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HSF Scholars

Daniel Gonzalez-Diaz

  • Gender: Male
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering
  • University: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Hometown: Vega Alta
  • State: Puerto Rico

What extracurriculars are you involved in?

President of Association of Puerto Rican Students at MIT, external representative of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at MIT, robotics undergraduate researcher with MIT’s mini cheetah robot program (the first robot able to do a backflip), Coordinator of the Mechanical Engineering Freshman Pre-orientation program

What achievements, recognition, and/or awards have you received?

2018 HSF Scholar, 2018 HENAAC Boeing Scholar

Biggest hurdle you’ve overcome?

One of the biggest hurdles I’ve overcome was when I started planning for college as a junior. I felt intimidated, at first, because although I had known the language my whole life, English is not my first language. I knew I couldn’t let this hold me back from achieving my goals, but the hardest part was acknowledging that I was going to need help in order to improve. I asked for help from an English tutor, and in addition to receiving that help, I started reading more articles and novels and used vocabulary websites to strengthen my diction. Also, I combined my passion for robotics with my desire to improve my English writing skills by being more active on robotics online forums. The months of “being uncomfortable” paid off, because I improved my SAT writing scores, overcame my fear of English, and I’m now more fluent writing and speaking in English.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan on getting a master’s degree in Robotics to continue learning the state of the art and pushing the cutting edge of what can be done in Robotics locomotion. After, I plan to continue working in the Robotics field in an industry setting to push us closer to a reality where robots are there to complement our everyday lives.

How has HSF helped you?

Among many things, HSF has made me realize what it means to be part of the Latino leaders of tomorrow.

What HSF Events have you attended?

2020 Entrepreneurship Summit