What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class would have to be Discrete Mathematics (CS 2800), as I feel that the direction of my undergraduate career would have been very different without taking this course. While I was in the class, I realized for the first time that I was interested in combining aspects of computer science with my undergraduate major in linguistics. I decided to explore computer science more, which ultimately led me to choose to attend graduate school for computer science. Additionally, I have been a teaching assistant for the course this semester, which has been a great experience overall.
What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?
By the end of this semester, I will have completed my senior honors thesis, which focuses on a comparison between programming languages and second language (for example, second-language English). The experience has contributed to my education because it allowed me to combine my interests in linguistics (computational linguistics) with my interests in computer science (programming languages). Seeing this project through from start to finish was also helpful for me because it helped me narrow down my interests a little bit and choose a concentration for graduate school.
How have your beliefs or perspectives changed since you first arrived at Cornell?
I think that when I first arrived at Cornell, I had a fairly limited view of myself – in my mind, there were things I was good at and those that I was not. What I have discovered is that if you approach a subject or a task with an open mind, anything, even those things that you feel you don’t have a talent for, can be enjoyable, and that being “successful” does not necessarily imply complete mastery over a subject.
Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?
My professors had a huge influence on my Cornell education – there are so many examples of their impact on my last four years here. Overall, I feel that my professors have made a conscious effort to be available to students and were always helpful when I needed advice both about classes and my future.
What are your plans for next year?
I will be starting Cornell’s computer science M.S. program in the fall, concentrating on programming languages.