Scholar of the Week

Wigberto Maldonado-Rodriguez      
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

Wigberto Maldonado-Rodriguez is a senior pursuing a computer engineering degree at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM). He was the recipient of a $1,000 2014 HENAAC Scholarship sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton. Wigberto is expected to graduate in December 2015.

Wigberto has accumulated a lot of internship expertise while at UPRM. He was an IT specialist for Empresas Tu Hogar, Inc. located in Isabela, PR. He helped save the company approximately $3,000 per month by implementing a VoIP communications system and a biometric punching system. He had the opportunity to lead all phases of the project including planning, budgeting, testing, implementation, employee training, and troubleshooting. In the summer of 2012, he completed an undergraduate research experience at the University of Texas at El Paso. His project, titled “Speeding Up Discrete Event Simulation Using General Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPUs) “ determined if new discoveries in the field of communications could be done faster by reducing the execution time of discrete event simulations. He conducted simulations on pseudo-random number generators, and improved random number generation by up to 135%, by using GPGPUs and parallel programming.

The following year, he was a Technology Auditor Intern, for Goldman Sachs, in New York. He participated in all phases of the audit execution process to understand and document business and technology processes while identifying key risks and mitigating controls in the FICC (Fixed Income Commodities & Currency) space. He was responsible for validating BCP (Business Continuity Planning) test scripts to confirm proper failover of applications, processes, and technology infrastructure. He had the opportunity to develop a script in a Custom OO (Object Oriented) Language to retrieve trade information across various databases to improve efficiency among business auditors. Most recently, he was a Data Analytics Intern at Verizon Wireless, in Maryland. He developed a Java application that automated the retrieval of inventory information from various DBs and parsed the data into one single TSV file while decreasing the total running time from 7 hours to 20 minutes and clean-up over $20MM in inventory discrepancies.

In his down time, Wigberto is an active member ACM, IEEE, IEEE Computer Society, CAHSI, and Leadership Congress of Puerto Rico. He served as an engineering delegate to the General Student Council of the UPRM, Vice President of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). As ACM Vice President, he successfully organized and executed the first hackathon ever celebrated at the university. The event brought in more than 125 high school and college students. Through his passion and initiative, the HackPR student association was founded at UPRM with the purpose of developing a community of highly technical students through Tech-Talks, technical workshops, and hackathons. In 2014, the HackPR hackathon attracted more than 275 students working on more than 25 projects.

He has had the chance to work with public and private industry leaders to propose plans and establish realistic goals to motivate individuals to advance their careers on the island. One such example is the creation of technology incubators in Puerto Rico to promote entrepreneurship.

Wigberto has a strong commitment to his studies, is passionate about his work and looks for opportunities to improve his skills. His experience as an IT consultant and a successful entrepreneur with excellent interpersonal and communication skills will continue to serve him well into his career.

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