Third-year Computer Science and Mathematics student Gabriel Sotelo explores his passions both in and outside the classroom. Sotelo, from Peru, is the president and a founding member of MSU’s Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Club, which began activity in the fall of 2021 and now has over 800 members.
“What I find the most rewarding is what the club allows other people to achieve,” he said. “I find it very gratifying to see that people forge friendships and meet people that share common interests here, and then choose to put us on their resumes, as we enable opportunities and let them discover their skills through the club.”
Sotelo and the rest of the A.I. team have been working to provide club members with opportunities to participate in projects that simulate real world artificial intelligence applications. Some of these recent projects include a smart-attendance program, a site to map out intrabuilding navigation, and a software to edit video transcripts.
The club also has a networking event at the end of the semester to showcase these projects to various companies, professors, and research groups.
“I believe this greatly aligns with the vision of the club, which is to become the hub for MSU’s learning and application of A.I. among undergraduate students,” Sotelo said.
Besides the A.I. club, Sotelo is very active in the general Michigan State community. He is a peer leader for CoRe in the College of Engineering, an undergraduate learning assistant, and co-director of the organizing team for MSU’s Hackathon, SpartaHack.
SpartaHack is a tradition for the computer science community, where students from across the nation come and stay for one weekend at MSU to build a project of their choice. As co-director, Sotelo managed a team of people to organize SpartaHack from the ground-up in January 2023, resulting in attendance from over 500 people from 24 schools. After a round of judging, the winners of SpartaHack were awarded over $8,000.
Most recently, Sotelo and the A.I. team have added a series of online workshops to their website. Ranging from “Would You Survive the Titanic (Decision Trees) to “Multilayer Perceptrons (MLPs), there’s something for everyone to try. “We spent hard work on these projects, so we wanted to showcase them on an online education learning platform,” Sotelo said.
“Our mission is to bring A.I. closer to students in order for them to learn,” he continued. “We are not experts, but by creating this community we could bring the empowerment of A.I. closer to us and to MSU.”
And over the summer, Sotelo was a software engineering intern at Microsoft.
“Mainly I worked on an application that Microsoft runs internally to test the performance and gather diagnostics out of Windows laptops, and I worked on creating a new tool for that application that will be used among all the internal testing pipelines,” he said.
Sotelo is keeping his options open for the future but is interested in continuing his work in artificial intelligence.
“It’s so interesting to see how it is being applied through products and services, and how it is affecting people’s lives for the better,” he said.
This upcoming summer, Sotelo will be returning to Microsoft for another internship, this time as part of the Gaming A.I. team in Xbox.
This student spotlight was originally published on April 24, 2023 and was written by Sloane Barlow