Daniel Kristiyanto wanted to be an astronaut. “To me, it’s extremely fascinating,” he said. Kristiyanto grew up in Indonesia and didn’t have access to a space program like NASA. At age 13 he was introduced to computers and soon started to chart a new course.
Kristiyanto graduates this month from the University of Washington Tacoma with a master’s degree in computer science and systems. He came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar. The program helps build connections between the US and other countries. “It’s been an honor for me to represent my country and to introduce it to America,” said Kristiyanto.
Kristiyanto currently interns with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His work focuses on bioinformatics which is the intersection between computer science and biology. His next step is to apply for Ph.D. programs. “I feel like this is the best country for me to be in if I want to be a computer scientist,” he said. “I need to learn from the best.”
The first-generation college student has plenty of reasons to make his parents feel proud. In addition to being a Fulbright scholar, Kristiyanto was included in the inaugural class of the Husky 100, a tri-campus award that recognizes students who are making the most of their time at UW. Kristiyanto will also be the student speaker at UW Tacoma’s 2016 commencement ceremony. The accolades are nice but Kristiyanto is driven by a desire to learn. “I love education, I love computers,” he said. “This is my passion.”
He may not have made it to space (yet) but Kristiyanto’s reach for the stars has taken him around the world.
John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or firstname.lastname@example.org