Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Anthony Castellani

Anthony Castellani ’13 spent the summer of 2012 working with U.S. Navy communications systems at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to solving national research and engineering problems.

Communication is key. The simulation I worked on is a computer model of the communications systems present on Navy ships used for missile defense. Prior to this simulation, communications systems were always assumed to be operating at 100 percent, which is a big assumption. Thus, the team and I worked on developing a model to simulate the behavior of the communications system to provide a more complete model of any given situation.

Wheaton as a database. I was working with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tom Armstrong last winter, as well as a colleague of his from Maryland, who recommended that I apply to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. After I’d been accepted, I was told that it was all of my previous research experience that ultimately landed me the internship—research experience I had received at Wheaton.

Sailing new waters. The simulation I worked on is the first of its kind. While there are many simulations pertaining to missile defense, none of these had ever included the communications systems on the ships. Since communications are a critical aspect of the program, my team is working on developing a model to simulate these systems. This project will provide the Navy with another tool to run analysis and help in planning strategies.

Computing a career path. I became interested in computer science in high school, when I took a couple of elective courses. However, I didn’t really know that I wanted to continue in this field until my freshman year at Wheaton, when I took the course “Robots, Games, and Problem Solving.” I absolutely loved the class, and I decided computer science was what I wanted to major in and ultimately pursue a career in.

Read more from Anthony here.

–Interview by Alex Cilley ’14