Rising sophomore Emmanuel Eppinger, a computer science major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, answers a few questions about student life at Carnegie Mellon, why he chose his major, what classes he's enjoyed, and a memorable moment he's had as a member of the swimming and diving team.
1. What do you enjoy about campus life?
I enjoy having all of my friends within a 5-minute walk.
2. What do you get involved in outside of your sport?
I don't really have much free time outside of class and swimming, but I do quiz bowl sometimes. If you're not familiar with quiz bowl, it's kinda like Jeopardy but with teams. It's something I did in high school and it's quite a bit of fun.
I'm pretty active in the Schatz club. RUSH ΣΤΖ. I also do haircuts. Last year I did them out of Donner but I don't know where I'll do them this year.
3. What are you excited about next semester?
I'm looking forward to 15-210 (Parallel and Sequential Data Structures and Algorithms). I really enjoyed 15-150 (Intro to Functional Programming) and the algorithm design parts of 15-251 (Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science) so I think 210 will be fun.
4. Why did you select your course of study – what class have you enjoyed the most?
I chose to study in SCS because of my CS/math/physics teacher in high school: Mr. Nassar. He was probably the biggest part of what made me really interested in math and CS. I remember the first assignment in my senior CS class was a competition to write the fastest quicksort. It was the first time I was ever really faced with an optimization problem. I remember spending hours in Mr. Nassar's office finding the smallest ways to optimize my code. Having a teacher who was willing to take that much time to help me like that made me really enjoy CS and he encouraged me to study in SCS.
As for my favorite class, I really enjoyed 15-150 (Intro to Functional Programming). Functional programming is so different from imperative. I found it really fun and enjoyable to learn such a different style of programming and its thought process. Also, functional programming allows you to really easily prove the correctness of your code which was something that I didn't really appreciate coming out of 15-122 (Intro to Imperative Programming) but I now understand its importance. I really feel that 150 helped me mature as a programmer. Also, Prof. Erdmann is one of the best professors I've had at CMU.
5. What class has been recommended as a MUST take class at CMU?
I've heard some really great things about 15-213 (Introduction to Computer Systems). I've had some friends take this class. They said its one of the coolest classes at CMU.
6. What have you enjoyed about living in Pittsburgh?
I like how easy it is to get to other parts of the city using public transit. It's really nice just to hop on one of the "61" buses and be in Squirrel Hill in 5 mins.
7. What has been a memorable moment so far during your time on the team?
After UAAs in the spring, all of the seniors on the team gave their last speeches to the team. The seniors were really helpful with the transition to college life from high school. It was really sad to see them leave the team.