👶🏻 I was born in Santiago, Chile 🇨🇱 and I'm the youngest of 3 children. I grew up playing a lot with my neighbors and siblings. A lot of videogames 🕹, a lot of playing fantasy games with toy weapons inventing rol stories everyday 🧙🏻♂️⚔ and watching a lot of TV shows and movies 📺.
We got our first computer when I was something about 5 years old 🖥. I would use it to play things like Prince of Persia (sucked at it), Jazz Rabbit or Pickle Wars 🥒 . I got really interested about this machine that could do so much. I remember my father telling us the first time he knew about online shopping. I was imagining a whole supermarket built in 3D and that you would take your items with your avatar in your cart just as it is in real life 🛒(Metaverse 👀)... well the truth was much different but I didn't find out until some years later when we got internet. I learned HTML when I was about 11 years old, with the help of a book my father got for me but I just made local websites since I didn't know how to deploy to the internet. They were just reviews of games with images I got using [Prt Sc].
I was very courious about the world, I wanted to know how it worked. And the thing that surprised me the most were computers. How they could put so much intelligence in that machine it was like magic for me ✨, how you could control characters, explore virtual worlds, calculate things, all coming from something made from physical materials like metal and glass. So after taking a summer course on Programming (with Java) at Universidad de Chile, I was completely decided to study Computer Science 👨🏻🎓.
I wanted to study at PUC the most selective university of my country and my grades were pretty low (played too much MMORPGs in high school 😅) so I studied like crazy for the university selection exams. I did great on my Science exam but to get directly into the program I wanted I needed something like at most 2 errors out of ¿70? questions on the Math exam, so I think the pressure was too much, and I didn't make it 😔. I thought it would be possible for me to do it, because when I practiced with actual exams from previous years I was able to fail only in like 3 or 2 answers... I didn't do bad though, and at least I got in a general science program that would allow me to take the same courses and change program after two years but they would have only limited spots, so I took my chance.
I did it and learned a lot, and in 2013 I went to UT Austin 🤘🏻 as an exchange student. Before going I was doing undergraduate research in Computer Vision and at that point my goal was to do a career in Robotics 🤖, I went to UT because they had a course on ROS (Robot Operating System). I ended up taking that course but also Computer Graphics. And I fell in love with it ❤. Since that time I wanted to go deeper in the field, but I had to wait. After graduating in 2015, I went to Texas A&M with a research scholarship for two months, and after working in Chile for about two years I was considering to start a Master in Computer Graphics. But at the same time I was starting to help a lot with teaching the Bible in my church. So I decided to delay grad studies for another year and I took a sabbatical year on which I went to study the Bible in an internation institute in Hungary 🇭🇺 . It was an amazing experience, I learned tons, had the chance to work in a ministry playing soccer with kids at a local school ⚽, meet great people and travel to many countries in the breaks. Finally, in 2019 I started a Master of Science in Visualization (Computer Graphics) at Texas A&M and finished in 2021.