CECS graduate Cristian Adam looks to help others save time, improve lives

Cristian AdamCristian Adam often looks at how can to make the best use of his time.

At home, he has a pulley and motor system—triggered by a light sensor—that opens and closes the window blinds. And he’s created a mechanism to start the coffee-making process in the morning.

Now with his computer science degree in hand, the Class of 2017 graduate wants to go out and help others find ways to improve their lives too.

“If you get the seemingly mundane things out of the way, you’ll have time to focus on something else and put your energy into other things,” he said. “Think big picture. You could accomplish so much more if you freed up time.”

But it’s not just about time. On a larger scale, it’s about providing solutions.

When contemplating the best time investment for his future, he chose UM-Dearborn—a decision based on program reputation and proximity to his family.

Adam—who once used his analytical skills to capture his little brother’s escaped hamster with a carrot-baited LEGO trap—said a driving force behind his career choice is to contribute to the greater good.

“I remember how my brother looked at me. I knew I did something good and that he was impressed,” Adam said. “Now that I’m older, I realize that I’m passionate about solving problems because I want to create useful things to help people.”

To find ways to engage with the community and evaluate their needs, Adam was involved in many student organizations on campus, in addition to his full class load and work in a campus research lab.

While in the Intelligent Systems Club (ISC), his team, Yeti, placed second nationally in the Institute of Navigation Autonomous Snowplow Competition.

“Once the cost benefit is there, we will be able to replace people going out in the cold and shoveling. This will save people from overestimating their abilities to shovel snow and having heart attacks or slip and fall accidents,” he said. “It will also allow you to be more productive in other ways since you won’t have to focus on shoveling.”

During one of his three co-op rotations at DTE, Adam helped improve the energy company’s phone app by enabling communication between the new phone client and the backend outage tracking systems. This allowed smart phone users access to many DTE features—like power outage maps and the ability to report a problem—in one location and without a long loading delay.

And he’s taught kids about robotics through the campus’ annual Engineering and Computer Science Experience Day, which he also helped organize this year.

While Adam considers his post-grad life and the job offers that have come in, he’s holding out for one that mixes both his creative interests and his want to improve the every day.

“When I look back, I want to say the people are better off now because of something that I contributed to,” he said. “I want to make sure that I am able to make an impact in the world by improving the lives of people with my work.”

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