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October 8, 2008

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

Meet the Patriots: An Out of This World Experience for UT Tyler Senior

Editor’s Note: The University of Texas at Tyler prides itself on its remarkable ensemble of undergraduates, graduates and alumni. In this 2008-09 feature series, “Meet the Patriots,” we will focus on some of those individuals.


Not every college student can say they interned at the prominent Kennedy Space Center, working in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Shaun Williams, Pearland senior at The University of Texas at Tyler, can say so.

Williams, the computer science and math double-major, got the opportunity this past summer to evaluate and demonstrate the new programming computer language for the Constellation system, which will replace the current system when NASA retires all space shuttle crafts in 2010.

He was one of 146 United States college students chosen to participate in the 10-week internship program.

“It was very difficult at first, because of the research, and you’re on your own. It challenged me, but it was very rewarding,” Williams said of the experience. “My father found some information online, and I applied for the program. A representative decides where the students will go from the departments requesting interns.”

Williams said he hopes to apply to several other companies upon his expected graduation in May 2009.

“I like to get into software engineering,” he added. “I will apply to the Johnson Space Center after I graduate and perhaps apply to different companies related to that field.”

The student is highly active in the university’s student chapters of the Association for Computing Machinery and Mathematical Association of America.

While a UT Tyler Math Research Experience for Undergraduates participant in 2006, he assisted Dr. Jennifer McLoud-Mann, associate professor of mathematics, to solve knot-colorability
problems in the mathematics field of knot-theory.

When he is not working on computers or busy being involved with student organizations, Williams enjoys running and playing guitar.

For more information about the internship program, visit

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. Nearly 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

Meet the Patriots Feature Series:


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