The CS@CU MS Bridge Program in Computer Science equips students from non-computer science backgrounds with the skills and knowledge necessary to build careers in technology.
The program is designed as a year of rigorous “bridge” coursework composed of introductory CS courses. This transition prepares students for a seamless entrance into Columbia Engineering’s MS program in Computer Science after the bridge year.
The program was launched in 2020 and the second cohort is currently in their bridge year. We asked these new students what their favorite class is so far.
BA Cell and Molecular Biology, Barnard College (’21)
Through the few classes I have taken so far, COMS W1004, Intro to Computer Science has been my favorite. Professor Paul Blaer is such an amazing instructor, he truly takes time out to ensure students understand the material with the way he structures his lectures as well as his teaching style where he will pause to take questions in between different concepts. Professor Blaer offered Java Labs which was a supplemental option to the main course, run by TA’s to help students better understand concepts taught in class. I am so appreciative of Java Labs and all the TA’s that helped me throughout the semester, as this was my first encounter with coding and it made for a great first experience.
BM Piano Performance, The Juilliard School (’21)
My favorite class so far is Data Structures, mainly because I’ve reached a point where I’m comfortable programming in Java and I felt like I was able to translate my thoughts to code more easily in that class. I learned numerous ways to organize and manipulate data. I also learned how useful it is to draw diagrams with a pen and paper rather than jump to code from the beginning, a mistake beginners like me often make.
BS Cognitive Science, and Human Biology and Society, University of California, Los Angeles (’21)
Although only a few weeks into the spring semester, I am currently taking my first course in the master’s program, Artificial Intelligence, which, although challenging, I am very excited about and interested in. This course is synthesizing the information that I have learned in previous computer science and math courses and, for me, it has confirmed that I want to pursue the Machine Learning track once I officially enter the master’s program.
BA Economics, New York University (’17)
I enrolled in the MS Bridge program so that I can become a software engineer and build software to solve day-to-day problems. And it has been going well! I really like my Artificial Intelligence class. I have learned how to think computationally – how to model a question into a coding problem and how to turn an algorithm into code.
BBA Management Information Systems, University of Texas, Austin (’18)
So far, my favorite course has been Artificial Intelligence. We not only learn general AI theories and history but also how to develop different algorithms in order to create a rational agent. Although I am not currently planning on pursuing a career in AI, I have found the class both challenging and enjoy broadening my scope of CS experiences.
BS Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University (’18)
I am currently enrolled in COMS 4701- Artificial Intelligence, and it is quickly proving to be my favorite class thus far. We are learning about rational agents and the axioms that govern them. I feel that the CS@CU MS Bridge program offers a tailor-made and well-structured transition into the world of graduate-level Computer Science. I believe this transition is critical in order to first hone my knowledge of CS and then apply those skill sets to solve interdisciplinary problems, which are increasingly present within the complexity of the real world.
BA Nutrition Science, Georgia State University (’19)
MS Business Analytics, Emory University (’21)
I think Data Structures is one of the most important classes in the whole CS undergraduate curriculum. We are learning about different data structures such as ArrayList, LinkedList, Stacks, Queues, Hash Tables, etc, and then combining them with a set of algorithms to solve the problem in a creative and efficient way. This class has been my favorite since it is like a puzzle where I get a sense of achievement when I finally get to solve it.