First of all, what is Computer Science?
To put it simply, Computer Science is the study of processes that interact with data through the use of programs. It enables the use of algorithms and processes to manipulate, store, and communicate digital information. Computer Science is, essentially, how we use computers to interact with our digital world.
At Grove City College, Computer Science involves a lot of different things. It involves learning how to program, administrate a database, create mobile applications, implement proper security measures, create websites, and a whole lot more.
What’s it like being a Computer Science Major at Grove City College?
As a senior enrolled in Computer Science, I can say one thing for certain about my major; it is tough! There are a lot of late nights, hard assignments, and challenges that I have had to endure to get this far. Despite the difficulty, it is a really rewarding major. You are learning how to build apps, write logical proofs, measure algorithm performance, run parallel processes, and everything you need to join the workforce and change the digital world. In my experience, the work is tough but the technical skills learned are incredibly valuable in today’s world.
In the Computer Science major, there are a wide variety of required courses. There is a heavy emphasis on high level mathematics, requiring students to take Calculus I – III, as well as some logic based mathematics, such as Automata Theory and Discrete Mathematics. The processes and principles learned in these classes apply to many of the programming and development courses, and generally improve logical thought. Speaking of programming, there are lot of programming courses! Introductory courses like Programming I, Database Management, and Data Structures help build a solid foundation. Building on this foundation are higher level development courses, like Parallel Computing and Computer Security. Aside from the required courses, Computer Science students can take Computer Science electives, which are more specialized niche courses like iOS Development, Web Programming, and Big Data. Overall, there are a wide variety of courses as challenging as they are rewarding.
Over my four years here at Grove City College, I have done a lot of projects. Nearly every class has two to three projects, or one really big one. These projects, worth a significant portion of the course grade, tend to take up a good amount of time and require you to do some independent learning. Though they are difficult, they are also very rewarding and applicable to the real world. As a senior, I have done my fair share of projects.
One of my favorites was an iOS application “Crammit,” which was an app that helped students plan out large assignments and involved timers, to-do lists, scheduling, and many other things that you would find in a productivity app. Another one of my favorite projects was in Software Engineering where students actually work together to create one giant semester-long application. Over the course of a few months, me and my team built a computer assisted tutoring application, which incorporated machine learning to help teach students Java Programming.
Currently, I am pursuing a job in my field applying to become a mobile applications developer. I found my love for mobile development in iOS and Android programming and I am currently working with some of my graduate friends on an independent project that should hit both iOS and Android app stores! Grove City College’s rigorous Computer Science program has certainly helped me to develop a good work ethic, learn lots, and have confidence in my abilities. I know that when it comes time to start my new job, I will be prepared and ready.