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Young African-American lady sets record at US university, becomes first black woman to earn PhD in Computer Engineering

A young African-American lady named Kyla McMullen has made history as the first black woman to earn a Doctorate in Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan in the United States.

Kyla made history by becoming the first African American woman at the University of Michigan to graduate with a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering in the United States. He mentioned that he is used to being the only black right from time.

Her doctoral work in the Interactive Systems group at the University of Michigan involved assessing the individualization of rendering virtual sounds over headphones. She studied how listeners could be trained locate and remember these virtual sounds as they “walked” through the virtual environment.

Kyla attributed her desire to learn the computer sciences to her high school teacher who worked to break his students’ stereotypical view of what a computer scientist looked like. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

 

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After her undergraduate studies, she proceeded to the University of Michigan for graduate school.While while working on her Master’s, Kyla began constructing educational software that taught children how to identify relationships between objects.

She also worked on a research project through the Naval Submarine Medical Research Lab involving the construction of virtual environments that are navigable primarily using virtually spatialized sound cues.

The work has potential applications for assistive technologies, training simulations, workers in sight-restricted environments. She also held the offices of both President and the Vice President of the Society of Minority Engineers and Scientists.

 

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Kyla is now an Assistant Professor at Clemson University’s School of Computing, where her primary research interests lie in rendering spatial audio virtually to enhance virtual environments and to sonify information sources.

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