See What Our Graduates Are Doing

Comments from Alumni


“Choosing SU for Comp Sci was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. SU doesn’t just give you a degree in Comp Sci, they prepare you to use everything you learn in your future. I’ve seen others come and go in the same position I am in now because they were not prepared to handle the workload. I can honestly say SU is the reason I have been able to step in and not only succeed in this career, but excel beyond expectations.”

Will Nguyen ’12

“The environment between professors and students here is a special one, as the professors would always go out of their way to help students that were eager to learn. The challenging curriculum and helpful nature of the professors went a long way to making sure I was more than prepared to apply my skills towards my career.”

Garhett Bonneaux ’14

“I really enjoyed the support that I was given in the Math/CS Department. All of the professors in the department pushed me to achieve more than I thought I was capable of and encouraged me when I struggled. Even though I haven’t used math much in my career, I feel that the support of students and the advocacy of life-long learning that I experienced while at SU still affects me to this day.”

Sarah Stern Ochel ’10 

“Every time I tell someone that I majored in Mathematics, they are always surprised. Especially since most of my classmates majored in biology or chemistry. But I think it was one of the best decisions I could have made. Not only did I enjoy majoring in math, but it has helped me remarkably in medicine thus far. The entire department improved my critical thinking skills by creating assignments/courses that were centered on complex, open-ended problems. In medicine, there are several different ways to approach a problem and come up with the answer. You may have to try several times, but eventually a diagnosis and plan for the patient can be formulated. I have found that the demanding math classes I took at SU prepared me tremendously for my future.”

Maria Pollifrone ’12

“I think my favorite part of the CS department at SU is the support within the department. Whether it’s a professor or another classmate, there’s almost always someone around willing to help you with the project you’re working on.”

Kayla Saenger ’13

“Engineering degree coupled with Math opened countless doors. The extra 1 to 2 years for for either a B.S. or Masters in engineering will be well worth the time…”

James Booth ’73

“I didn’t take any CS courses at SU. I wish I would have majored in Computer Science rather than Math since software is where my career has led me. Having the Math major did help me get jobs - people are usually impressed by it, especially in the computer industry. Also, having a Math degree helped my analytical skills which is important in programming.”

Lynn MacGowan ’98 

“Advice for new grads: Tech support isn’t what you think it is. Also, any pay w/ benefits is better than no pay w/ no benefits.”

Michael Nguyen ’03

“I’d advise current and incoming students to take advantage of opportunities to work one-on-one with professors.  Some of my best learning experiences at Southwestern took place in an office rather than a classroom, and the ability to see a long-term project through is invaluable in the working world.”

Stephen Brown ’12

“Deciding what to major in at Southwestern was not a difficult choice. After some deliberation, I asked myself ‘Well, what else am I going to do?’ Studying Computer Science is tough. There is a lot to learn. But whether or not you go into a career field that necessitates a CS degree, you will find some way to apply everything you learn, whether it’s basic programming syntax, theory behind data transmission, or techniques for software development. Not only did studying Computer Science give me a new skill, it gave me a much better understanding of the electronic and networked world we live in.”

Jefferson Ellinger ’13


Alumni share their most valuable experiences at SU

“Cryptography was my favorite CS course, but looking back on what I got out of my undergraduate education, the heavy emphasis on writing at SU has proved to be invaluable.  Computer science grads are hugely in demand these days, and computer science grads who can communicate clearly are hard to come by. If some of the non-CS courses at SU seem extraneous, keep in mind that being well-rounded will serve you well.”

Stephen Brown ’12

“The most valuable aspects of my education at Southwestern that I’ve brought with me into graduate school and (soon) the corporate workforce are the ability to express complex ideas in well-defined terms, process information quickly, and “self-compile” the results of a technical operation such as a computer program before execution. In my current field, I’m doing a lot of work with high-level statistics - things like neural networks, boosted tree algorithms, and auto-regressive moving average models - as well as optimization and dynamic programming. I think Southwestern prepared me well for the challenges I regularly face.”

Zachary Anglin ’13

I’d have to say Numerical Analysis and the Capstone class were invaluable to my success in graduate school. Combinatorics with Dr. Marr as well as  pretty much every other class I took have all come in handy at various times.

Eric Godat ’12

“I encourage any student to take any class he/she is interested in without a care of whether or not they think it will be useful in the future. You can never really know what will help you in the future. For me these classes were Operation Research and Databases. Two random classes I decided to take because I thought they were interesting, and the two skills I needed to take a failing project and turn it into a multi-billion dollar product. If only I worked on commission!”

Will Nguyen ’12

“My most valuable courses would be operations research, discrete mathematics, and all programming classes. Operations research gave me an understanding of linear programming and helped solve real world problems; e.g. finding the optimal angle of a water pipe to minimize build cost or minimizing residuals in a linear regression model. The discrete mathematics gave me knowledge of probability that helped me pass my first actuarial exam(aptly named ‘Exam P’). All the programming classes gave me the technical foundation to work for a small software company right out of SU, for which I could not be more thankful.”

Alan Lowry ’11

“The overall thought processes and analytical skills that were developed in my course work at SU are what is most valuable to me now. I am not in a field in which I use my advanced math skills very frequently, but I regularly benefit from the ability to logically think through complex problems.”

Sara Barnes ’97

“The mathematical modeling course was by far the most helpful for my career. Having to write about and present our work is invaluable experience. It was also one of the few courses that I took which required computer work. I am also very grateful for the interaction with professors and their concern for our education.”

Lee Silverberg ’95

“The most beneficial experience I had was an internship with IBM the summer after my junior year. Most valuable CS class I took was Computer Architecture.”

Ashley Lipscomb ’99

“The most relevant courses that I took at SU were those in Differential Equations, Calculus, Linear Algebra and the introductory Computer Science courses that I took. In retrospect, I wish that I would have taken more programming classes. Overall, I think that I was better prepared for the theoretical rigors of Applied Math than most of my fellow students.”

Daniel Reynolds ’98

“Independent study - Cryptography with Dr. Potter was the most valuable as a learning experience.”

Brian Reed98

“I liked them all— they provided a challenge and taught me to think through those challenges. I especially enjoyed algebraic structures, real analysis, complex analysis and combinatorics.”

Winnie Fristoe ‘99

“Independent study, Take-home exams. Courses that offered: 1. Opportunity to appreciate complexity regardless of the specific content. 2.Development of strong conceptual/abstract reasoning skills.”

Siddharth Sinha ’95

“Probability (very relevant to my current course of study), Real Analysis (an excellent introduction to proof).”

Nora Horick ’99

“Statistics, linear algebra, elementary geometry from an advanced viewpoint (or something close to those titles!”

Lydia Williams Hewett ’74

“Programming concepts 1 and 2, and discrete math although it has not been directly applied I learned a mental discipline.”

Brad Jacobson ’86