My name is Taylor Solon, and I am a student at the University of Southern California. I major in Computer Science and am currently a second-year student. I have an emphasis in video games, and though my primary interests lie there, I enjoy Computer Science in general.
Please, feel free to explore my website! Thank you!
About Taylor Solon
My name is Taylor Solon, and I am a student at the University of Southern California. I have lived an almost ordinary, but fulfilling suburban life. I grew up in Calabasas, California and attended Calabasas High School. During my time at CHS, I participated in numerous events, such as baseball, volunteering, and work as well as my studies.
In 2012, we got a dog, whom I love dearly. As of 03-2014, I am living at home, taking a year off from school due to my cancer treatment. (Luckily, though, I get to see my dog every day.) During the spring semester of 2013, I noticed a swelling in the lymph nodes on my neck. It turned out to be a rhabdomayosarcoma, a rare cancer usually in kids. It filled my nasal sinuses, and there was some metastasis in my bone marrow. Fortunately, my intensive treatment has eliminated the cancer, so all the remains after my treatment finishes is a waiting game to make sure it stays away.
Dreamer - iOS puzzle game
During the summer before my Freshman year, I interned with a startup company known as Mad Plus One. During the summer, I learned Objective C and helped with smaller projects. After the summer, I was asked to continue on with the company. We worked on a iOS puzzler called Dreamer. For two years, I programmed the game with one other programmer who switched between art and programming. For this project, I programmed in Objective C (with Xcode) and utilized Git for version control as well as Zwoptex for image compression. The game was submitted slightly prematurely (during spring of 2013), so it still has bugs. Before I was able to fix said bugs, my cancer diagnosis ripped me from the project and the company. As of 3-2014, the game is still on the market, though remains bugged.
3D Modelling - CSCI 281
During my CSCI 281 class, I learned how to use Maya for 3d modelling. My crowning acheivment was our character modelling assignment, on which I spent hundreds of hours. The sonic model to my left has over 4000 faces. I'm extremely proud of the assignment, as it vastly surpassed the requirements, and (if I may say so myself) was one of the best in the class.
For the maya file, click here
For an fbx look at sonic, click here
Webites - ITP 104x and CSCI 101
During my ITP104x class in my freshman year, we worked on numerous websites. They varied in detail and quality with the need of the assignment. Our final project was a fully functioning website. I chose to make my website for the USC Esports club, of which I am an active member. However, some of the other pages are interesting, such as my resume page. However, the resume on this site is much more updated and much more polished.
For my CS101 class, we utilized the Scribbler robot. The project gave us a great opportunity to learn C++ in a practical, responsive way. We programmed our robots to move, draw, sing (by playing different notes), take pictures, and record video. We were also encouraged to make websites for our robots, and I spent a lot of time creating a website that surpassed the requirements.
Click here to visit my Scribbler's website.
University of Southern California: Expected Graudation May 2017
B.S. Computer Science, Video Games, GPA: 3.91 (Viterbi School of Engineering)
Current Relevant Coursework
- Principles of Software Development
- Game Design Workshop
- Intro to 3D Animation
Past Relevant Coursework
- Video Game Production
- Survey of Games and Their Technologies
- Internet Publishing Technologies
- Pipeline for Games and Interactives
- Data Structures
- Fundamentals of Computer Programming
I have studied at USC since the fall of 2012. I followed that year with a leave of absence for one year to treat my rhabdomayosarcoma (a rare cancer) and am planning a May 2017 graduation. I major in Computer Science with an emphasis on Video Games, and I plan on adding either a business minor or an internet publishing minor. I love USC and will always be a Trojan, even though both my parents are Bruins.
Calabasas High School: Graduated June 2012
Valedictorian, GPA: 4.7
For four years, I studied at Calabasas High School. I balanced studies with baseball every year, as well as other extracurriculars and work. The only relevant class I took (besides the math classes) was Introduction to Computer Science, a class which taught us basic and moderate Java. This class piqued my interest and is the reason for my current major.
Warner Bros. Games (Video Games Prodcution Intern): May-2013 - June
I gained an internship at Warner Bros. Games during the summer of 2013. I split my time on numerous titles including Batman: Arkham Origins, Scribblenauts, and some yet unannounced games. I also helped acquire data for a website page. Though this role was on the publishing side and did not include programming, it was great experience in the games industry and I loved it. Unfortunately, I was only able to stay a few weeks due to my cancer treatment.
Mad Plus One (Software Programmer): Summer 2013 - Summer 2014
I was brought on to Mad Plus One as a programmer during the summer of 2013 as an intern but was asked to continue as a permanent, part-time member. I programmed an iPhone game called Dreamer! with one other programmer and 2 artists. The game was submitted prematurely with some minor bugs. Since I left the company (due to my cancer treatment) the game has been updated to reduce some bug but is still very near to my work. I utilized Git as version control and Zwoptex for image compression.
Calabasas Pharmacy (Clerk): 2010 - 2011
I began as a summer volunteer at Calabasas Pharmacy and was asked to stay on during school. I served as a clerk, running the cash register, communication with customers and handing their concerns, and performing a variety of tasks on the computer. I organized the shelves, handled perscription orders, and communicated with doctors' offices.
Tutor: 2010 - 2012
Independently, I tutored my peers at school. I instructed them in a variety of subjects, including Computer Science, Math Analysis, Chemistry, Algebra II, and Spanish. During the school year, I logged a large number of hours, averaging 7-8 per week.
Calabasas Library Summer Reading Program (Volunteer): Summer 2010 & Summer 2011
I spent two summers at the Calabasas Library. During my time there, I worked at the booth and helped set up and monitor events. At the booth, I signed kids up for the program and distributed awards for completed books. When working on events, I created posters, prepared event locations, monitored the larger events.
Calabasas Pharmacy (Volunteer): Summer 2010
Before I worked at the Calabasas Pharmacy, I volunteered for them. During my summer volunteering, I simply organized products and handled orders.
Christian Club (Leader): 2010 - 2012
As the co-president of the CHS Christian Club, I served in a number of roles. In addition to organizing and helping to plan meetings, I helped set up evnts, manage meetings, and spread word of the club.
Math Honors Society (Tutor): 2011-2012
Twice a week, I went to a class for the lunch period and tutored people for any math subject. This included Calculus, Pre-Calc (Math Analysis), Algebra II, and more.
Presidential Scholarship (Recipient)
I am fortunate enough to be a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship at USC, which is a 50% tuition scholarship.
National Merit Scholarship (Recipient)
To earn the National Merit Scholarship, I did very well on the PSAT in my sophomore year in high school. The scholarship provides about $2,000 per college year.
AP Scholar with Distinction (Recipient)
I complete numerous AP Tests. In Computer Science (as well as most other subjects) I earned a 5. I earned the title of AP Scholar with Distinction.
Certificate of Merit, Advanced Level (Graduate)
During my childhood, I played piano. Years after I started, I decided to participate in the Certificate of Merit program. I would spend each year preparing and one day being tested. For the advanced level, I prepared and played four advanced pieces as well as sight reading, theory, technique, and ear training.