Congratulations to Caleb Dechant for being named the 2017 Outstanding Graduate for Computer Science! Each outstanding graduate chooses his most influential professor and Caleb chose Dr. John Carroll. I asked him to tell us about his experiences here at SDSU, why he chose Dr. Carroll as his most influential professor, and what his plans are for the future. His response is below.

“One of my first challenging experiences for the major was the MATH 245 Discrete Mathematics course taught by Dr. Carroll. I remember struggling in the beginning because the concepts were completely foreign compared to any other math course I’ve taken in my life. The math proved useful in many other classes, but one of the more valuable things learned was a lesson in work ethic.

Early in my college experience, I learned that it is possible to do well in every class if you put the time into it. Dr. Carroll’s discrete math class taught me that it’s worth it to study a little harder during the beginning of the semester when new concepts are being taught because classes often build up on prior knowledge This holds true for not just math and computer science courses, but in pretty much every class I took at SDSU.

When I woke up and read the email that I had been selected as the department’s outstanding graduate, I couldn’t help but think of Dr. Carroll as being my most influential professor. He is extremely responsive to questions, and he also taught my favorite (and probably one of the most practical if you like Linux) CS elective at SDSU: UNIX system administration. I also enjoyed the difficulty that came along with his classes because if you plan on doing well, it forces you to think and absorb more knowledge.

Now that my last semester is over, I’m at a point in my life where I can choose to go back to school in pursuit of a master’s degree or begin my career. Either way, I plan on taking some time off before making any big decisions. This summer I’m going to see where life takes me.

I had a wonderful experience at SDSU over the past 4 years. I hope my friends continue to do well and find success and meaning in life.”

Best wishes to Caleb and the entire Class of 2017 for continued success in all their future endeavors!