Scholar of the Week

Aaron Hernandez
University of Wisconsin-Madison

As an aspiring game developer, Aaron seeks to encourage other Hispanic students to follow their dreams and goals. His passion for learning and love of STEM has earned him the Intel Corporation 2019 Scholarship presented at the 2019 GMiS Conference. Aaron is currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) majoring in computer science and physics.

As the son of a first-generation college student and grandson of Cuban immigrants, Aaron was taught by his family to pursue his goals and the importance of utilizing all resources at hand. Even from a young age, Aaron consistently used his public school’s resources to the fullest, speaking with many teachers and reading as many textbooks as possible. While attending South Elgin High School in Illinois, he taught himself how to code programs by participating in Udemy online courses after all his homework was done. Aaron graduated as the valedictorian of his high school class of 683 students and was selected as a Chancellor’s Scholar by UW-Madison upon graduation.

At the university, Aaron was quick to apply himself to helping other students, serving as a tutor at the Undergraduate Learning Center since his freshman year. He also participates in providing peer services that seek to support disadvantaged students and promote diversity on campus. One of the most valuable experiences Aaron has had was his participation in Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute in Cambridge Massachusetts, where he learned application development with fellow minority students, which further inspired his pursuit of a STEM career. His participation in multiple hackathons was rewarded when he competed in UW MadHacks 2018, receiving the Best Multi-Media/Game App award for a vending machine that taught kids math skills.

Aaron currently pushes himself to learn as much as he can about video game development and current game engine designs, and with the knowledge he has gained, aspires to create his own game engine. Aaron plans to use his game development skills to push beyond entertainment, seeking to create medical virtual reality applications, such as simulations that could aid in training new physicians, and therapy-based games that would help patients with both physical and mental recovery.

With a Game Engine Development Internship at the PerBlue Company lined up for the summer, Aaron looks to the future, stating “Math, physics and programming is a powerful combination that can open up the next generation of technologies and tools in many areas.” GMiS is proud to recognize Aaron Hernandez as the Scholar of the Week for his achievements and looks forward to learning about his future innovations.

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