Alexander Roy Headed to Amazon

Computer and information science senior interned for global company last summer

Alexander Roy, a senior computer and information science major, has turned his summer internship into full-time employment at Amazon in Seattle, Washington. Submitted photo

Tinkering with electronic devices and computers since elementary school, Alexander Roy found computer and information science was the best major for him.

While the University of Mississippi senior has taken many classes within the computer and information science department, he said his favorite is CSCI 547: Digital Image Processing. Taught by Yixin Chen, UM professor of computer and information science, the course showed him how computers see images, different mathematical models to represent images, and how to do basic image manipulation through coding.

“I enjoyed the class because of the visual impact you could see your code making on images and how small changes to the code could completely alter the image,” Roy said.

A native of Gallatin, Tennessee, Roy has participated in undergraduate research with Byunghyun Jang, UM associate professor of computer and information science, as part of his Heterogeneous Systems, or HEROES, research lab. The lab conducts research on various components of heterogeneous systems to improve performance and power efficiency. Jang’s team has worked with industry partners such as Samsung, LG and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

During his time with the group, Roy had the opportunity to research many different implementations of breadth-first search, or BFS, on graphics processing units. He also said he learned a lot about graph data structure and different methods of improving the BFS algorithm.

He credits faculty such as Chen, Jang and Kristin Davidson, UM instructor in computer and information science, for teaching him what he needs to know to excel in industry after graduation.

A highlight of Roy’s undergraduate experience was his summer 2018 internship with Amazon in Seattle, Washington. His experience allowed him to gain a number of professional development experiences and gave him insight into his future career.

“The internship experience was great, and I had the opportunity to see what a software engineer does on a day-to-day basis,” Roy said. “I was placed on a team and with a specific mentor who provided me with outstanding support as I worked on my projects.”

One of Roy’s projects during the internship involved creating a robust back-end system as a part of the display advertising public application program interface, or API, that would allow advertisers to track assets used in advertisements.

Outside of class, Roy has given back to the Lafayette-Oxford-University community by participating in the Big Event. He is also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Robotics Club and is involved in a fraternity. After graduation in May 2019, Roy plans to return to Seattle, having accepted a full-time job with Amazon.