Timur CelikelDegree & Year Graduated

B.S. Computer Science 2006

How did you become interested in your field?

For me I think it started early on with my love of video games and messing around with a few of my own. I guess growing up I didn’t realize how many other fields needed computer programmers and that I most likely wouldn’t be using my skills as a professional game developer.

What do you do for a living now? What do you enjoy most about your current career position?

Right now I work for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in research on The National Children’s Study project. What I enjoy the most is knowing that I’ve played a small part in the future health and research of our nation’s children with the largest study conducted of its kind.

What have been the biggest challenges in your career?

The biggest challenges I’ve faced in my career are keeping up with the increasingly complex and rapidly expanding technologies available to the programming community. Each employer has their own way of doing things and you need to be adaptable and be able to think on your feet.

What is the best professional lesson you learned from the Computer Science Department?

I learned to never hesitate to ask for help. Computer science has a fairly steep learning curve and there is always someone around you that has done what you are doing and available for help. Go to your professor’s office hours, Google your problem, join an open source community, don’t try to trail blaze everything.

What was the best class you took? Did you have a favorite Professor?

My favorite class overall was Artificial Intelligence. It challenged me to think about Computer Science at a much higher level. It was fascinating to see the potential of the science and forced me to think outside of the box. My favorite professor was Alan Riggins. He was always willing to help outside of class hours and was always very patient and reasonable. He made programming enjoyable.

What is your favorite memory from the time spent in the department?

My favorite memories involved studying on campus and at a local coffee shop. It was an unforgettable experience being around like minded individuals every day and being on SDSU’s amazing campus.

What advice do you have for our current students?

My advice would be to not sweat the small stuff. When things get overwhelming and you think you may never graduate, take a deep breath, go for a walk around campus, enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather. Take small steps and you will get through it. Most likely you will look back and wish you had stopped from time to time and enjoyed the experience more.



If you are an SDSU Computer Science alumni and would like to submit an alumni profile for the web site please email ajensen@mail.sdsu.edu