Category Archives: Computer Science

On the Ice at Bird Arena

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 1 December 2014

Ohio University has a nearly year-round winter wonderland, Bird Arena. Bird Arena is Ohio University’s ice rink and it serves as a much needed getaway location. When the semester picks up and I find myself bogged down with work I often turn to physical activity to free myself. While at school ice skating is my go-to physical activity. When I first found out about Bird Arena I was hesitant; however, after going a couple of times and learning how to properly balance, I immediately felt at home in the rink.

My interest in Bird arena goes beyond my desire to free-skate. I’m also into cheering on the Bobcat’s ice hockey team. I’ll admit I am not an avid sports fan. That being said, I have grown to develop a deep passion for Bobcats ice hockey.

The first OU ice hockey game I went to was a complete accident–confusing the free-skate time for a game time. After sitting through the first period of the game I found myself immersed in the atmosphere. Waiting for the shrill siren that marks a Bobcat goal with the fans around me was like nothing I had ever experienced before. The Ohio University ice hockey team is a Division 1 team in the ACHA with 16 wins, 2 ties, and 2 losses currently recorded for the 2014-2015 year. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do the rest of the season.

Double Major: CS + VisCom

Rachel Fryan

Rachel Fryan,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 5 November 2014

This semester, most of the classes I’m taking are for my second major in the Scripps College. The actual university name is “Visual Communications: Interactive Multimedia” which is a mouthful so we refer to it as “VisCom” or “Interactive”. I started this major my junior year because I thought it would be a great complement for my computer science degree. Visual communications is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the study of how things are communicated visually and answers the questions like: Why do we look where we do? What makes us remember certain advertisements?

ALT

Most people don’t really understand what interactive is so I like to describe it as such: If you think of a website, software, or app, computer science gives me the knowledge to work on what is referred to as the back end. This includes all the coding, performance, and all the logical concerns of the piece. Interactive gives me the knowledge to work on the front end. This means all the design, aesthetics, where people are most likely to look and click, and user experience.

I love both of my majors so much and find both very interesting. It’s also interesting how there will always be a battle between the two in industry. For example, if a CS person creates software, the last concern on their mind is aesthetics, but you will have a completely opposite opinion if you talk to a designer. They want something to look cool and work no matter how long it takes to code. Either way, I hope to use the get the most out of my dual degree and have it help me land my dream job: a software designer developer.

Sightseeing at Halloween

Wilson  Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 27 October 2014 -

This past weekend was Halloween in Athens. Prior to coming to Ohio University I had heard a lot about the event–both positive and negative. Being a junior, this was my third time experiencing the event. Quickly looking back, I can confidently say all three of my Halloween experiences have been positive.

In my first year, I was hesitant about heading uptown for Halloween. After being guilt-tripped by both my RA and roommate at the time, I ended up walking the stretch of the event, Court Street, with them. Once there, I immediately realized I had made the right decision–the atmosphere was simply amazing.

Now I don’t think twice about heading uptown. For me, Halloween is walking Court Street with a small group of friends while eating funnel cake, corn dogs, and being fascinated by all the costumes.

Each year I try to pick a favorite costume I’ve seen. This usually leads to conflict amongst friends, but I like to think I make the best choices. For my first Halloween, my favorite costume was a group of jellyfish. About fourteen people had on robes with bubble umbrellas. The umbrellas had streamers hanging down from the sides while flashing Christmas lights were on the insides. The group bounced up and down the street–-it was truly a sight to be seen!

Last year my favorite costume was a Toy Story army figure. The man who was dressed up as a soldier had his costume painted a uniform shade of dark jungle green. He lay down on the street perfectly motionless until a crowd had gathered; he would then leap two to three feet forward. He did such a great job I found myself questioning if it was even a costume.

This year, my favorite costume was a group dressed up as the Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter. My fascination with the scene was not only the detail put into the costumes but also the memories the scene brought back. I found myself remembering the wonderful times I had reading the Harry Potter series with my Dad in middle school.

Overall, Halloween in Athens is an amazing experience. If you approach the weekend with a positive attitude, a fun group of friends and respect for the community you’ll gain some awesome memories from the whole shebang every year!

Fall Season is Here!

