Cor Story: Pioneering Computer Science Major Heads for Programming Career

"Cor" Story: Pioneering Computer Science Major Heads for Programming Career

 

The University of Dallas Cor Fund provides scholarships to hundreds of UD students. Over the next several weeks, we will share some of their stories. Donations to the Cor Fund come from alumni, parents and friends of UD.

Mark Seitz, BA '14, is working on a role-playing video game that takes place in an Earth-like world that has descended from peace into apocalyptic dystopia. In his role as president of UD's Computer Club, he felt this project would be a good way to attract new members. The final product will be unveiled at the end of the spring 2014 semester.

An Irving native and the eighth of his family to attend UD, Seitz is a pioneer of UD's reinstated computer science major, which became officially available again in the 2012-13 school year. When Seitz started as a freshman in 2010, his plan was stay at UD for the first two semesters for the liberal arts foundation that the Core curriculum would give him, then transfer to a school with a computer science major.

During a dinner for incoming freshmen prior to the start of the semester, Seitz had a conversation with President Thomas Keefe in which he outlined his plan to transfer elsewhere after his freshman year. President Keefe told him that UD was planning to add a computer science major in the next couple of years, which would mean that Seitz could complete his schooling here.

Thus, Seitz worked closely with Assistant Professor and Department Chair of Mathematics David Andrews, BA '90, as Andrews strove to get his proposal for reinstatement of the major approved and to keep Seitz on a path to graduation with a computer science major.

"At first, I took a lot of classes one-on-one with Dr. Andrews in his office," Seitz said. "I was able to give him feedback about which classes were the most useful for the major and help him as he figured out the best curriculum."

A computer science major with an applied math concentration keeps Seitz pretty busy, but he does make time to sing in Collegium Cantorum and to dance in Swing Club. Last summer, he had an internship with Fidelity Investments, which resulted in a job offer. After graduation, Seitz will return to Fidelity as an employee, participating in a six-month training program and then writing computer programs to manage people's assets.

However, he could also become a video game guru.

Because of the Cor Fund scholarships he received, Seitz was able to come to UD and set out upon a path that would probably have been quite different if he had gone to a school that already had a computer science major. Now, as a senior in college, he has already had a hand in establishing something meaningful and beneficial to both himself and to UD. Now that he has contributed to designing the curriculum for his major and is in the process of designing a video game, who knows what he might design in the future?

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