Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
I wanted to further explore the subject of computer science and also to enhance my credentials.
Why did you choose Hood College Graduate School?
As a software developer working full time in the Frederick area, the convenience of Hood College Graduate School’s computer science program was very attractive to me. In 2008 I attended an open house where I had the opportunity to speak with current professors and students. I was very impressed with them and their description of the program, so I was immediately convinced that pursuing my master’s degree at Hood would be both worthwhile and beneficial for my future.
What do you value most about your relationships with your professors?
I personally most value and appreciate my professors’ willingness to support and collaborate with me. As a graduate student, I had the distinct privilege of working with Hood College’s computer science professors on several projects and papers, which ultimately led to my work being accepted into various publications.
What was your most rewarding class or academic experience at Hood? Why?
The most rewarding experience for me was working with other graduate students in Professor Dimitoglou’s software engineering course to produce a wireless network protocol simulator application. Like a real world assignment, the requirements for the project were meticulously detailed and extremely ambitious. It was a tall order but our group was up to the challenge. By the end of the course, we delivered a fully functional application that met every requirement in the specification. When the semester ended, we open sourced the application and went on to collaborate with Professor Dimitoglou in order to submit the project and an accompanying paper to an academic conference where it was subsequently accepted. Later that summer, we flew out to Las Vegas, Nev., to attend the WORLDCOMP’11 conference to present our work. To date, our software has been downloaded and used by hundreds of researchers and students around the world. This was a tremendous experience for me because it revealed not only my capabilities as a software developer, but also the value of contributing to the wider academic community.
How do you manage your many other obligations such as work and family with the demands of graduate school?
Balancing work, school and home life is indeed a challenge. Planning ahead and budgeting time for each obligation makes it easier for me to manage, but it also helps that I work for an organization—Data Systems Analysts—that values and supports my educational pursuits. I am also quite indebted to my loving wife whose constant support I could always depend on when the school workload was intense.
Can you offer any tips to prospective students?
Take advantage of every opportunity to go beyond the classroom in your studies and always aim above the bar on your assignments.
When you aren’t in class, what is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
It is a guilty pleasure, but I must be honest that my favorite thing to do is play PC games.