Albert Chang

Caroline Cheng

Cupertino High School’s alumni Albert Chang received a $40,000 scholarship to study computer science in college and a guaranteed paid internship in the upcoming summer from Amazon. The initiative is a part of Amazon’s Future Engineer program, which works to provide access to and opportunities for youths to explore engineering and computer science related topics.

As early as elementary school, Chang was interested in computer science, tinkering with Legos. He programmed Lego robots and participated in science fairs, which gave him the opportunity to explore coding and the field of computer science. 

At Cupertino High School, in addition to playing team volleyball and being a member of choir, Chang furthered his interest in computer science through classes and various activities. He began participating in the Robotics club his freshman year, focusing more on the hardware aspect. After taking computer science classes, he explored more of interests through pursuing projects with the Tino STEM club. 

“Me and two other friends decided to make a mask and temperature detector because it was during COVID. There was a camera and a screen, and then you look at the screen, and then it detects whether you’re wearing your mask properly and whether you’re healthy from the temperature sensor,” said Chang. Chang and his groupmates used artificial intelligence and coded the project with Python. In the end, his team earned second place in the physical science and engineering category of the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship in 2021.

More important than the accomplishments, Chang found the endeavors of this project and other ones the most valuable.

“It’s just more about the experience because before I was just lost, kind of lost at CS. I didn’t know what I should do, where should I head, and to find any interests? So I think robotics and the STEM club guided me to a pathway where I think I’m most interested in,” said Chang. 

When doing computer science, Chang finds that whenever he encounters any difficulties, such as getting stuck on what to solve in a project, he is able to overcome them with a Google search, determination, and by communicating with others.

“Ask people; asking is very important. I feel like if you don’t know anything, just ask, because you’re not going to lose anything when you ask. But if you don’t ask, you’re going to lose something,” said Chang.

Now, Chang is studying computer science at the University of California Santa Cruz. He is currently taking a core class for writing, a math class, and a computer science one, which is the heaviest. Chang is also looking forward to joining a robotics club after seeing one of their project’s to make a self-driving Formula 1 car. For Chang, college is a time to explore and further his interests.

During the summer after his freshman year in college, Chang will take part in an internship with Amazon as part of the scholarship award he won. 

“I’m able to explore more interests and experience what it’s actually like in the real world. And from that experience, I can show that I have experienced this and that I can do anything,” said Chang.