Andrew Muhareb ’24

Whooo’s Reading, San Diego, CA

Whooo’s Reading is an online reading website designed to help students think critically about what they read by providing open-ended reading quizzes for any book. Using artificial intelligence, the site offers live feedback to students’ responses which can include grammatical or literary suggestions. It allows teachers to track their students’ progress in the classroom and gives the students an incentive to read more with a gamified owl themed character that they can level up and customize.

Analyzing data.
Analyzing student data using the Python Pandas Library in a Jupyter Notebook.

My internship entailed learning about various aspects of gamification, analyzing large datasets using Python, learning a JavaScript framework named React, and exploring the website’s large codebase. Having no experience as a software engineer, I started out learning the aspects of a game that make it successful by exploring the competition and reading research papers on the topic. Some other well-known companies that employed game-aided learning were Kahoot and Gimkit, but Whooo’s Reading was unique since the game was more long-term than the other sites. I ended up giving a presentation on my research that talked about what the competition did well and what experts wrote about some common feature of those games.

I was teamed up with another intern, and we were given a massive amount of records on student interactions with the game and were tasked with providing an analysis of the data. We worked on this project for a few weeks and gave a company-wide presentation with our findings which included a few positives and some negatives about the current state of the game. Our results fueled a few meetings to discuss possible changes to the website—one of which includes a big overhaul of a certain feature of the game.

Lastly, I received learning resources about JavaScript and React to help me get started with those web technologies. 
I personally learned a lot and started feeling comfortable with the new programming language. This was very important since JavaScript fuels most of the online web. I then received access to the code behind the website and started learning how the engineers share their code and work together as a team. I did not get the chance to directly modify the codebase because of time constraints, but it was a good learning experience.

This internship gave me valuable industry experience as a rising sophomore that many students do not receive until they are seniors, thus opening the door for future internships in the next two summers at many companies where previous internships are required. Overall, it accelerated my path to becoming a full-time software engineer.

I am incredibly grateful to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for helping me find an internship like this at Whooo’s Reading in my first year of college, as I am certain I would not have found something like this on my own. Additionally, I am thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Case for providing me with such an amazing opportunity this summer to learn and advance my career goals.