By Michael Padilla
Running, ping-pong, billiards, 10-pin bowling and martial arts. Those are among the hobbies that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory computing intern Tre’ Jeter uses as personal time to distract him from work and his studies.
“Each of my interests require me to be patient and logical, from how fast I start a run down to the oil pattern on a bowling lane,” he said. “I have related this way of thinking to my personal life and have overcome personal challenges much easier than before.”
He said earning a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and level-three yellow belt in Jiu Jitsu has really disciplined him in all of his endeavors.
“I don’t give up easily and I think that level of determination and resilience is needed for this field of work to begin with,” he said. “My martial arts background has helped shape that layer of perseverance.”
His passion does not stop there. He began fiddling with computers at a young age, but he did not learn about computers extensively until his junior year of high school in the Scholars Academy at the University of South Carolina-Upstate. The program gave him a four-year head start on college, where he amassed 87 college credits as a high school student.
He matriculated through his undergraduate studies at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He was the first student in the institution’s history to graduate with a dual degree combination of computer science and computer engineering while completing a cybersecurity minor. He graduated magna cum laude and took part in nine organizations while in college.
Jeter received his first internship at LLNL at the end of his freshmen year as a cybersecurity intern in Global Security. He worked on network mapping, vulnerability scanning and Python programming. He returned to the Lab as an intern in summer 2019 in Computing, where he worked on model-specific register analysis.
In 2020, he stepped away from the Lab to pursue a cybersecurity engineering internship with the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. He gained more hands-on experience within security and was able to bring that knowledge back to LLNL this summer.
“The best part about my current research at LLNL is that it is completely relevant to LLNL needs,” he said. “I know that what I’m working on will one day be implemented by the Lab upon its completion. I am learning at a very fast pace and applying it to my project.”
Jeter said he will use what he has learned to better prepare himself when he is a first-year Ph.D. computer science student at the University of Florida this fall.