my name is ajey pandey.
I use he/him pronouns, and I'm a Class of 2019 student at UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College. I major in Electrical Engineering and minor in Philosophy.
In Dungeons and Dragons terms, I am a Lawful Good dual-class Bard and Wizard. I have a patchwork of skills and experience across disciplines, and I use it to engage with the world through creative exploits. At the same time, I am studying a field that Arthur C. Clarke once said is indistinguishable from magic: electrical engineering. And I aim to use my knowledge and skills to build a better world, joining campus activist groups to do so.
At a micro level, this means I have an informal archive of soliloquies that stretch further than any paper description of me would imply. For example:
- The lore of From Software's Dark Souls series is a masterwork of Absurdist literature.
- The Lotus Temple in Delhi uses the language of Brutalist architecture to show how technology can create beauty.
- The failure of the Pebble watch shows how a free market can sometimes fail consumers.
But at a larger scale, I have a unique niche. I'm an engineering student, but I have non-engineering experience and an explicit moral worldview.
A layer-cake of forces including systemic sexism and racism push many of the people with a stake in activist causes out of engineering. A focus in STEM on "good jobs" fails to instill engineering students with moral responsibility for the technology they wish to design.
But I do both. I watch social forces with a pen and notebook in hand. I examine technology for reflections of the inequality and moral failings of our society. I stand in the middle of the Venn Diagram of activists and engineering students.
I am not learning how to design technology. I am learning how to design technology to make the world a better place.