Michael Menarguez – M.S. in Computer Science
Michael was born in the United States but spent his life in Madrid, Spain. His parents and his brother are all in the medical field but Michael was drawn to computers. He has always wondered what happened when you push the buttons. Michael has been naturally good in Math and Physics, which he considers good tools for Computer Science. He became very interested in Computer Science in preparatory school where he first learned to code. With this new knowledge, Michael designed a new database for his father’s job and created video games for himself.
Michael studied Computer Engineering in Madrid and then he had the opportunity to study in Bordeaux, France and at the University of Oklahoma as an exchange student. He enjoys discovering new perspectives conveyed by different languages. He thinks that the different universities he has visited have made him a well-rounded person. In Spain, he found that his curriculum focused on the theoretical background, while in the U.S. it has been more practice and research oriented.
Although Michael misses the Madrid big city feel, he came back to OU to pursue his M.S. in CS guided by passion for computers and love. He enjoys CS classes because they always have a very motivating project. For example, in CS 5013 Artificial Intelligence, Dr. McGovern divided the class into teams to see which one would perform best competing at a spaceship game. CS 5023 Intro to Robotics and CS 5970 Artificial Neural Network Evolution, both taught by Dr. Hougen, are also among Michael’s favorite classes because they gave him the opportunity to play with robots and to do more than coding - it was very practical. Michael is also working on his thesis with Dr. Lakshmivarahan and Dr. Xiao. For this, he chose to focus on applying algorithms to improve the mapping of multi-spectral satellite imaging of permanent water bodies at 30 meter-pixel resolution from 1984 to present at a global scale.
Michael is the recipient of a CS Graduate Alumni scholarship and an active member of the Software Studio. He is also a research assistant for the Earth Observation and Modeling Facility on campus; he manages the maintenance and development of their website eomf.ou.edu and helps with the development of programs for their data sets and scripts to update and create new remote sensing products. Michael would like to work for a big company after graduation to gain experience while he works with his girlfriend creating a startup.
During his free time Michael enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and playing rugby. He loves to travel and discover different cultures. He has already been to 14 different countries and speaks 3 languages fluently: English, Spanish, and French. He also likes dancing and cooking.