For the Love of Learning
Chaya Levin (B.S. ’19) says that growing up with a strong female role model fueled her interest in computer science and engineering. “My mother taught me how to fix cars, build radios, and create circuits from a young age,” she says. “I learned how to be independent and a critical thinker.”
At New York Institute of Technology, Levin excelled in her field of study. During her final year, she took second place in the Student Technical Paper and Presentation competition at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Region 1 Student Conference. She and fellow computer science majors Ariel Steinlauf and Panagiota Merron, presented their senior project “A Secure Password Management System Based on SPHINX.” Working under the guidance of Associate Professor Paolo Gasti, Ph.D., the team built a new password management system that can theoretically resist some the of attacks that so frequently plague people and corporations.
“I worked on the encryption algorithm that we used,” she says, “I learned a lot about encryption methods and cryptography from Dr. Gasti. It added fuel to my interest in learning more about cybersecurity in general.”
The small class sizes at New York Tech was one of the things that drew Levin to the school, and she appreciated the close bonds she was able to form with her classmates. “During senior year, I took an Introduction to Networks class with a lot of electrical and computer engineering and computer science majors, and it was really amazing how everyone helped each other,” she says. “This community of students is one of the best parts of being a student at New York Tech.
Outside of the classroom, Levin took on roles with several organizations on and off-campus. In her freshman year, she served as an executive board member for the New York Tech chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and in her junior year became the president of the chapter. She was also president of Residence Hall Council and an e-board member for the National Society of Leadership and Success honors society.
Over the summer breaks, Levin looked for jobs and internships to gain more hands-on experience in her field of study. During the summer of her freshman year, she worked as a Java instructor at iD Tech Camps, teaching the Java programming language to high school students. In her sophomore year, she was a data science intern for IAC, a media and Internet company, working in one of their start-ups, Dotdash. After her junior year, she worked as a software engineer intern at Grubhub, where she continued to work through her final year at New York Tech. She made such an impression, she was offered a full-time position as a software engineer.
“Being a software engineer means that I am constantly learning and evolving in order to stay up to date with the latest technologies,” she says. “I love that I can genuinely say every single day I learn something new.”