duration of eight weeks, I became an asset to the ‘Gut Instinct: Creating Scientific Theories with Online Learners’ development team led by Vineet Pandey in UCSD’s Design Lab.
*Note: The lab talk video can be found by clicking the project name 'UCSD STARS Program' above.