Gabriel Ting, 20

Hacker, Mentor, Organizer
Gabriel Ting
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Born and raised in small-town Missouri, Gabriel had never done any programming prior to starting college at Vanderbilt University. His freshman year, he went in thinking he’d be a physics major and took a CS course just for fun. It was during this course that he fell in love with the problem-solving nature of CS. 

One fateful day, Gabriel’s neighbor convinced him to go to HackGT, a hackathon at Georgia Tech University. Even though he lacked confidence in his coding ability, going to this hackathon changed his life. Seeing crystallizations of creativity and skill at the final expo got him hooked on both hackathons and CS as a potential career.

After his experience at HackGT, just two years ago, Gabriel started organizing VandyHacks. He wanted to bring the energy he felt from hackathons to the Vanderbilt community, not only through the main hackathon but through smaller workshops and events throughout the year. 

According to Gabriel, hackathons have been the highlight of his college experience. In his words, hackathons are a manifestation of creativity that he finds inspiring amidst the deluge of homework, tests, and coursework. It’s a time for people to learn what they want to, and utilize their skills to make something they’re proud of. Gabriel believes hackathons are especially important to people that are minorities in the field and to people just getting started. This setting feeds a passion for creation and provides a chance for anybody to start coding.

He currently is the co-president of VandyHacks where his role is to make sure that LGBTQ+ people feel included in the CS space. Diversity and inclusion are more important than just a statistic. His goal is to give support through visibility and create a genuine, inclusive environment. He works towards this goal by hosting conversations around authenticity in the workplace, acceptance of ourselves and others, how to parse identities, and more. He wants to create a place where people could share what was on their minds, especially as many are coming from different schools with different sets of norms. 

His favorite hackathon project is from HackIllinois last year. There were open-source mentors from all over the industry. He started talking to a mentor from NPM, the Node.js package manager company. Even though he lacked any real JavaScript background, his team decided to work on a lightweight source mapping package to help programmers understand debugging messages in minified or transpiled files. 

Gabriel is currently a junior at Vanderbilt and triple majoring in computer science, Asian studies, and applied mathematics. This summer, he will be working on surface simulation tools on the 2020 Mars Rover at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition to his work at VandyHacks, he is heavily involved in Juni Learning where he helps to make the CS community more accessible by teaching computer science to students and developing curricula. 

Quick Facts

Pronouns: He/Him
Hometown: Springfield, Missouri, USA
School: Vanderbilt University
Graduation Date: 2021
First Hackathon: HackGT (Fall 2017)
Favorite Coding Language: JavaScript, C++, and Python
Can't Live Without: Slack
Gabriel co-moderating a fireside chat on authenticity, identity, and community in the tech field at VandyHacks VI

Gabriel Ting, 20

Hacker, Mentor, Organizer
Gabriel Ting
Share this profile

Born and raised in small-town Missouri, Gabriel had never done any programming prior to starting college at Vanderbilt University. His freshman year, he went in thinking he’d be a physics major and took a CS course just for fun. It was during this course that he fell in love with the problem-solving nature of CS. 

One fateful day, Gabriel’s neighbor convinced him to go to HackGT, a hackathon at Georgia Tech University. Even though he lacked confidence in his coding ability, going to this hackathon changed his life. Seeing crystallizations of creativity and skill at the final expo got him hooked on both hackathons and CS as a potential career.

After his experience at HackGT, just two years ago, Gabriel started organizing VandyHacks. He wanted to bring the energy he felt from hackathons to the Vanderbilt community, not only through the main hackathon but through smaller workshops and events throughout the year. 

According to Gabriel, hackathons have been the highlight of his college experience. In his words, hackathons are a manifestation of creativity that he finds inspiring amidst the deluge of homework, tests, and coursework. It’s a time for people to learn what they want to, and utilize their skills to make something they’re proud of. Gabriel believes hackathons are especially important to people that are minorities in the field and to people just getting started. This setting feeds a passion for creation and provides a chance for anybody to start coding.

He currently is the co-president of VandyHacks where his role is to make sure that LGBTQ+ people feel included in the CS space. Diversity and inclusion are more important than just a statistic. His goal is to give support through visibility and create a genuine, inclusive environment. He works towards this goal by hosting conversations around authenticity in the workplace, acceptance of ourselves and others, how to parse identities, and more. He wants to create a place where people could share what was on their minds, especially as many are coming from different schools with different sets of norms. 

His favorite hackathon project is from HackIllinois last year. There were open-source mentors from all over the industry. He started talking to a mentor from NPM, the Node.js package manager company. Even though he lacked any real JavaScript background, his team decided to work on a lightweight source mapping package to help programmers understand debugging messages in minified or transpiled files. 

Gabriel is currently a junior at Vanderbilt and triple majoring in computer science, Asian studies, and applied mathematics. This summer, he will be working on surface simulation tools on the 2020 Mars Rover at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition to his work at VandyHacks, he is heavily involved in Juni Learning where he helps to make the CS community more accessible by teaching computer science to students and developing curricula. 

Quick Facts

Pronouns: He/Him
Hometown: Springfield, Missouri, USA
School: Vanderbilt University
Graduation Date: 2021
First Hackathon: HackGT (Fall 2017)
Favorite Coding Language: JavaScript, C++, and Python
Can't Live Without: Slack
Share this profile
Gabriel co-moderating a fireside chat on authenticity, identity, and community in the tech field at VandyHacks VI

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