By Alicia Garza ‘22
When I think of lab, the first thing that pops to mind is the darkroom, or the drawing studio, or the digital lab. When I signed up for a computer science class this semester and saw the Lab section of the course, I knew I was in for a whole other kind of experience, a different kind of creativity.
“Intro to Computer Science with Topics in AI” is my first STEM class since junior year of high school. I’m taking this to fulfill my Area 5 requirement (Pomona’s breadth of study requirements cover 6 different academic areas) as well as to find something new that I could somehow apply to my art. Truthfully, I was pretty nervous to be thinking about numbers and science and reasoning like that after so long, and wasn’t sure how rusty I was going to be or if it would be able to connect with me. Five weeks in, I feel like I will successfully complete this course knowing how to utilize Python in so many ways (like if I ever want to do a tech art piece or something interactive), and a couple extra forehead wrinkles.
The class is hard, but the endlessly helpful mentors (CS majors), professors, and students are what make it worthwhile. A lot of the content is based on understanding how things build on each other, and I am amazed at how wonderfully the mentors ask just the right questions to pull the understanding deep from the caverns of our liberal arts brains (until I remember that they have gone through all of this themselves).
Five weeks in, looking at all the rest of the lessons the class has to offer on the syllabus is still mind-numbing, in all honesty. But I’m not nervous like I was 3 weeks ago. I truly believe utilizing all the time that those who know this language have to offer will make the work manageable; it’s confidence boosting and community building at the same time. And now I get why people are always saying they’re going to Edmunds.