Festa Fellowship recipient interns at Guggenheim Museum

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) student and 2014 Festa Fellowship recipient, Wei Wang, earned a coveted spot in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s competitive summer internship program.

Wang completed her undergraduate degree in information security from Southwest University of Science and Technology in China. During her studies she worked on a web development team tasked with building a student information management system.

During her undergraduate career, Wang was accepted into a one-year exchange program in Taiwan. Wang’s goal in Taiwan was to expand her studies beyond computer science and diversify her knowledge by taking courses in the arts. Wang found the visual communications courses to be fulfilling and her growing interest in design motivated her to explore her options in combining her studies in computer science and the arts.

“Once you get in deep in one area of study, like I was in technology, you find it is better to broaden yourself and learn more,” said Wang.

Wang researched human-computer interaction programs across the United States and Canada. With a limited number of programs in the area of study, Wang’s options were narrowed quickly. Oswego’s proximity to larger cities with opportunities and the flexibility of the HCI program helped Wang make the decision to attend SUNY Oswego.

“While I was in Taiwan I studied other groups of work like philosophy and visual communications. I was very interested in design and art, that’s why I chose HCI because it allowed for the best combination of technology and design.”
Wei Wang, HCI student

Combining art and technology

Wang has always been interested in the way the art industry utilizes technology. She has continued to explore this relationship through many of her graduate school projects.

In an HCI course on 3D environments, Wang worked with a team to build a digital, 3D art gallery.

In many ways this experience served as the first step to securing an internship at the Guggenheim Museum.

Interning at the Guggenheim Museum

Wang researched relevant internships over winter break and learned of the Guggenheim’s internship program.

In addition to her application, Wang included her thoughts on developing an option to allow visitors to tour the museum digitally, a component she believed significantly enhanced her application.

Upon being offered the internship position, Wang also applied for the Festa Leadership Graduate Fellowship to assist with the high cost of living in New York City.

From June to August, Wang lived outside of New York City and commuted to the museum’s downtown office location.

Wang was a part of a diverse interactive team comprised of interns and employees responsible for redesigning and updating the Guggenheim’s website.

By analyzing the ways users interact with the site, compiling analytics reports and developing strategy, Wang’s goal was to improve the user experience.

An important lesson Wang learned from her internship experience was the processes associated with working on a large scale project that impacts multiple branches of an organization.

New ventures

The opportunity to live in New York City and experience the diverse landscape and culture was as valuable of an experience as the internship itself, Wang said.

In addition to the vast amount of restaurants Wang explored in her free time, a perk of the internship program was free admission to the museums across the city. Wang and her fellow interns toured many of the museums and art institutions.

As a final project this semester, Wang is interested in continuing to explore the convergence of human- computer interaction and the arts. She would like to work on building a digital art gallery of the Chromesthetic Gallery of Oz, a project previously used in former HCI student’s research on augmented reality.

Upon completion of the HCI program, Wang is interested in pursuing a career in the art industry. After spending a summer in New York City, Wang would like to apply for positions at creative design firms in the area.

Learn about SUNY Oswego’s Human-Computer Interaction program and the Festa Fellowship or request more information.