One of the reasons I fell in love with Clarkson when I first came to the Clarkson School was because it offered a challenge that I couldn’t find at my high school. When I came into high school (after skipping 8th grade), it was great, I was surrounded by older classmates and there were 4 years of classes ahead of me that I hadn’t taken. However, even though starting out in the junior and senior classes as a freshman made my first two years a blast, once I reached my junior year, I had exhausted all the challenging classes, and could no longer talk with upperclassmen in a learning role. This is when I began looking for alternatives, and the Clarkson School seemed to be perfect, my first year was fantastic, even though there were some easy classes (CS142 and UNIV190), I knew they’d get more exciting after I finished the pre-reqs.
Last year was probably my best year ever, taking some of my favorite classes to date: automata theory, compilers, and formal methods. They were my favorites because for once in my life, I was in a position where I actually had to work for a good grade, and I was inspired to do so both because the professors were excellent, but also I could see the value in excelling in these classes.
Now fast forward to now, while I’m taking a few interesting classes: CS547, CS456 and CS659, I’m worried that I’ve reached that ceiling and I won’t be able to find a challenging class that inspires me to put in the effort to succeed. I’ve been taking some classes (ANTH330 & COMM310) this semester that remind me of my high school days which I find very worrisome, they require next to no effort to skate by and get an A, yet I am required to go through the formality of taking them.
So, now that everyone is getting sick on my whining, I’m going to list some options to resolve my problem, if people could comment giving their input or feedback, it’d make this decision quite a bit easier.
- Transfer to another school, which should provide more challenging classes and more peers to learn from.
- Stick it out at Clarkson, doing directed studies for the next 2 years or trying to find classes outside the realm of computer science
- Go on co-op to hopefully see how my knowledge is useful in the real world, and interact with some of the brightest minds in the industry
Just for people’s information, I have started working on my masters and should be done with it in May ’10, which is when I was going to graduate with my B.S. To fufill this goal, I’ve been taking graduate classes along side of my undergraduate requirements. My tentitive thesis topic is: “Quorum Sensing and Cellular Automaton in Game Playing Systems”, which is going to look at game theory from a systems biology/alife standpoint to see if a more biological system can play better than a more algorithmical one.
Peace and chow,