Rachel Fryan

Rachel Fryan,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 26 September 2014

Fall is in full swing here at Ohio University. Even though the temperature is in the high 70s/low 80s, it is still fall. My favorite thing about the campus is its beauty, and fall is the prettiest time of year around here. All the trees start changing color and it is just a busy time of year. All the fall sports are in full swing so there is always something to do or go to. Also Homecoming is right around the corner, which is always a fantastic time in Athens.

Other than extra curricular activities, school is in full swing as well. I am taking a victory lap because I am pursuing a double major and am also on the
OU women’s soccer team
, but it is still hard to believe I am 1/3 of the way through my last fall semester of college. It is a bittersweet relationship. Everyone who is not in college says to enjoy this time, but I am certainly ready to move on and start working.

This week we had a Career Fair with the university as well as one for only the Russ College. It is nice we have an exclusive career fair, because you know going into it, companies are looking strictly for people in engineering and technology. I have gotten a few interviews and I’m looking forward to moving on in the career process, which will hopefully result in a full-time job soon.

Preparing for Summer Co-op

Weston Martin

Weston Martin,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 30 March 2014 – As summer gets closer and the semester comes to an end, the stress of finals and final projects builds up. At times it can seem overwhelming but by the grace of God I seem to be keeping my head above the immense pile of work I have. One of the things that helps keep me motivated is looking at the bigger picture. If I focus on the amount of work I have and the little time I have to do it I can become discouraged, but if I look past the terror of finals week I start to see the purpose behind my efforts I am much more relaxed and productive. For me, one of the lights at the end of the tunnel is my upcoming co-op.

A co-op is kind of like an internship that focuses more on hands-on experience and training in your field. They are typically longer than an internship and are always paid. This summer I have been blessed with the opportunity to co-op at a company called Ariel Corporation. Ariel is the world’s largest manufacturer of separable reciprocating gas compressors. Although gas compressors are mostly dealt with by mechanical engineers, the nice thing about a computer science degree is that you are needed anywhere and everywhere. Ariel has some web services that I will be working with and possibly other areas as well. I am not entirely sure what all I will be doing, but I know that whatever I end up doing I will gain a lot of great experience and have a lot of fun doing it. (Not to mention getting paid to do it too!)

Computer Science Career Preparation

Weston Martin

Weston Martin,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 24 February 2014 – One of the things I love about the computer science field is that the opportunities for careers seem almost endless. In recent years, the need for computer science majors has skyrocketed. This is very good news for anyone seeking a degree in CS (and many other engineering majors) because lots of need means lots of jobs.

Although it is very nice to not have to struggle with the thought of “am I even going to get a job after I graduate,” I still have the question of “how do I make sure I don’t hate my job?” Even if you love computer science you could potentially get a job you don’t like. If your interest is in developing new software then you don’t want to get stuck as a database administrator, and if your interest is in operating systems then you may not want to get stuck developing websites. So, how do you make sure you get the job you want?

The answer to that question is a two-part answer: you need to make yourself stand out and you need to pursue your interests. Luckily Ohio University and the Russ College are dedicated to partnering with students to help make these happen.

First, OU offers free (and paid) tutoring, and extra help sessions for difficult classes to make sure you have the resources to do well in your classes. This is crucial because one great way to make yourself stand out is to have a high GPA. However, although a good GPA is almost essential, what really makes you stand out from other students is experience. That means co-ops, internships, and/or undergraduate research.

Not only do these get you experience, they also help you pursue different interests without making long term commitments. This is where the Russ College offers a lot of assistance. They get companies to visit for career fairs specific to the college of engineering and they have staff members who are devoted to helping you get the co-op or internship that you desire. Then with your high GPA and your loads of experience, you will be a shoo-in for whatever job you desire.

Starting Spring Semester

Rachel Fryan

Rachel Fryan,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 14 January 2014 – This week marks the first week of our new semester. It is definitely a weird semester for me since most of my friends will be graduating. I am technically a senior, but I picked up another major the fall of my freshman year so I will be here an extra year.

As with many other college kids, I enjoy the first week of classes, due to the light work load that comes with it. As a freshman, you often go to your class, the teacher takes attendance, goes over the syllabus and you leave, but as an upperclassman, they typically get into material right away because there’s not a day to spare. I also like this week because I like a change of scenery with a completely different schedule.

I am excited for this semester to start. I am in some very interesting classes that will hopefully further round out my CS knowledge. Before we know it, summer will be here and no more school! Only 15 weeks to go!