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2006-10-05 13:29:28.62037+00 by meuon 4 comments

Lou, Nancy's daughter, has been going to UTC for CompSci, is just becoming a Junior, and has been talking about transfering to Georga Tech. As a lark, we headed to GaTech yesterday afternoon, just to drive around and see what was going on. It was 5pm-6:30pm.

College of Computing has an open work area, tables, booths, with power plugs and ethernet. 2/3rd full of students with Laptops. Whiteboards with code snippets, diagrams, a matrix or two, We walk a couple of floors (Lou's saying "we should not be here", I'm saying, why not?. There are people working hard in nicely equipped labs, pairs, trios, and a few larger groups. We get back to CompSci central: It's 6:15pm, and there are counselers, teachers and undergrad's still helping students. I introduce Lou to an undergrad counselor (at 6:15! - no appt, she's just there and the door is open.), she's friendly, informative and says thinks like: 1st we teach you Python, Problem solving, Troubleshooting. and then you learn C, Java and "other languages"... She's in good hands, I leave so they can talk. I pull up a booth and fiddle with my Laptop to blend in, but really to listen. Everyone's talking code. problem solving, tokenizing data.. I see people working on code, writing papers, talking geek. real geek. There is a buzz in the air.

Lou will thrive in this environment... she's looking for a challenge, a place to work hard and learn things. a place where a geek-girl can be a very geeky girl.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-05 14:05:15.646245+00 by: Dan Lyke

Place which teaches in Python[Wiki]: Good.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-05 14:16:17.761793+00 by: spl

Sounds like a great idea! I really loved Wash U and my undergrad CS education. I think Lou would really enjoy Georgia Tech, too.

I'm not surprised people were still around at that time. I regularly had classes from 7 to 8:30pm. When I was a TA, I also had hours in the evening. Don't listen to Lou about it. I'm sure you're perfectly welcome to check the place out at almost anytime.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-05 15:21:41.324116+00 by: Diane Reese

It's all about the "fit". :-) How does *she* feel about the "fit" after the visit? What a great feeling when she finds The Place and heads there! I'll send her good vibes and hopes for a successful transfer and a fantastic remainder of her college career.

It's worth remembering, though, that computer science =/= just coding... I have a kid at MIT who's majoring in "math with computer science" and coding is only a small part of those studies. I counsel kids informally who are applying to MIT, and usually their first question after announcing they're interested in Comp Sci is, "What languages should I learn now?" To me, that's the wrong question. It's more about thinking clearly and creatively and solving problems (as the counselor said at GaTech). Learn to take apart a problem, think about how to solve it, design the approach to the solution, and then if it's something that needs to be coded, apply the appropriate language and code it. That, and dreaming about what doesn't exist yet but should, and imagining new ways to envision the future, is what people ought to think of as "Computer Science". So given that Lou heard this sort of "problem solving, troubleshooting, then coding" approach mentioned by the counselor, it sounds good.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-05 15:35:53.466541+00 by: Larry Burton

I have worked with a number of Georgia Tech co-ops over the past few years. I have really been impressed with the students from there. It's a good sign when someone with years of experience rarely thinks of one of the co-ops as a student but as a peer. I could give these kids an overview of what the job entailed and they figured out 90% of the rest.