Originally from Montclair, New Jersey, Celia is a Computer Science and Math double-major and CWIT Scholar.


About Celia

When did you become interested in Computer Science? I’ve always been interested in math and solving puzzles since I was a little girl.  In my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to take two programming classes at a local college.  At the time, I was thinking I might want to create games for women and children.

What area of Computer Science interests you the most? Now I’m thinking about being a data scientist, somebody who makes sense of the large amounts of data that are growing rapidly in so many fields.  I’ll want to take classes in machine learning algorithms, computer graphics, and data visualization. 

What Computer Science courses did you take in high school? I took seven math classes, including AP Calculus BC and statistics.  I realize now that the programming classes I took at the local college weren’t great, but they helped pique my interest in computer science.

What is your dream job? Google and Facebook created the idea of data science and now there are a lot of start-up companies in Silicon Valley that specialize in mining complex data.  Everyone from the NSA to General Electric are now looking for people who can do this, too, and it would be fun to be part of the exciting breakthroughs in this information technology.


About being a CS major

Who is your favorite professor or course? My favorite class is Discrete Structures with Dr. LaBerge. He’s wonderful.  He’s got so many office hours, and he encourages us to come see him.  He never thinks any question is dumb.

Are you part of any on-campus clubs, organizations, teams, or labs?  I’m a member of the Society of Women Engineers, and I’m joining the A-Team, a group who helps the admissions office when prospective students visit. Every Tuesday I have lunch with a group of intellectually challenged students attending UMBC under the new SUCCESS program. I’m also working on my 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo. I was on a demonstration team that won a national championship in 2010.

What is the best part about being a CWIT Scholar? I love living in the Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) LLC in Erickson Hall.  We all got to be good friends before school started at a retreat in August.  It’s so much fun, and it’s really helpful, to have friends right there who are studying the same subjects.


About life at UMBC

What is the best part of college so far? Being on my own and away from home.

What is the best part about campus life at UMBC? Hanging out with friends.

What is your favorite spot on campus? The Commons, because it is so full of life.  There is an awesome game room, many dining options, and many SEB events take place there.

Where can you get the best coffee/lunch/ food or beverage of choice? My favorite place to eat is the Admin Café.  I go there with fellow CWIT scholars every weekday morning and get this delicious bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.  My favorite lunch there is a turkey, lettuce and tomato sandwich on wheat bread with honey mustard and a pickle on the side.  I also love the chicken tenders at the Mesquite BBQ and Grill and the smoothies at Au Bon Pain!