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Computer Science

Student Voices

Rick Bingen ’15

Hometown

Slinger, Wis.

Major(s)

Computer Science

Minor(s)

Theatre

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite place on campus is the Denhart volleyball court with the grill and the lake view.” 

Rick Bingen was accepted into the University of Wisconsin—Madison’s Computer Science school, but he chose to attend Carthage because he fell in love with this place, and the small class sizes it offers.

Computer Science is a hard subject to learn, and therefore the smaller class sizes help immensely,” Rick said. “Your professor can find your inner talent and give you projects to help develop that talent.” 

Rick knows that Carthage will help him immensely on his way to becoming a computer software engineer. In just the first two years of school, computer science majors must take four classes that teach the basics of programming in Java and C++. “This is the foundation for any career that involves programming,” he said. “Also, the Computer Science Department has an ongoing software development project that really helps prepare me for the real world.”

Career goal

“My career goal is to become a software engineer.” 

Favorite professor

“My favorite professor is Prof. Mark Mahoney. As the head of the Computer Science Department, he teaches most of the computer science classes, and as a student you get to know him very closely. Prof. Mahoney is a great teacher and is always willing to help.” 

Favorite class

“My favorite class I have taken was Agile Software and Development, where we got real-world experience in developing software from scratch.” 

Toughest class

“My toughest class was Data Structures, but once you make it through, you feel like you can do anything. I am currently the Supplemental Instructor for the course.” 

Opportunities at Carthage

“I am currently working on a research project for the Computer Science Department. The project is to replace the old traditional version control and see how the code grows as things are added, replaced, or removed.” 

Campus involvement

“I am in the Computer Science Club, and I am a part of Resident Life Council. I am also a Resident Assistant in The Oaks.” 

Favorite moments at Carthage

“My favorite moment at Carthage was last year during the winter when classes were cancelled after 4 p.m. because of a snowstorm. There was a huge snowball fight in the middle of The Oaks circle.” 

Biggest surprise so far?

“My biggest surprise everyday is how many people I know on a name basis, both students and faculty.” 

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“I would have been quite surprised. As a kid, I always wanted to be a police officer or an artist, but the computer industry has boomed since I was a kid. Most people no longer use dial-up, and pretty much everything electronic we use can connect to the Internet. With an industry that changes so quickly, it is hard to have guessed that I would be on this career path.” 

Advice for other students considering your major

“My biggest piece of advice is to get to know your professors. You are at a small school, and this makes it easier to know your teachers. The better you know your instructor, the more opportunities you will get.” 

Writer

Kasey Dallman ’14
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Computer science students watch Prof. Mark Mahoney’s recorded lecturers in their free time, so he can nearby “when they do their real learning,” he says. He has company: Physics professor Brant Carlson’s quantum mechanics video playlist has been viewed more than 170,000 times. 

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 11 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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