Skip to main content

Adam SyedAdam Syed

Cognitive Science Major with a Specialization in Design and Interaction

An international student from Malaysia, Adam was recruited to UC San Diego for the fencing team. He’s discovered the large social impact and connections that can be fostered by designing interactive online platforms and combining user experience and graphics.

Why UC San Diego
What originally piqued Adam’s interest in UC San Diego was its relatively close location to major tech companies and impressive Computer Science program, opportunities that were not available in his home country of Malaysia. He says the weather was a plus as well. During the application process, he sent videos to the fencing team coaches, who were immediately interested and offered him a spot on the team. Adam began fencing at 11 years old and represented Malaysia at the nationwide level for the sport. 

Why Cognitive Science
Initially, Adam wanted to study computer science. He knew about design but thought it was limited to just graphic design. As he took design courses, he discovered the field includes visual design plus user experience research: trying to understand a problem and interviewing people to come up with solution to complext issues. He says he thought, “Why do computer science when I can have more fun doing this?” and switched to Cognitive Science with a specialization in Design and Interaction. Since then, he has engaged with companies like Adobe, the San Francisco 49ers, and AfroPunk to develop online platforms and virtual playgrounds for users.

Plans after graduation
Adam said he is not too set on a specific career because the field of design is dynamic and always adapting. He plans to explore his options and himself. Looking ahead in the short term, he is excited to be collaborating with Tesla this coming year. Ultimately, he says he wants to do what he is really passionate about: solving problems to lend a big social impact. Connecting people more through virtual reality and technology is an aspiration of his.