Virtual virtuoso

Rosemary Menzies

By Sue Min Liu

What if you could give people the impression that their hand is swelling, turning red or tingling? Rosemary could change people’s perception of their hands by programming a virtual reality feed connected to a glove.

Together with visual artist Eugenie Lee, Rosemary created illusions that mimic the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome. This chronic pain disorder causes sufferers to experience strange sensations – such as burning and pins and needles – that are difficult for others to understand.

Rosemary is studying for a Bachelor of Advanced Science at the University of Sydney. She hadn’t done any programming until she started the Talented Student Program.

For her first project, Rosemary worked with programmers – who brought her research concepts to life. As soon as she saw what they could do, she was inspired. “I realised how valuable programming skills would be for my career,” she says. Until then, she didn’t “appreciate the breadth of things you could do with computer science (CS)”. So, for projects that followed, she asked if they could teach her to do the coding herself.

Rosemary will finish the last year of her degree in Japan, and then her plan is to pursue a career in medical research, and use coding to complement her academic interests.

“Technology is only going to become more important in society, and for me to be able to manipulate it is all the inspiration and motivation I need,” Rosemary says.

Her message to students is to get into CS as soon as possible. If your school doesn’t offer it, she suggests finding a CS course online or asking someone who knows computers to teach you.

“I’m very grateful to be able to develop those skills and hope to use them throughout my life,” says Rosemary.

virtual reality programming

“I realised how valuable programming skills would be for my career.”

 TO GET THERE:
Bachelor of Advanced Science
University of Sydney

STEM Contributor

Author: STEM Contributor

This article was written by a STEM Contributor for Careers with STEM. To learn more, please visit our contact page.

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