BA in Computer Science
BA in East Asian Studies (Japanese)
What have you been doing since you graduated from Bucknell?
Right after Bucknell, I went through a graduate program with the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy of the University of Central Florida, where I earned an M. Sc. in Interactive Entertainment. My current position is Gameplay Programmer at Ignition Entertainment, in Gainesville, FL.
How did the education you received at Bucknell prepare you for the game industry?
I was able to apply much of what I learned at Bucknell to my M.Sc. degree in Interactive Entertainment. Some of the classes that helped me the most were those that dealt with optimization (such as the optimization of various sorting algorithms and table hashing), memory footprints and threading. Now that I'm working in the game industry, I find that there are many specializations that can be found. Some programmers will choose to work on Graphics Programming, Physics Simulation or like me Gameplay and AI state-based programming. I was able to take classes at Bucknell that helped me to understand which aspects of computer science I liked the best, and that has certainly helped me in choosing a specialization that I enjoy.
Why did you choose to pursue a B.A. in Computer Science?
I found that by changing to a B.A. I could take the same core Computer Science classes and essentially the same Math courses while having more freedom to choose with my electives. In fact, I was able to satisfy most of the B.S. requirements while earning a second B.A. in East Asian Studies: Japanese. The B.A. gave me the flexibility that I wanted, and since I had one less required physics course I was able to study abroad in Japan for an entire semester in the spring of my junior year and still graduate on schedule with my double Bachelor's degree.
Why did you choose Bucknell?
When I toured the Department of Computer Science at Bucknell I was immediately very impressed by two things: the constantly updating technology in the computer labs and the availability and knowledge of the faculty. I felt that the faculty at Bucknell had diverse backgrounds and that allowed opportunities to investigate varied interests including graphics, security, and algorithms, among others. The constantly updating of lab equipment was important because, in comparison to similar Computer Science departments at other schools, I felt that Bucknell had very current machines and a short enough machine cycle that kept the equipment up-to-date.
Favorite project at Bucknell
I had the opportunity to develop custom software with two peers in a full development cycle (planning, scheduling, user diagrams, implementation, unit testing) code-named "Twaffy" - The Web Application Framework For You. The software was developed in Perl with ties to MySQL databases that would allow a user to create a custom web application for the purposes of group based communication. This means that users could create drag-and-drop logic conditionals, content, and forms that would become custom applications that would run within the framework. Essentially the project was a very customizable form of a Facebook or Myspace type of application with an internal mail server, group and individual message boards, and an interface that would allow the rapid development of custom applications.