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April Grow

Computer Science and Engineering

Describe your research.

AI for embroidery design.

What inspired you to choose this?

I have a long history with arts and crafts. Machine embroidery is a particularly interesting field—the basic machines only cost hundreds of dollars, but good software can cost thousands and is very complex. We can't expect every day people to buy and learn it, so most depend on premade patterns. I'm not looking to replace proprietary software, but create a guide that helps people easily understand how to translate their designs to the machine, and provides design help and tips.

I had the confidence to take this on because I had already reverse engineered some code for home embroidery machines, and as an undergrad, I created a crochet video game in my game design class.

What opportunities has your research given you outside of UC Santa Cruz?

Well, I had a great internship at Disney Research Pittsburgh to design a knitting machine interface.

What was your favorite class at Baskin School of Engineering?

CMPM 148 - Interactive Narrative. It was the first class where we were given a lot of freedom to do projects and think creatively. I love having the freedom to express myself. As a TA, that's the feedback I get from undergrads, too. Getting that practice and occasionally failing is valuable.