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Outstanding graduate helped make web game with NASA


Marcus Maczynski headshot

Marcus Macsynski, an ASU Online software engineering student in the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence. Photo courtesy Marcus Macsynski

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December 02, 2022

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2022 graduates.

When deciding on which degree to pursue in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, Marcus Maczynski found himself debating between computer science and software engineering.

“In the end, I feel like software engineering was more directly applicable to the work I want to do,” he says. “It helps turn ‘programming’ into more of an intentional and well-thought-out engineering discipline.”

As an online student, Maczynski wanted to ensure his college experience would be rewarding and fulfilling. 

“I wanted to find a flexible program that I could work into my schedule while also being given the same opportunities as an in-person student,” Maczynski says. “ASU’s fully online options and half-semester concentrated classes allowed me to focus more on the subjects I was pursuing.”

As Maczynski explored software engineering in the Fulton Schools, he found himself reflecting on the decision he made to earn his engineering degree.

“There were two moments where I felt like I had made the right choice by attending ASU,” Maczynski says. “The first was during a data structures and algorithms course where I found the key information I was missing when I tried to teach myself programming.”

“The second was during my capstone working with other engineers and feeling satisfied that a reusable piece of code I had developed was being adopted by others,” he says. “It felt great.”

During his time at ASU, Maczynski participated in the Psyche Mission, a NASA space mission to visit the Psyche asteroid orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter. He worked with mission partner Jet Proportion Laboratory, or JPL, as part of his capstone project, making an outreach-oriented web game.

“I never imagined that my interests in NASA, space, video gaming and programming would align so well in a capstone,” Maczynski says. “Getting to listen to JPL guest speakers, having an inside look at an actual mission to space and working with others on a project aimed at increasing awareness of that mission transformed what was supposed to be school work into something far more interesting.”

After graduating with summa cum laude honors, Maczynski will continue his current role as an operations leader for a major video game company and remain in Southern California.

“I really enjoy creating fun experiences that bring others together, and I get to do this in my current role,” he says. “I am looking forward to being able to contribute more meaningfully in this environment.”

MORE: Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ fall 2022 class

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