Dedicated faculty and opportunities for hands-on experiences are among the biggest draws to SJC Brooklyn’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department, according to recent graduates.
Adnan Hoq, program graduate and the Class of 2019 valedictorian, credits St. Joseph’s computer science program for his early career successes. The summer following his junior year at the College, Hoq traveled to Beijing to participate in Tsinghua University’s distinguished computer science summer program. He focused on deep learning, a study that is part of a broader range of machine learning methods based on learning data representations.
“St. Joseph’s rigorous course curriculum and competitive environment have prepared and inspired me to be successful in both the academic field and the professional field,” Hoq said. “I met caring friends and compassionate professors at St. Joseph’s, who helped me adapt to a new culture and served as catalysts to my evolution as a student, a professional, and an individual.”
Yesenney Fernandez, a 2019 computer information technology graduate, also noted that the department helped shape her future. She took advantage of the College’s annual Undergraduate Research Symposium to show off her research and an SJC job fair, where she secured an internship working in social management for Professionally Inspired LLC.
“So many people doubted me saying computer science is mostly for men — but I proved them that I can do it too,” she said. “Being part of St. Joseph’s was the best experience I ever had.”
Computer Science Success Stems From Dedicated Faculty
Salim Arfaoui, an SJC Brooklyn mathematics and computer science instructor, said he takes pride in the way he and his colleagues offer hands-on experiences to students. Arfaoui founded a computer science club — known as SJC² — that takes an annual visit to Google’s New York City headquarters. The trip is so engaging that some students, including Bryan Alvarez, a 2019 computer science graduate, signed up to attend the field trip multiple times.
“Trips to Google and NBC studios provide our students and club members with a window to the real world that they don’t get in the classroom, and give them exposure to some of the most dynamic and interesting tech firms in the world,” Arfaoui said.
The reach of the Mathematics and Computer Science department extends much further than the borders of SJC Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill campus. In May, the College facilitated a field trip for local Brooklyn high school students to tour the Con Edison offices in Manhattan. SJC Brooklyn upperclassmen from the computer science department joined the field trip to see the offices and talk to the high schoolers about why they love the field.