Personal Statement

Below is an outline of the experiences I have enjoyed and learned from. It is intended to be read as a cv or resume of sorts. If you are interested in my "elevator pitch", consider visititing my Research Page


2014 ESEM

Impacts of Design Pattern Decay on System Quality

Dale M., Izurieta C., "Impacts of Design Pattern Decay on System Quality," 8th ACM-IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2014, Torino, Italy, September 2014.

2014 MSU

Impacts of Modular Grime on Technical Debt

Master's Thesis from Montana State University.




Michigan State University

  • PhD: Computer Vision and Machine Learning
    • Qualifier: 19 April 2017

2011 - 2014


Montana State University

  • Masters of Science: Computer Science
    • Software Engineering Focus
    • Thesis: Impacts of Modular Grime on Technical Debt

2006 - 2011


Montana State University

  • Honors Degree, Magna Cum Laude
  • Bachelors of Science Computer Science
  • Bachelors of Arts Modern Languages, Spanish
  • Minor: Physics

Work Experience

Aug 2016 - Present


Michigan State: iPRoBE Reasearch Assistant

I am working in colaboration with the MSU's radiology department to detect stem cells in MRI scans. This exciting problem allows for opportunities to explore deep learning and the potential to improve existing models through online learning.

  • Technologies Used
    • Python: OpenCV, SciKit Learn, TensorFlow, Kivy
    • R
    • MatLab

May 2015 - July 2016


Montana State University Instructor

  • Discrete Mathematics (CSCI 246 ) and Social and Ethical Issues in Computing (CSCI 215). For these courses, in addition to refreshing myself on the subject matter, I created lesson plans, homework, quizzes and tests, and projects to teach the students.
  • Courses
    • Discrete Mathematics (CSCI 246)
    • Social and Ethical Issues in Computing(CSCI 215)
  • Lessons Learned
    • Classroom Management
    • Curriculum Planning and Execution

2011 - 2015


Montana State: Software Engineering Labs

  • My research is focused on investigating design architectures such as design patterns and the role they play in software quality. This includes research in how these architectures and their decay may influence technical debt. From my research, I have had the opportunity to explore using multiple languages including python, Java, and Statistical R.
  • Technologies Used
    • Python, Java, R-statistical package
    • IDEs: Pycharm, Visual Studios, Android Studio, eclipse, R-studio
  • Lessons Learned
    • How to think like a researcher
    • How to write an academic, peer-reviewed paper
    • Plan and execute empirical experiments

Aug 2013 - May 2015


Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT) Manager

  • This Montana Spage Grant Consortium program trains MSU students to travel throughout Montana and give presentations about NASA’s related missions to K-12 students. As a manager, I handle presentation requests from teachers, schools, and organizations, and also certify MSU students to present the show. Working here has helped enforce leadership and organizational skills. In the summer I was also responsible for creating the show for the following year, which involved learning to code with Celestia to create videos similar to planetariums. This also helped to sharpen my own presentation skills.
  • Technologies & Certifications Used
    • Institutional Review Board - Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative. Report available upon request.
    • Celestia - Open Source Planetarium Software(CEL Scripting). Example video: Highlight Reel
    • Google Hangouts, Calendars, Forms
    • Communication/Scheduling Software - SurveyMonkey, Doodle Polls
    • Microsoft Office
  • Lessons Learned
    • CEL Scripting
    • Leadership with employees (as opposed to volunteers)
    • Communication Skills and Patience

Jan 2013 - Jan 2014


Webfilings Software Engineer Intern (currently Workivia)

  • As an intern, I was given my own project to work on that involved changing over an entire system of legacy code into much more efficient and maintainable code. I was able to transform over 30 classes with an average of 332 lines of code each into 2 classes with fewer than 100 lines of code total. Execution of this refactor was so efficient that an entire server was no longer required, and it allowed the product to be greatly extended to include new functionality and features that the legacy code could not have supported. On this job, I was exposed to XBRL, Java, and Python.
  • Technologies Used
    • Python, Java, XBRL Formula
    • Source Control (Github / command line/ sourcetree)
    • IDEs: Eclipse, PyCharm
  • Lessons Learned
    • Agile Development
    • How to Work Remotely (and collaboratively) with the help of: Google Hangout, GoToMeeting, Screenhero, Jing, and Skype

Volunteer and Leadership


Workshops and Camps celebrating Women and Girls in Computer Science.

Introduce girls to the exciting world of biometrics, including illustrating the importance/impacts of biometrics in our world.

  • 2017: Introduce a Girl to Engineering
  • 2016: Girls in STEM Day

2014 - 2016

MSGC Advisory Board - Outreach

Work with outreach committee to assist in public outreach endeavours, such as Astronomy Day

2010 - 2015

First Lego League Robotics Competition Referee

Referee and score state Lego robotics competition. This involves prior training and outside study to learn the rules and regulations.

2008 - 2014

Association For Women in Computing

Supportive organization who aims to engage more young women into the computer science field. This includes current students of the computer science department down through elementary schools. Past events have included Alice workshops (a program from MIT to teach basic CS concepts) and professional dinners, where women from the professional community come and answer questions about the professional world.


Women in Engineering Celebration Pannelist

Every year the Women in Engineering Advisory Board hosts a dinner open to all engineering female students at MSU to celebrate women in engineering. There is a key note speaker and afterwards a panel of women in industry/acedemia answer questions and give advice they've learned along the way.

2009 - 2013

Women in Engineering Advisory Board - CS Representative

Board of representatives from the college of engineering departments that promote women in engineering through events such as the Women in Engineering Dinner and Engineer-a-thon.


Alice Program Instructor: Expanding Your Horizons, Peaks and Potentials

Teach kids how to use Alice to solve problems using computer programming. This program allows kids to create their own 3D stories or even interactive games.


Montana Apprenticeship Program Instructor

Mentor high school students from reservations in Montana for a week about what Computer Science can do and how to plan and build software, such as games or websites.



Dean’s Choice Award

  • Women in Engineering and MSU Federal Credit Union come together to award a deserving woman graduate student a scholarship. Funds were used to attend Grace Hopper Celebration conference in 2018.


Montana State University - Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the Year

  • Awarded to MSU CS graduate Teaching Assistant


Montana State University - CS Poster Competition - 3rd Place

  • MSU CS graduates display posters highlighting their research. Alumni and industry affiliates vote on best poster.

2013 - 2014

Montana Space Grant Fellowship

  • Selections for the 2013-2014 Montana Space Grant Fellowship and Scholarship Program reflect each student's past achievements, as well as present and future commitment to academic excellence.


MSU Alumni and Bozeman Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence

  • Award for MSU's top 40 graduating seniors.

Copyright © Melissa Dale 2018