Chris Bernard didn’t have a difficult choice in deciding where to attend college. He only applied to the North Dakota State University. For Bernard, it was an easy decision because several of his other family members had previously attended NDSU. Plus, NDSU is close to his hometown of Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a good computer science program. At NDSU, Bernard has excelled, winning the DigiKey programming competition, with his teammates, this year.
In recognition of his strong work ethic and accomplishments, Bernard has been selected as a “student of distinction” by the NDSU Computer Science Department. This is an honor bestowed on only 15 of the department’s approximately 600 students.
At NDSU, Bernard has enjoyed the comradery of his fellow students as part of the school’s Association for Computer Machinery student chapter. “It is a great place to hang out,” he notes. “They are accepting of everybody, and it is the perfect environment to learn more about computer science.”
Bernard is most interested in software development and cybersecurity, two key areas of computer science. When he graduates, he doesn’t plan to go far. He hopes to get a full time job in Fargo.
“Students of distinction – like Chris Bernard – are selected for going above and beyond typical students,” commented NDSU Computer Science Assistant Professor Jeremy Straub, who manages the student awards program. “Distinguished students are recognized by their peers and instructors as student leaders – in a variety of areas – and this award serves to acknowledge their accomplishments.”
In winning the DigiKey programming competition, Bernard and his teammates demonstrated their ability to break down problems and develop software to solve them. They did this under time pressure and in a highly competitive environment. “It was an enjoyable experience and I learned a lot,” Bernard notes.
The NDSU Computer Science Department was founded in 1988 (though computer science courses were offered as part of Mathematical Sciences since 1973). It offers Ph.D. degrees in computer science and software engineering, three master’s degrees and two bachelor’s degree programs. It occupies 7,460 square feet in NDSU’s Quentin Burdick Building and has approximately 600 graduate and undergraduate student majors.