Ben Sihota

Student · Innovator



Ben Sihota is a student studying Computer and Cognitive Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He understands that technology is only practical when it is both purposeful and coherent. After years of working with and training pre-Information Age adults, Ben recognizes that effective applications are developed by a naturalistic approach. He is interested in researching Human–Computer Interaction, Natural Language Processing, and Artificial Intelligence.

Outside of academics, Ben is the Outreach Chair for the Santa Cruz County Rotaract Club, where he regularly volunteers and coordinates yield programs for primarily first-generation high school students in the San Jose area. In his spare time, Ben is also an avid musician and photographer.

What I'm Passionate About

Software Development

With both professional and hobbyist experience in: Java, C, PHP, JavaScript, and more

UI/UX Design

Designing modern, yet accessible application interfaces

Cognitive Psychology

Currently studying and interested in research with: HRI, AI/ML, and computational models

Service & Leadership

Working to serve the both the Santa Cruz and international community



University of California, Santa Cruz

Bachelor of Science, Computer Science & Cognitive Science
Campus Organizations
  • Rotaract Club
  • Tech4Good Collectively
  • Creative Tech Design
  • Colleges Against Cancer
Relevant Computer Science Courses
  • CMPS 12B - Data Structures Laboratory
  • CMPE 16 - Applied Discrete Mathematics
  • CSE 102 - Analysis of Algorithms
  • CSE 107 - Probability and Statistics for Engineers
  • CSE 120 - Computer Architecture
  • CSE 142 - Machine Learning
Relevant Cognitive Science Courses
  • PSYC 2 - Psychological Statistics
  • PSYC 20 - Fundamental Theories of Cognition
  • PSYC 100 - Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSYC 125 - Psycholinguistics
September 2018 - June 2022
Santa Cruz, CA
Professional EXPERIENCE

UC Santa Cruz Informational Technology Services

Technical Support Specialist
  • Provides hands-on and remote support with Windows, macOS, and Linux systems
  • Diagnoses performance issues with campus network for over 9,000 residents
  • Communicates department initiatives and service changes to clients
  • IEEE 802.11 WLAN
  • OS Maintenance
  • Cisco Infrastructure
  • Quality Assurance
  • Remote Troubleshooting
September 2020 - Present
Santa Cruz, CA

Mineplex LLC

Massively multiplayer online game development company
Software Developer
  • Designed and programmed both game and UI components
  • Scaled software for a network serving an average of 25,000 concurrent users
  • Engaged with the community to provide critical feedback on new features
  • Java
  • Git
  • MySQL
  • Unix
  • Redis
  • Quality Assurance
  • Project Management
  • Game Design
June 2015 - January 2016

Private Consulting

IT Technician, Consultant, & Web Designer
  • Assessed the needs of clientele and executed plans of repairs
  • Applied knowledge related to Windows, Mac, and mobile operating systems and hardware components
  • Designed SEO-oriented websites for local businesses
  • Managed clientele and case records
  • OS Maintenance
  • Desktop Hardware Repair
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • WordPress
  • SEO
  • Front-End Design
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Product Training
  • Customer Service
  • Entrepreneurship
March 2013 - September 2018
Diablo Valley, CA
Volunteering & Leadership Experience

Rotaract Club of Santa Cruz County

Outreach Chairman
  • Plans and conducts university yield programs for primarily first-generation high school students
  • Coordinates regular fundraising events
  • Arranges member volunteer services with local businesses
September 2019 - Present
Santa Cruz, CA

Rotary International District 5160

Interact District Governor
  • Led a council of 25 volunteers
  • Maintained communications with over 50 individual clubs
  • Spearheaded fundraisers that generated over $25,000 for international aid programs
  • Directed eight leadership-oriented events with an average of 200 attendees each
June 2016 - June 2018
Davis, CA

Dean's Honor List

University of California, Santa Cruz
2019 - 2020

AP Scholar with Distinction

College Board Advanced Placement Program

Rotary Youth Leadership Award

Rotary International

Let's Get In Touch

Social Media

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