Student Profile

Alex Wilton

Alex Wilton

Major: Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics


Class Year: 2018
Hometown: Lancaster, PA

Additional Information

Internships/Research/Projects:

I interned at Mapzen in Lancaster city over the summer and into the Fall 2017 semester working on back-end c++ code with a small team of 5 other people.

I am working on a research project for departmental honors. It is a research project investigating the performance of different parallel path-finding algorithms performing inside of a grid environment. 

Inspirations:

My original inspiration for taking my major was an interest in making video games - an interest that I have had since I was young. This interest then blossomed into my love for the entire field in general.

My inspiration for my research project came from taking the parallel programming class as an elective in the Spring of 2017. I realized that I really liked trying to solve problems like that and after some investigating into different computer science programs, I decided that path-finding seemed like a challenging and interesting project to try and tackle.

Takeaway:

Working full time as an intern at Mapzen over the summer really showed me a few things. It showed me what it was like working with a team of other people on a large project, and it also showed me how different the real world can be from the classroom setting.

Advice:

Get really good with the basics of whatever you study. Understanding the fundamentals of something really well makes learning more complicated concepts much easier. Many difficult concepts are really just simple concepts being used in more complicated ways. So if you can practice the basics, you can build off of them easier.

Aspirations:

I want to work somewhere rewarding as a software engineer and get my masters so that I can work in  high ranking technical programming positions.

When I am much older and have worked in the field a long time I also think I would like to go back to school to get my doctorate and become a professor because I also love helping people learn and understand things.

What has been the most significant aspect of your work?

Knowing how much I can do with all of the knowledge and skills I have gained over the past few years. Before it seemed like there were many things I would never understand, but now I feel like the possibilities are endless.