Selfie: David Kocen

Hello everyone!

My name is David Kocen and I am currently a sophomore studying computer science and psychology. I was born and raised in Rancho Mirage, California which is about 10 minutes outside of Palm Springs and 2 hours away from Los Angeles. Despite being in the middle of the desert, Rancho Mirage is actually really well positioned for those who like to explore the outdoors. Joshua Tree National Park is nearby and there is a tram that can take you into the mountains. Because of this I spent a lot of time backpacking both with my Boy Scout troop and friends. Most recently, my brother and I backpacked in Yosemite and Muir Woods National Monument this past August. In addition to backpacking, I am a big fan of watching movies (I am slowly working my way through the AFI top 100 movies) and reading. Right now for pleasure I am reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and am always looking for suggestions so please let me know if you have any recommendations.


Despite growing up in California, I have been travelling to the East Coast for as long as I can remember to visit my grandparents in Vermont. There, I was taught to ski by my grandfather on Stratton Mountain but have since switched to snowboarding. I try to make it up to Vermont at least once a year to visit them and enjoy the mountain. Since I had been coming to the East Coast for so long, and personally always liked it more than the West Coast, I decided to go to school on the East Coast and now I am here! Also Boston is way more fun than Rancho Mirage so I have been really happy here.

At BC I am a research assistant in the Language Learning Lab. During my second semester freshman year I was working on collecting data for a meta-analysis exploring how our working memory impacts our long-term memory. For instance, if you spend 20 seconds repeating a list of words to yourself and then get a surprise recall test a little while later, will you remember those words better than if you only spend 5 seconds repeating those words? How much better will you recall them? Now, the statistics team has switched to a new project where we are exploring different ways to model lifespan development curves (think curves that model our capacities to learn grammar rules or mathematics). Besides working for the Language Learning Lab, I am going to be a teacher assistant for Logic and Computation in the computer science department this upcoming semester so I will be in the computer science lab a lot.

In highschool I ran cross-country and am currently trying to up my mileage enough to eventually run a marathon. It is really slow going as I have learned I am prone to knee injuries but I will get there eventually! I mostly run early in the morning because it puts me in a good headspace to start the day. I do not think I will ever be fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon but I will find a different one to run once I am ready.

My main purpose for taking this course is to learn more about the business aspect of the tech industry. As a computer science major I am already acquiring the technical skills but if I want to get a job in the industry or maybe even make my own startup one day it would be really helpful to understand all the business factors, such as venture capital and entrepreneurship, that go into it. In addition to becoming more educated about the business of tech companies I hope to make useful professional and personal connections during this class. I am super excited for the Spring Break trip to Silicon Valley where we will be meeting so many tech professionals and learning about their work. Hopefully, after this class I will have a better understanding of what I want to do with my degrees after college and will have made some great connections to help me get started.


I think wholesome memes are the best memes!

I look forward to getting to know you all!


3 thoughts on “Selfie: David Kocen

  1. Hi David,
    I’m pretty fascinated by your research, hope you can talk more about it in class! Also I just read your book summary which was really helpful because I’m reading the sequel of your book (Machine, Platform, Crowd) by McAfee and Brynjolfsson and they mentioned your book a couple of times, so your summary helped me to make sense of some of the stuff they talked about. So thanks!


  2. Great post David! So cool that you had the chance to backpack through Yosemite and Muir Woods National Monument — that sounds incredible! Additionally, I would love to hear more about your experience with being a research assistant in the Language Learning Lab. The research you’ve done regarding how working memory impacts our long-term memory sounds fascinating. Looking forward to a great semester!


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