CS373 Fall 2022: Scott Lai

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Sugar Land, TX and spent most of my time around west Houston, moving to Jersey Village and later Sharpstown.

What high school did you attend?

I attended Bellaire High School in Bellaire, TX.

What was your favorite extracurricular activity in high school?

My favorite extracurricular activity was performing in the school orchestra. I had a passion for playing the violin, so I stayed in the orchestra for all four years despite having earned my arts credit.

Why did you come to UT?

I came to UT Austin because of its location and renowned computer science program. UT has a good balance between quality of education and proximity to my hometown.

Why are you majoring in CS?

I chose to major in computer science, because in my sophomore year of high school I had discovered that I liked programming. I had also discovered that I was starting to hate physics, so as one path closed, another one opened. I had no idea what else I was going to do with my life, so I stuck with what interested me.

Why are you in this class?

I’m taking this class because of the rumors I’ve heard about it. This class is known to have applicable assignments and a large web development project of multiple phases.

What are your expectations of this class?

I expect this class to throw me into the abyss of web development so that I might develop the skills I need to succeed in the real world as a software engineer. Therefore, I expect this class to take a lot of my time this semester.

How much JavaScript/Python/SQL/Web programming do you already know?

I know a very limited amount of JavaScript and Python, and I know almost nothing about SQL and web programming.

How did you like the first lectures?

The first lectures were quite exciting. I enjoyed being introduced to the new tools I will be using and thought that the lecture on assertions was quite insightful.

How did you feel about the cold calling?

As much as I try to quell my anxiety, cold calling still makes my nervous, though I feel slightly more comfortable knowing that Professor Downing will engage in actual conversation instead of interrogation to teach material.

How do you feel about specifications grading?

I am hopeful that specifications grading will work out well as it has done for the past several years, but I’m still nervous about it since this is the first time I will be graded with this system. Though, as explained in class, specifications grading is more similar to how the real world works, so I’m looking forward to adjusting to that.

What made you happy this week?

I’ve just finished my first week of school, and it went quite smoothly. I’m getting along well with my three roommates, and I seem to like my classes and professors.

What’s your pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

The Live Server extension on the Visual Studio Marketplace allows you to work on a HTML file and have changes in the file apply to the browser upon saving. I think this’ll be useful when we work on our projects.



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