Derek Peirce (BA ’17, MCS ’17) is a software engineer at Snap, Inc., where one of his recent projects included helping redesign the company’s Android app.
His fascination with programming prompted him to work as a teaching assistant (TA) for several Rice COMP courses and to join a team designing an app for their favorite board game during HackRice6. He also organized and led weekly practices for Rice teams preparing for the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), the most prestigious programming contest in the world, run by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Peirce’s enthusiasm for creating elegant solutions with code and sharing his knowledge with others was noticed by Rice Computer Science professors, who selected him for the Jason Chahin Innovation and Excellence Award. Each spring, the award is presented to a graduating senior who has done well in computer science courses, but also has made additional contributions, either to the department, university, or community.
He said, “I’m passionate about programming. I enjoy building new things and tackling new problems; it’s often a struggle, but that’s part of the fun. I chose a startup over an established company because at Snap, Inc. there has been more opportunity to design new things and have a greater impact.”