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Computer Science Future Students
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Develop applications for the latest smartphone technologies… or teach others how to do it!

“In high school, my brother was always the one spending hours on the computer at home. I liked computers, but I was also involved with National Honor Society, extracurricular activities, and art classes.”


Sarah Heckman knew at an early age that she wanted to be a teacher; she just didn’t know what she wanted to teach.


Entering college, Sarah had considered capitalizing on her interest in art in either design or game graphics, but working on a software engineering research project changed her mind. Where graphics did not pan out for her; software engineering did.


“I love what I’m doing now. I work harder and longer than I did while in school, but this was the entire reason for getting the PhD… to teach at the college level. I’ve given my students some really challenging work…and the best part of what I do is seeing the students work through it and really understand what they are learning.”


Sarah completed her Bachelor's degree ('04), Masters degree ('05), and PhD ('09) all in Computer Science and all from NC State and is currently a Teaching Assistant Professor at her alma mater. She loves being a teacher and she focuses on introducing real-life applications into her classes. One of her class projects involves working on Android applications… thanks to a large donation by Google. Students in her class develop software for a mobile tour application – to tour NC State campus. In the future, she plans to create projects that incorporate more of the Android functionality (like GPS and accelerometers). Sarah teaches introductory classes at NC State – so students are participating in these hands-on, real-life projects as early as their second semester.


“Oh… and now I am working in computer science and my brother is an art major!”