Daniel Moran

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Hometown: Minerva, OH
Major: Computer Science, Middle East Studies
College: CCIS

What was you favorite Honors class?

My favorite Honors class was “Of Two Minds” with John Coley. This interdisciplinary seminar focused on the cognitive roots of subconscious biases and their implications in a variety of fields. The students in the class were incredibly diverse, and most of our meeting times were filled with discussions and debates about how the materials connected to our majors and other interests. By the end of the semester, I felt that I had not only gained valuable insight into my own interests in artificial intelligence, but also become more well-rounded as a whole.

During your time at Northeastern, what experiences shaped who you are today as a graduating senior?

Without a doubt, my three co-ops served as the biggest drivers of my personal and professional growth while at Northeastern. My first co-op was at Metaswitch Networks in San Francisco, and the process of packing up my life and shipping it across the country was tremendously rewarding. Co-op number two was at SessionM here in Boston, which experienced a huge surge of growth during my placement; as part of this growth, the prototype I had been given during my first few months was released as a major product offering, and I got to experience the rush and pressure of leading the development of a high-profile project. Lastly, my third co-op was at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle, where I received mentorship from the most experienced group of engineers and researchers I’d ever encountered about not only the work I was performing at the moment, but also the general trajectory of my career.

The two trips abroad I took while at Northeastern were also very transformative. After my first co-op I went on a Dialogue of Civilizations trip to Turkey, where I conducted a mini-ethnography on the startup culture of Istanbul. My second trip abroad occurred after my third co-op, when I visited Israel and the West Bank with a nonprofit advertised by NU’s International Affairs Society, and volunteered with a variety of pro-peace organizations while there.

What is your best memory from being a part of the Honors Program?

The final project of “Of Two Minds” was to design and present a psychological study to probe the concepts we’d been covering all semester. While trying to think of a topic I found two papers whose conclusions seemed independently plausible but incompatible when combined, so I set out to build an experiment to figure out if the two could somehow be refined and unified. Digging into the two papers to find discrepancies that I could exploit in my own proposal took a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun and really reinforced my understanding of the material. My final paper for that class was one of the best pieces of writing I’ve ever produced.

Where are you headed after you graduate?

I’ll be sticking around Boston after graduation to work as a Software Engineer on the Data Science / Data Engineering team at the Broad Institute in Cambridge.