BA in Computer Science
Why major in CS?
I actually came to Bucknell to study English, but I was attracted to the computer science program during my freshman year. I was a web developer for Bucknell, and programming was an interest of mine, so I spent a lot of time in the CS labs—probably more than I spent on my real homework! Computer science had long attracted me because I enjoy math and logic puzzles, and almost everything in computer science boils down to a fun puzzle involving numbers or logic. For me, majoring in computer science has allowed me to spend several years pursuing solutions to these complex "games".
How I selected my degree program in CS
As a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, I was able to study the discipline deeply, but also had time to pursue other interests, such as creative writing. I didn't want an "all-CS-all-the-time" program. I might never become a professional writer as I'd once planned, but studying English has certainly sharpened my ability to communicate and express the ideas I encounter in CS.
Cool projects that I've developed
While at Bucknell, I was fortunate enough to spend a summer doing research on SWAN, a wireless ad hoc networking simulator developed right here at Bucknell. This stirred an interest in computer simulation and scientific computing. But I've had the opportunity to pursue fun programming projects outside of the classroom, too, including the development of a secure, distributed file sharing system. I've even had time to write my own blogging software!
Advice for incoming students
Get involved in the local chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery—it gives you a great chance to make friends with other CS students. Take classes in areas you don't know much about—you may find an interest in a new area! Try to participate in the undergraduate research program, too—it'll really give you a feel for some of the problems faced by computer scientists today!