Meet Our Students


Liz Olson, CS Alumni student

Liz Olson '17

Name: Liz Olson               
Hometown: Salem, Oregon               
Graduated: 2017               
Major: Computer Science               
Career: Robotics Research 

Since graduating in Computer Science from UO in 2017, Liz Olson has pursued her interest in robotics with graduate studies at the University of Michigan. More specifically, she’s been researching perception in robotics or how robots learn from sensory data—how they perceive, comprehend and reason. Now, having almost completed her PhD, Olson has set her sights on academia and industry to continue her robotics research.

Olson left Eugene in 2017 for Ann Arbor, where she completed an M.S.E. in Robotics from Michigan’s School of Engineering. Looking back on her academic career, Olson says, “The UO Computer Science program gave me a strong technical background, while the Clark Honors College helped me improve my writing skills.”

Students pursuing advanced degrees quickly learn how important a well-executed thesis is to accomplishing their career goals. In closing, Olson has appreciative words for the UO faculty who “supported and encouraged me to apply for National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences which I was able to include in my graduate school applications.”

Nathan Koga, Alumni student in Computer Science

Nathan Koga

Hometown: Beaverton, Oregon           
Degree: Computer Science           
Career Ambition: To combine computer programming with music

Nathan Koga came to UO thinking he would study music. But a summer project with Oregon Networking Research Group presented Nathan with an intriguing opportunity—a major in computer science. He was interested in the subject matter and soon realized that a computer science major could be combined with other areas of interest. For Nathan, it would be music. It was a win-win.

Nathan switched his major to computer science and has not looked back. He discovered how much he enjoyed the collaborative process, solving problems as a team, and working with data. “Through my research with ONRG, I get to analyze real data on a large scale and discover patterns within UO’s network traffic.” He also helps students to advance their skills in CS classes. “Both areas – data and network traffic analyses—allow me to contribute to the program in a meaningful and rewarding way.“            

After graduation, Nathan intends to find a career path that combines his love for music with computer science. “Working for a music platform, like Spotify, or doing research in music and computer science would be interesting.” he says. “Or doing music/sound design for a game development company.” 

Fedi Aniefuna

Fedi Aniefua

Hometown: Portland, OR      
Degree: BS, Mathematics and Computer Science      
Career Ambition: Software Developer

Fedi Aniefua will be heading to Seattle soon after his Spring 2024 graduation—he just landed a job as a software developer for Amazon. But before leaving Eugene, this MaCS major (and anime aficionado) would like to give credit to those who helped take him the distance.

Aniefua recalls, “I was in my second year when an advisor with the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence encouraged me to apply for a computer science internship for students of color. I felt very unprepared, since I’d only taken a couple of computer science courses.” The advisor persisted. So, when Aniefua was awarded the summer internship at Amazon and was given the freedom to design his own project, he had to admit, “I owe the CMAE hugely for pushing me to go outside of my comfort zone to seek opportunity.”

Aniefua emphasizes the importance of having the encouragement and support of the UO Undergraduate Education and Student Success (UESS) program and others—the Black Cultural Center, University Career Center, and Mohr Career Services each had a role to play. As his way of ‘paying it back’, Aniefua founded the Computer Science Leet Club to help other students prepare for their own careers in tech.

Saghar Salehi

Saghar Salehi

Hometown: Herat, Afghanistan            
Major: Computer Science            
Career Ambition: Develop software giving women access to education; create an online STEM school

We were girls, we were doing science, we were building robots.” College of Arts and Sciences computer science student Saghar Salehi has vivid memories of the work she and her fellow “dreamers” were pursuing at school in Afghanistan. “We were all about proving that the world of engineering and computer science was not the exclusive domain of boys.”

The girls had made it their mission to change the world’s perception of Afghanistan from that of a war-torn country to a thriving hub for technological advancement, especially for women. By competing in robotics tournaments in more than 40 countries, they were drawing international media attention. As the subject of a documentary, the five young women became known as Afghan Dreamers. But in 2021 when the Taliban seized control of the country, this documentary put a target on their backs. With the backing of Inspired Minds, the world’s largest AI community with a global focus on emerging technology, Salehi and her team were able to flee the country with their families. Each one of these young women would be seeking a safe place to continue their education. Read more about Saghar’s fight for education on CAS Connection