Daniel Ruskin

Electrical & Systems Engineering
Degree pursuing: BS in systems science & engineering and computer science

Why did you decide to study engineering?
I've always been a STEM-orientated person who wants to make a difference in the world. Studying engineering allows me to utilize my problem-solving skills to enact social good. 

Why did you pick WashU?
When I toured campus, I was struck by how kind the students were. It seemed that everyone around me cared for both my success and my well-being. Coming from a competitive high school, I wanted to attend a school where compassion and learning were prioritized above competition. WashU had exactly the atmosphere I wanted.

Who is your favorite instructor and why?
Dr. Neal Patwari is my favorite instructor. Taking “Signals, Data and Equity” this semester, I've been pleased by how Dr. Patwari takes extra steps to ensure that everyone feels welcome in the classroom. He tries to learn from the students as much as the students learn from him, putting students on the same level as himself and constantly asking for input to improve the course experience. Dr. Patwari prompts very engaging dialogues on the course topics, allowing us to learn in a collaborative and accepting atmosphere.

What advice would you give to a new student?
Understand that you don't need to have your whole life figured out when you're in college. While knowing that college is meant to be a formative experience, also remember to live in the moment and have fun while you're here. Join a club you're interested in, even if it doesn't have anything to do with your major. Following your passions will always lead you down the right path.

What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
I love the Delmar Loop. Having a place to walk to off-campus is really nice and the food on the Loop is amazing. I go to a BBQ place, Salt & Smoke, so much with my friends that the people there recognize us every time. There's something for everyone to enjoy.

What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
It really depends on what you're interested in because there are so many wonderful options. I'm a member of WashU Design/ Build/Fly and WashU Sports Analytics. Both clubs allow me to make new friends, learn about concepts I find interesting and be part of a team. I also play basketball with friends at Sumers Rec Center and the Swamp, and look forward to playing three-on-three intramurals. There's truly an activity or group for anything you're passionate about, so don't be afraid to try new things.

What are your plans for the future?
Being a sophomore, I am not entirely sure of my plans. However, I do hope that in my future career I can utilize my technical skills to improve people's lives.