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Anya Ganeshan: A Summer College Edge Student Keeping an Eye to the Future

Anya Ganeshan, a high school student at Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, N.J., has her eye on a future major in computer science or data analysis, but that doesn’t stop her from enjoying her time as a Summer Edge student. While taking a Data Structures class, Ganeshan also finds time for coffee at Joe’s and bike rides in N.Y.C.

What interested you in the Data Structures in Java course?

I really enjoyed AP Computer Science and other computer science electives offered at my school and was looking to learn more about some concepts that we weren’t able to fully delve into. So far I love the class and have learned so much from Professor Paul Blaer!

What is your favorite part of the class?

I really like the professor’s teaching style because he makes his class interactive and enjoyable. He adds humor and brings in his personal experiences to help us learn. For example, he taught us about stacks [an abstract data type] with palindromes like “tacocat” and “a nut for a jar of tuna.”

How is the Columbia Summer Session experience helping you to reach your academic goals?

I am very interested in pursuing a college major involving math, computer science, and data analytics. This course has solidified my interest in coding and made me even more excited to pursue a major that involves computer science in college. It has also helped me get a better understanding of what a college-level class is like.

What have the social life and events of the program been like for you? 

I have really enjoyed learning with and from people of all ages and backgrounds. When I first walked into office hours, I was surprised to see everyone helping each other and talking through problems together. This course has helped me realize how much I can learn from not only my professors but also my fellow students.

What are your favorite things to do on and/or off campus?

On campus, I love the Dodge Fitness Center and studying in Milstein. I also enjoy Joe’s Coffee—I get my latte right before my evening class! Outside of Columbia, I love biking in the city, exploring different cuisines, and riding the East River Ferry.

What advice would you give to students who are similar to you?

I would advise students not to be intimidated by this experience. Although the classes and content may be difficult and fast-paced, the teaching assistants (and the office hours that they hold) are very helpful. Don’t be afraid to talk to other people in your class and make new friends!

Offered in the summer and the academic year, the College Edge program offers high school students the opportunity to take Columbia University courses and earn college credit.