Students share opinions on new College of Computing

Some note that no information has been shared with students since Oct. 15 announcement

The new Schwarzman College of Computing, which is expected to open in September 2019, has elicited mixed reactions from students, who recognize its potential to expand computing opportunities while also noting the lack of detailed information that has been released since the original announcement.

At the student forum on the College of Computing held Oct. 25, several audience members raised questions regarding how the college will approach diversity, and MIT’s mission and relationship with donors. According to MIT News, the administrators at the forum responded with agreement with regards to diversity, and stated that MIT had practiced “due diligence” during the creation the college’s name.

Thomas Sierra ’22, who plans to study Course 3, said in an interview with The Tech that he believes that the college will help fulfill the demand for computer science majors in the workforce.

Aaditya Singh ’21 similarly told The Tech that the college is valuable because “in the future, there's going to be a much more computational presence in all applications.”

As a Course 6 and Course 9 student, Singh said that he noticed the prevalence of computer science in his neuroscience classes, which require the use of MATLAB and involve time series analysis for neural recordings.

“I'm excited to see what things it leads to and what discoveries are made by researchers in the college of computing,” Singh said.

Many details about the implementation have not yet been announced, but both Singh and Sierra said that they are excited about the interdisciplinary aspects; Sierra is particularly interested in combining computer science with his interest in material science.

Munachimso Nwana ’22 told The Tech that he believes that the college may be valuable to the numerous Course 6 majors in MIT, however, he said he does not foresee it having a significant effect on his own plans to study business analytics.

However, Nwana also commented on the lack of specific information available, stating that he had not received additional information since the Oct. 15 email from President L. Rafael Reif announcing the creation of the college. Emma K. Batson ’22 concurred, commenting, “I don’t think anyone knows any of the details of this,” in an interview with The Tech.

Batson does, however, support the sentiment behind the initiative: “I think that all majors should have more opportunities to learn about how to take these new tools and problem-solving skills into their own majors. And that’s what I’m hoping the new College of Computing will do.” Batson also hopes that the changes will make administration for Course 6 easier.

“In general, I think it’s the right move; specifically, whether or not it’s the right move, [I have] yet to say. That depends on implementation details,” Batson concluded.