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Academic Year 2015

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Student Profile 2015

Stephen Smart

Stephen Smart

Stephen is from Ardmore, OK. Like many of our students, the first contact he had with computer science was through his passion for video games growing up. But he did not know much about what goes on “behind the scenes.” His high school did not offer CS classes so until he became a freshman at OU, he had very little idea of what programming was. He did not think it could lead to create anything meaningful. His two brothers are also graduates from the College of Engineering and his father is a chemist. His road to CS had many turns but Stephen claims proudly he has always been a nerd and has always wanted to become an engineer.

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Phil Knous

Phil Knous

Phil is from Alva, Oklahoma, a little town close the Kansas border and the panhandle. Growing up in this quiet community, he was involved in basketball and Track and Field all the way till the end of high school. Already showing versatility, Phil was also High School Speech State Champion and his favorite subject was History. His high school did not offer real Computer Science classes but he taught himself how to program with a little push from his father. As far as he remembers, his family always had a computer so naturally he got curious and wanted to learn how to make games. His father bought a basic book about programming and one about Visual Basic when Phil was in 6th grade. Since then, his path has been revealed to him: he would be a programmer.

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Junjun Hu

Junjun Hu

Junjun is from a region in Northern China called Shanxi Province with coal mining being economically very important. Growing up in a rural community, her parents made sure to give her the opportunity to get a good education by sending her to the city school instead of her village one. She is very thankful for this, because not many children got this chance. She quickly discovered a love for Math and Physics. Junjun did not have any trouble solving problems. Since she is very young she has been wanting to be a teacher.

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Braden McDorman

Braden McDorman

Braden is from Norman, OK. In 5th, grade, he got his first taste of Computer Science when he decided to program a video game with his father who had an introductory course on BASIC. Braden’s life changed forever then. In 6th grade he discovered Botball, a regional and international competition involving robots that have to be programmed to autonomously perform given tasks, and started to program in C.

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Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson

Michael is from Midwest City, Oklahoma. His father is a software engineer and an overall big computer nerd who shared his passion with him really early on. As a child, Michael loved video games and liked to take apart his pokedex. He grew up wanting to break codes for the C.I.A. so he quickly enrolled in basic programming, the only CS class his high school offered. During his sophomore year, Michael was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation: a problem with his heart valves leaking blood which required an open heart surgery that left him partially paralyzed on the left hand. 

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Eleazar Leal Gonzalez

Eleazar Leal Gonzalez

Eleazar is from Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. His father is a professor of Pharmacy at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and has a very strong love for books. Eleazar’s youth is therefore surrounded by books, literally. He remembers his father’s car full of books and when he would leave his backpack in the trunk after school, he would take advantage of it to start reading Don Quixote, The Three Musketeers or other classical novels. It is then not surprising that his first contact with Computer Science was through books. He was also very interested in specs of computers and comparing the different models.

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Carmen Chilson 

Carmen was born in Germany and after living in Sweden and Colorado, moved to Norman in the 6th grade when her father became Professor with the Meteorology Department at the University of Oklahoma. Science was always loved in her family and since she was very young, she has been a very logical person. She really likes Mathematics and decided to take Computer classes in High School. Her Programming class quickly became her favorite one and she joined the Bot-Ball Team: a Robotics Club where robots from different high schools compete. Carmen worked on programming the robots and her team won first place in the regional competition.

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Michael Menarguez

Michael Menarguez

Michael was born in the United States but spent his life in Madrid, Spain. His parents and his brother are all in the medical field but Michael was drawn to computers. He has always wondered what happened when you push the buttons. Michael has been naturally good in Math and Physics, which he considers good tools for Computer Science. He became very interested in Computer Science in preparatory school where he first learned to code. With this new knowledge, Michael designed a new database for his father’s job and created video games for himself. 

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Katie Trivitt

Katie Trivitt

Katie is from Oklahoma City, OK. After attending Bishop McGuinness High School, she joined OU where she is pursuing a B.S. in Mathematics with minors in Spanish and Computer Science. Her mother, who graduated from SWOSU with a degree in Computer Science and is a computer programmer, encouraged Katie to take Intro to Computer Programming. Katie’s father is an Electrical Engineering graduate from OSU. It seems evident that science and mathematics are a strong suit in the Trivitt household; Katie grew up participating in science fairs and other engineering hobbies.

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