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A Day in Computer Science

March 7, 2017 at 2:45 pm
By Rosa Zhou '20

This Saturday, computer science major students are having a comps presentation gala. (If you don’t know yet, comps is the project every Carleton student has to do in order to graduate with a degree in their major). This year there are so many CS major students that that gala starts from 8:30a.m. and ends at 3:30p.m., and at every one-hour session there are two, six-person-groups presenting. All kinds of fancy projects are exhibited: a self-driving car, algebar (an algebra teaching app that Northfield Middle School students have used to improve their math computation skills), augmented reality and all kinds of intelligent user interface projects.

I was surprised how much work was done in two terms and how meaningful it is to apply knowledge from class to the real world. For example, the bar modeling project is really useful for tutoring kids and it can be used to substitute many tutors for students if they cannot afford extra tutoring or if they don’t have many educational resources. I was touched by how software engineers stand in users’ shoes and want to provide the best product.

During one comps session, there was also a information session from Google in the same building. One of the two presenters is a Carleton alum who graduated last year. I had a 1:1, 30 Minutes session from the Career Center with him on Thursday and it was super cool to learn about what his work is like at Google. The other presenter graduated from St. Olaf and is also a software engineer. They gave a talk on how Google approaches gender diversity issues and then were open to all kinds of questions we had. They also recruit students for Google and described the internship opportunities to us as well as offered to help us contacting recruiters at Google. I was delighted to learn about the openness and kindness Google has, because it sounds like Carleton.

Then there was a huge lunch session where all computer science students, professors and others attending the talks come to support their friends or to learn about cool technological innovations also there. I learned there is an interesting game called Diplomacy and plan to play it after finals.

The computer science day is cool and gave me a break from all the work I have to do. After all, next week is 10th week, and this term, due to some calendar issues, everything is due on March 10th. For me, I have a midterm (really a final) and three papers due on that day and a presentation on Wednesday. I don’t know how it will turn out but I will try my best! 

Rosa is an international freshman who wants to major in science, but she also enjoys learning social science and art. She loves ultimate frisbee, watercolor painting and dogs. She hasn’t visited most places on campus yet, but she has already fallen in love with Goodsell Observatory, and she secretly wants to sneak into one of the astronomy lab classes. Read on to meet the rest of our bloggers.   

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