Patrick Niedzielski: 'A liberal arts education gives you the understanding of how your field fits into the larger picture.'

May 3, 2017

Patrick Niedzielski

Linguistics Computer Science

Methuen, MA

What research projects have you been involved in at Cornell?

For the past year, I've been working on my honors thesis in linguistics, Clausal Syntax in the Sumerian Language. It's been very exciting working on this, because it has let me combine together syntactic theory, historical linguistics and working with the oldest written human language. There's been very little work on Sumerian syntax, so there's a lot of intellectual freedom and exploration for me.

How have any of your beliefs changed since coming to Cornell?

Coming into Cornell, I thought of myself more as a software person. I was into computers. Now, I think of myself as a linguist. I'm into languages. While I think both of those interests have always been there, and I think always will be there, the importance of them to me has greatly shifted over the past four years.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

A liberal arts education doesn't just give you the knowledge to do well in your field. It gives you the understanding of how your field fits into the larger picture. There always is a larger picture.

Patrick Niedzieleski standing