Kaarthika Thakker programs computers and radio at Rice

Kaarthika Thakker found one of her passions at Rice University before she even moved to campus from Ohio.  

“There’s a club fair during Owl Days,” she said. “When I was a prospective student I talked to the KTRU station manager at the time and I was like, I’m gonna do this. And that was one of the first things I signed up for during my time at Rice.”

Four years later, the computer science major is now the station manager and a DJ for KTRU, Rice’s student-run radio station. 

“I didn’t know what I was getting into but it’s been really cool,” Thakker said.  “Even when you walk into the station, the space itself is kind of timeless. It’s the one place that I feel I’m not thinking about schoolwork. I’m just thinking about music. I’m thinking of my friends that are in there with me at the station.”

Thakker took a little longer to discover her computer science path. “My parents wanted me to be pre-med,” she said. “And I didn’t want to take organic chemistry. So I said I’ll take a computer science class; I’ll have a marketable skill. But I ended up falling in love with COMP 140. I just kept taking computer science classes.”

The computer science program allowed her to work in Silicon Valley, where she had a couple of internships with big tech companies and was even featured on the website Women of Silicon Valley.    

“I have all these skills from tech and I think I’ve been really lucky to get a bachelor’s degree in computer science,” she said. “And I’d like to be tech or tech-adjacent but I want to be working on issues like building better cities, building better communities and finding ways to connect people and tell stories.” 

About Brandon Martin

Greetings, I am a video producer at Rice University in the Office of Public Affairs. I became a Rice Owl in June 2011. Before that, I was at KPRC-TV in Houston as a special projects photojournalist for seven years, where I covered everything from hurricanes to sports. Southeast Texas has been my home my entire life. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife and two of the cutest girls I have ever seen. Go Owls!