Computer Science BS/MS
University of Alaska Fairbanks
My name is Ryan Stonebraker. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and have lived in Alaska my entire life. I first got interested in technology and computers at the age of seven, when I assembled my first computer from scratch with the help of my dad. After this moment, I became hooked on technology. I began ripping apart every electronic device I could find in an effort to understand as much as I could about how they worked.
A couple of years later at the age of 9, I started my own entrepreneurial business revolving around filming soccer games for multiple local high schools and selling copies and specialized highlight reels to parents. As I grew older, I took on more responsibilities and started developing basic websites for the teams as well. This continued until I was 11 years old and helped open me up to an entirely new realm of possibilities. In efforts to increase my productivity, I taught myself visual effects, graphics design, and rudimentary web development. While I enjoyed doing this, it wasn’t enough for me and I wanted to do more.
When I was 11 years old, I discovered the world of programming. I stumbled upon a C tutorial for beginners and was amazed by the vast amount of power that could be conjured with just simple words on the screen. That summer, I flew down and attended a programming camp hosted at MIT to better learn the C language. This experience forever changed the way I thought about and approached problems and was truly the start of my Computer Science career. In the years that followed, I dabbled in creating simple ascii games, iOS apps, and more basic websites.
When I first entered college, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. By this point, I had developed a life long passion for Computer Science and was confident that I could build whatever I set my mind to. However, college taught me limitations. It taught me that work is the backside of desire and that failure isn’t not realizing your vision, it is giving up trying. Instead of getting me down, this served as a source of inspiration and dramatically increased my ambitions in life. It made me not want to give up, not want to stop trying, and not want to aim for anything less than the absolute best that I could do.
While in college, I have strived to be the best version of myself possible. I started out college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as a 1st year sophomore due to Advanced Placement credits from high school. Not wanting to use this as an excuse to finish early though, I started a dual MS/BS program where I plan on receiving both degrees, as well as a minor in Math, in a total of 4 years by 2020. While in college (both inside and out of the classroom), I have worked on numerous projects and received grants for things involving virtual reality, optical character recognition, natural language processing, object detection and classification, machine learning, web development, cyber security and many other topics. Throughout it all though, I have always maintained a voracious appetite for learning and hope to further apply my skills to the world so that I may help to do my part in creating a better tomorrow.