Student Fellow Stories: Piero Orderique
Piero Orderique is an undergraduate student from Peru and a Climate Resiliency Fellow at the MIT Office of Sustainability. He is interested in contributing towards a more sustainable world using data analytics and visualizations. Piero joined the MITOS team his freshman year in 2020 as a software engineer to support urban climate resilience. He is helping to create visualization tools for flood risk analyses of campus and research information from stormwater models to support making data-driven decisions. Piero is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering at MIT.
What was your favorite project/ story/ assignment/ event that you worked on in your time as a Student Fellow? Why?
It's difficult to choose, but one project I really enjoyed working on was bringing down large world datasets that contained observational and predicted data on average temperatures and precipitation. Not only was I able to learn several skills in the process like data filtering on a remote Linux cluster and writing automation scripts, but I also got the chance to see all the different climate models created by several scientists around the globe. Through comparing models, I was able to appreciate the art of data collection and visualizations as well as how chaos theory plays a role in predicting climate conditions. The most impactful part, however, was seeing the magnitude of the potential effects of climate change and global warming as the datasets I saw predicted future temperatures at alarmingly high levels.
In what ways has your experience as a MITOS Student Fellow influenced your career at MIT and/or beyond?
Outside of the projects I have been working on, I feel like I have truly become more conscious of how my own actions can affect my local environment and climate. Within the MIT/tech world, I have started to develop a great interest in using what I have been learning as a computer science major to help my school and local communities. I have started jotting project ideas that I could potentially create one day that would support our sustainability efforts here and around the globe.
What advice would you give to other students to make the most out of the MITOS Student Fellowships?
Take every project you work on as an opportunity to learn! I have been able to learn so much by choosing paths that I knew would require more time and research to complete. This has not only helped me create more reliable programs, but has also helped me gain confidence in my programming abilities as my skills developed, and I soon was able to work more efficiently. Also, keep asking questions! The MITOS team has been super open to my novice questions, and I have learned quite a lot from them.