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Minnesota, via New York and Honduras

CSE student finds home in Twin Cities; deeper interest in computer science

Tarik Merzkani has long loved the process of problem solving, specifically of finding efficient ways to a solution. However, it wasn’t until he took a high school computer science course in New York that he found the path he’s on today.

“My interests in the field include artificial intelligence, machine learning, and their applications in society,” said Merzkani, a junior majoring in computer science who dreams of working in industry, as well as pursuing advanced degrees in the field.

He picked the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering because of its reputation for STEM. As a freshman, he was named among the 2021-22 3M Impact Scholars (formerly known as 3M Diversity Scholars). The merit- and need-based award was established in 2015 by 3M for “highly qualified candidates representing diversity in culture, thought, and experience” to help cover their tuition expenses.

“I am very grateful for the support,” said Merzkani, who hails from Puerto Cortés, Honduras. “It’s only driven me to continue studying what I enjoy.

Read the full interview by Madelyn Michael on the Department of Computer Science and Engineering website or an edited Q&A on the University of Minnesota Foundation page.