Registration season is upon us! It’s one of my favorite parts of the semester. Pouring over the course schedule and meticulously fashioning the perfect arrangement of classes (and 10 alternates) is just so deeply satisfying.
When I was in high school, one thing I really looked forward to in college was all the different classes I would be able to take. College was where there were 100s of different science classes, not just 10. It’s still mind bogglingly amazing to me that the College of Natural Sciences offers more courses than my entire high school did! Also I could take “unconventional” classes in Greek mythology, European folktales, social dance, Bollywood films etc. If you ignored the concept of tests, quizzes, homework etc, it was paradise.
Every semester I like to take a class that’s completely unrelated to CS, as a breath of fresh air—a way to expand my horizons. Ironically, last semester while I was exploring options to fill my one-unconventional-class slot, I realized that there’re other places outside our department to further my CS education. I registered for “Intro to Computation Linguistics,” which I am taking right now. I took it since it was relevant to my major and because I've always been interested in languages (Once upon a time I almost added a linguistics double major).
It was a wonderful decision. Sure, because it’s based in the linguistics department, the programming aspect of it has been slower than I’m used to, but it’s definitely CS-y. I’m learning computation linguistics and NLP with dashes of machine learning. Honestly it's so cool. This class has interested me so much that I’m making plans to do research with a professor in the field and write a thesis.
I wouldn’t have found myself in this place if I hadn’t looked outside of the CS department or CNS. There are classes with a CS flair in places you’ve never thought of. So branch out! You might just discover something you wouldn’t have when you explore cross disciplinary courses.
Happy Monday & GL with Registration! :)