Graduate Faculty Focus | Daniel Sierra-Sosa
“I work alongside students, so research is done together. I work at the same level as them to help them understand whatever topics they are struggling with. It’s a way to learn together and to help them figure things out gradually.”
- Bioinformatics (M.S.)
- Bioinformatics (Certificate)
- Computer Science & Information Technology
Daniel Sierra-Sosa is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology at Hood College. Sierra-Sosa received his Ph.D. from the Science Faculty, School of Physics at the National University of La Plata, Argentina, and studied engineering physics at EAFIT University in Medellin-Colombia.
He is an active researcher in the field of quantum computing, medical imaging and data analytics. He has been involved in multiple activities related to industry research and other partner academics. Sierra-Sosa engages in industrial initiatives, working on research projects in the development of mobile applications, virtual reality, medical images and predictive analysis.
Can you talk about your career and educational background?
I am a physics major from Colombia. I did my Ph.D. in physics in Argentina. I’ve been working with artificial learning, artificial intelligence and quantum computing since then. I have published several manuscripts. My main focus is on how to use quantum devices for applied purposes.
I also volunteer to work with IBM on a team that works in quantum computing. I work with students from other universities there, and I hope to get Hood College students involved with it as well.
How long have you been teaching at Hood College?
I started teaching here on January 21, 2021. I was covering the same topics that I do now.
Roughly, how many students do you tutor per semester?
It depends. Last year, I started the quantum computing and machine learning club. We had a lot of people there! Right now, I believe I will be tutoring four students. It’s awesome; I really enjoy working with students. Their energy and enthusiasm for the topic and for research is really encouraging.
Are there any strategies you use to successfully mentor students?
I work alongside students, so research is done together. I work at the same level as them to help them understand whatever topics they are struggling with. It’s a way to learn together and to help them figure things out gradually. This summer, I was working with two students, and we brought together an encryption schema on quantum devices. We were all involved in the decoding and writing. It was a group effort, breaking down tasks like writing papers to handle as a single team.
How do you juggle having accessible hours for students with your teaching schedule?
It’s something that I enjoy. I really like doing research and studying, so that is plenty of motivation to work on it and make time to help students.
Are there any standout student accomplishments that have come from your help?
I mentored Jacob Hamada, and he went on to complete his master’s thesis. Also, I have been working with other students since the summer to have a paper submitted. It is taking time, but we are getting there.
Do you have any advice for students trying to maintain a stable work-life balance?
Do whatever makes you happy. If you enjoy what you do, it can make work much more satisfying and fulfilling. At the same time, you need to know when to stop and rest.
Are there any fun facts or trivia about yourself that you would like to share?
I really enjoy games like Hollow Knight. I would also say that I spend more money on LEGOs than I probably should.
Inspired by Professor Sierra-Sosa’s mentoring work with students? Ready to #GOFURTHER in your career? Learn more about Hood College’s graduate programs, such as computer science & information technology, by clicking here.