Andrew Ko

Andrew Ko(2005)


Attending Carnegie Mellon University
Expected Graduation Date: Dec 2010
Majoring in Computer Science
Double major in Discrete Math and Logic

Employer/Job Title




I believe that the PGSS program is vital in locating bright students from all areas of Pennsylvania and giving them the experience necessary to succeed at major universities. I came from a small high school with very few AP courses and none in certain areas such as microeconomics, philosophy, or computer science. The courses I took a PGSS were incomparable to those accessible by myself as a high school student (whether it be onlinecourses, or attending a local college). The PGSS program gives its students a rigorous introduction to non-introductory topics covered at top universities. Admitted students are expected to have mastered the basic principles of chemistry, biology, and physics. Only the computer science and discrete math courses were less harsh since most high schools do not cover those topics at even an introductory university level. The exposure to computer science during my PGSS program was the cause of my decision to major in computer science, despite never having taken computer courses before. At my local high school, the coursework was repetitive and mandatory. At PGSS, the projects and homeworks were challenging and had a degree of freedom. The homework problems given required much thought and insight. Also, in my high school, most projects or coursework required at most a single partner. Projects at PGSS were group based, involving design decisions as well as implementation details. The homework problems were often done in groups balancing people’s strengths and weaknesses. The level of challenge and cooperation are definitely present in my current academic work. The experiences I had gave me much better preparation for the type of work expected both in work and secondary education. The PGSS program had a major impact on my future career decisions. It showed me areas of interests that I could explore, what challenges await me in those fields, and how to successfully meet my goals.