Mathematics major Jessica Pujols was one of the Georgia Tech students to release the drones during the half-time show at the Big Game this Sunday. We had a chance to interview Jessica about her experience.
Jessica has been a Chorale member since her freshmen year, which is a mixed choir ensemble at Tech that meets Monday & Wednesday's.
We got an email from the organizers [of the Big Game] and all the different ensembles, the choir and the band, were invited to participate.
There were three groups comprised of students from Georgia Tech, GSU, IGA, and Kennesaw, during the half-time show: the fan cast, the LED cast, and the tray cast. The "tray cast" was the most secretive as nobody really knew that there would eventually be programmed drones carrying lanterns to be released on the trays.
We had originally had seven rehersals planned with an extra weather day rehearsal, so we saw Adam Levine [of Maroon 5] for three dress rehearsals do the whole show, with all the band and the rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi which was super exciting.
Jessica told us that being on the field during the performance was "crazy", and "so cool". The drones that were released were programmed by Intel and spelled out "ONE" and "LOVE" during the performance in one of the more spectacular techological real-non-augmented-reality feats thus far in an event of this size. Jessica told us that she learned that the team who programmed the drones had also done something similar for the Lady Gaga half-time performance in 2017.
[As we went out on to the field] there were a ton of people from the media with cameras taking our picture. It was strange to have people so excited to see what we were holding. When we were gathering back stage we were getting so excited.
When asked to sum up the experience, Jessica said "I know I keep saying it, but it was just so cool!"
Jessica is also extremely proud of her LMC minor, which is Literature, Media, and Communications. Her speciality is Science-Fiction studies, and apparently there is a sci-fi lab on the third floor of Skiles which this reporter will definitely be checking out, as well as a treasure trove of old sci-fi pulp magazines from the first half of the last century in the library, which used to be in the Price Gilbert Memorial Library but has now moved to the new Crosland Tower building.
I basically have lived in Skiles for the last four years on the third floor in the sci-fi lab.
It's students like Jessica who make Tech such a special place for us professors who are lucky enough to teach them. Because like other students from top-tier schools across the country, they are full of potential, but it seems that Tech gets more than it's fair share of self-motivated and involved students, who are not just passionate about their studies but also about getting out into the world and making a difference, whether during an off-campus internship or in one of the many clubs on campus such as Chorale.
So whether its designing the fastest solar powered vehicle, or making a powered-bicycle to get to class, or releasing drones on national TV, its really our students who are CREATING THE NEXT, and it is our students that make Tech such an amazing place for all of us to be.