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Me at Berkeley

Hello! My name is Benjamin Plate (I go by Ben) and I’m a 3rd-year undergrad studying computer science at UC Berkeley. I’m currently working on many exciting projects and actively contributing to several student organizations at Berkeley. Outside of school and programming, my hobbies include grand strategy games, chess, Catan, table tennis, and spending time with my friends and family.

I was born in Chicago but my mom and I moved to Phoenix, Arizona just a few months later and lived there until college. The Valley and the Bay Area, where I also have family, are my two homes and where I spent most of my childhood. I attended a Montessori School from kindergarten up until high school, which had a big impact on my sense of curiosity and community. After then, I attended BASIS Scottsdale for my high school and began my studies at Berkeley in 2020 before coming on campus for the first time since being admitted in August 2021 (thanks COVID).

Since coming to Berkeley, I’ve become a member of the Board of Directors at the Open Computing Facility (OCF), a student-run organization that provides free computing resources to all staff and faculty at Berkeley, as well as joined Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), Berkeley’s CS honors society, and have had the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented people. At the OCF, I’m one of the lead developers behind an all-new website, and at UPE I’ve been working on various projects to spread awareness of the organization.

Beyond school, I’m also a lead developer alongside Dave Caruso of Scale of the Universe 3, an official modernization of the Scale of the Universe project originally developed by Cary Huang. Scale of the Universe has gotten tens of millions of visits from students and naturally curious people eager to learn about the world we live in. I’m also working with a few friends on creating Moonband, a wearable wristband for children who can’t swim. The device detects if the child falls into a body of water and sends a notification to the parent/guardian’s phone via an app using Bluetooth. It’s been incredibly rewarding to work on this project and we even won 2nd place in the 2022 Johns Hopkins Healthcare Design Competition for our app and prototype. These are both projects I’m actively working on, so I may post news about them on my website if anything big happens.

If you’re interested in following my work, You can check out my posts and projects pages where I occasionally provide updates on what I’m doing. I also have an RSS feed for receiving updates. If you’d like to contact me, you can reach me at bplate9583@gmail.com.