David Dominguez Hooper

I'm a Berkeley EngineerClass of 2018
Electrical engineering and computer sciences

When did you know that you wanted to become an engineer? I knew when I was in 4th grade because I had to make a nameplate that listed my future occupation. I always loved taking apart electronics and figuring out how to put them back together, so I wrote down "Electrical Engineer” and the rest is history!

Why did you choose Berkeley Engineering? I chose Berkeley Engineering when I visited UC Berkeley for the first time on Cal Day. I got a tour of Cory Hall and (at that time) the new Supernode Hackerspace. I remember thinking to myself, “If I’m not here at Cal, around all these bright people, and exciting new spaces, what am I doing?” I felt a sense of belonging when I visited Cal and I knew it was the right place where I needed to be.

David Dominguez HooperDavid Dominguez Hooper (photo by Laura Vogt)What do you like most about Berkeley Engineering? I liked most that I learned from some of the smartest people I’ve ever met in my life. Berkeley Engineering fosters an environment of exceptional-minded thinkers who have the ability to change the world through their ideas and actions. I believe this is done through how our school teaches people to collaborate and share ideas with one another. I value this the most because it taught me how to learn in a way that pulls from all the personal experiences you have with the people you meet at UC Berkeley.

Do you often take advantage of programs and offerings of Engineering Student Services?  Yes, of course! The tutoring services at the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence really helped me during my first two years at Cal. It not only helped me with homework, but also with introducing me to some now good friends of mine. LeaderShape inspired me to start my own student organization, UAVs @ Berkeley. The Momentum Speaker series showed me how to be open with people about my own personal struggles in order to teach others how to learn from one’s mistakes.

What are you working on (projects/research)? I work on many projects regarding drones through my club, UAVs @ Berkeley. Aside from drone projects, I’m mainly interested in projects regarding computer security and hacking into consumer tech hardware and software.

What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about helping people find their place and role in life. I think life should be about pursuing one’s purpose. I want to help people find ways to pursue their purpose so that they can be happy doing what they love to do in life!

Who has been your most influential role model? My most influential role models are my parents. They’ve taught me so much wisdom over the course of my life and I’m extremely grateful for the lessons they’ve learned and shared with me. They’ve shared these lessons with me so I wouldn’t have to go through the same tribulations that they’ve gone through in life.

Have you had a memorable “aha” moment (yet) at Berkeley Engineering? My most memorable “aha” moment was when I figured out how to do well in Berkeley Engineering courses. Some people get it early on in their college academic career, but for me, it took a little bit longer to figure out how to properly set myself up to succeed at Cal. (Hint: Your ESS adviser is your best friend!)

What are your future plans? My future plans are to move back to Los Angeles and work for myself. I like the freedom to move around and focus on what really matters in my life, so I want to build a future for myself so I can do just that.