Education: B.S. in computer science, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
Music: Tara plays three instruments and sings. She’d love to make a folk-rock album someday, but she’s not crazy about performing in front of an audience. “I get stage fright,” she says.
Favorite computer game in high school: Civilization. Her favorite board game was San Juan.
Creative problem solving in engineering: “When you come to tackle a problem, there are multiple avenues of pursuit. You can solve any problem five ways—or even ten ways—and by talking to other engineers. There’s a lot of creativity there and a lot of room to just think and exercise your mind.”
Advice to anyone interested in designing computer games: “Go to a university with a good computer science program.” But, she adds, “it’s important to take a rich variety of classes and learn everything you can because you never know. Life changes. Getting a full education will benefit you later on in ways you can’t imagine now.”