Meet a Computer Science Major

masi

Anthony Masi ’15

Extra-curricular activities: 

  • Phi Theta Kappa
 

Why did you choose your major? 

I have been interested in computers ever since I was a little kid. I started designing small applications utilizing precompiled libraries in Visual Basic 6 when I was 13 years old, and from there my interests expanded to not only Windows programming but to web design, graphic design, computer security, and operating systems as well. It felt natural to declare myself a Computer Science major, it was a track I had subconsciously been heading down since middle school.

What has been your favorite class? 

Although I’ve enjoyed all of my classes at Manhattan College, my favorite class as of today would be Cybersecurity with Dr. Alexander Miranda.  The class was a perfect fit for me, as I hope to pursue a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity once I finish up my Bachelor’s at Manhattan College.     

Have you done any internships?

I’ve been working as a Lab Intern at Sirota Consulting for almost 14 months now, alternating between part-time during the semesters and full-time during winter and summer break. It’s been a great learning experience for me, as it keeps my skills in various programming, scripting, and querying languages sharp outside of the classroom. I can attribute most of my knowledge of SQL, JavaScript, and ASP.NET to my bosses Mike Daniels and Massimo Martelli, who have served as professors outside of the classroom to me.

Have you done any research projects?

I have been working on a graphical user interface for the SNOMED CT database, which is a database of standardized medical terminology used in the construction of electronic health records.  Under the oversight of Dr. Ankur Agrawal, I put together an application to return the various relationships between searched medical terms, as well as data such as preferred terms and synonyms that could be considered useful to someone interested in medical terminology. I will present my research at the 19th annual Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, Northeastern Region at Providence College.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I hope to move on into the field of Cybersecurity. I’m not too sure about what kind of position I’d be looking for at this point, as I have so much to learn, but I wouldn’t mind being an analyst or member of a computer emergency response team.

What are the faculty members in the department like?

The faculty members of the Computer Science department are great. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dr. Agrawal, Dr. Tian, and Dr. Miranda during my time at Manhattan College and I have no complaints. All of them are friendly, easily approachable, and intelligent, which are all traits that are conducive to a positive learning environment.

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

My favorite thing about my major is the learning experience each day brings. Trying to keep current with the bleeding edge of technology is a near impossible feat. Hardware that is brand new today is already outdated six months from now, for example. There’s just so much development in the field of computer science, whether it is hardware or software based, and so much to learn about the technologies of the past. We are truly standing on the shoulders of giants.

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

I found the most difficult thing about my major to be the software debugging process. It’s less difficult than it is tedious, but when you finally get an application up and running flawlessly, you feel accomplished. 

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

I’d just recommend that they choose a major that they love, one that they can see themselves enjoying every day in the real world. Too many people make decisions based upon future job outlook and salary, it doesn’t matter how much money you’re making if you’re miserable. Choose something you truly enjoy.

 


julio

Julio Lockhart ’14

Extra-curricular activities: 

  • Gamma Alpha Sigma fraternity
 

Why did you choose your major? 

Anything pertaining to technology has always interested me. Additionally, the IT industry continues to grow as technology continues to evolve rapidly. Computer/software/mobile programmers will always be needed, which influenced my decision to major in computer science. 

What has been your favorite class? 

I really don’t have a favorite class, but if i had to choose one, it would be Web Programming. I find creating web pages fun and interesting, and the Web Programming course taught me how to do it. It reminds me of the Myspace days, where we’d go crazy customizing our pages to make it look better than our friends.

Have you done any internships?

I’m currently a ASP.Net/C# developer intern for the New York City Department of Transportation. The experience is challenging but also enlightening. I have not been taught C#, so I’ve have to use my knowledge of other languages to teach myself a new one. This is my opportunity to put all the theoretical work into a full blown real life project.

What are your plans after graduation?

Ideally, I would like to become a software engineer. My other ideal professions are: database developer/administrator, .net developer or mobile developer.

Have any professors made a big impact on you?

Yes, Peter Boothe who was my first computer science professor. He exposed me to the world of programming and made it easy enough for me to grasp the fundamentals and challenging enough to keep pushing myself to do better and learn more.

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

The end product. Finishing a major assignment for any computer science class brings me encouragement and reassurance that I have what it takes to compete in today’s industry.

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

The most difficult aspect of my major was bettering my analytical skills. Every assignment brought different approaches to solving it.

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

Don’t get discouraged if you’re struggling a lot in the beginning. Programming becomes easier the more practice you put in. Another piece of advice: go to office hours. A one-on-one session with a professor may be scary, but it can be extremely helpful.