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Senior excels at finding new things to learn

The term high-energy is an understatement when describing David Lundgren, a senior computer science major who has immersed himself in campus life and taken advantage of every opportunity.

Not only has he participated in a summer National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates — helping Associate Professor of Psychology Kenneth Kurtz model how humans classify objects — but he’s continually involved in new things.

He played club soccer last fall and remains active in intramurals now, as well as swimming, playing basketball and floor hockey; he keeps up with Capoeira Brazilian Dance and martial arts; he’s certified to scuba dive; he’s a member of the Association of Computing Machinery and the computer science honor society; he’s a Res Con in O’Connor Hall; and he’s hoping to hone his linguistic skills in Arabic during a study-abroad semester in Cairo — just to name a few things.

Not one to just be a member of something, Lundgren established a seminar series for the honor society, and he’d like to see more purely academic cross-discipline and cross-school initiatives on campus. Lundgren is a co-founder of
doThink, which brings faculty members and students together for discussion.

“A lot of what I try to do is bridge students and faculty, creating more of a community,” he said. “Just come to share with us about anything, not just academics, like Bob Pompi (physics) talking about traveling the world, playing the sax and some string theory as well.”

Lundgren is definitely shaping up to be a lifelong learner.

“I like learning new things,” he said. “I spent some time learning about business this summer, but that wasn’t learning for learning’s sake, it was a new skill that I can apply to a job. Learning for learning’s sake is a lot more fun.”

Madhusudhan Govindaraju, associate professor of computer science, has worked with Lundgren and appreciates his affable manner and energy.

“David has displayed a keen interest in understanding the fundamentals of computer science and has an impressive breadth of skills,” he said. “I think what makes him successful is his methodical approach to problem solving.”

Lundgren is looking at graduate schools, though he’s uncertain what discipline he’ll pursue.

“I like academia a lot,” and computer science has been a good undergraduate major, he said. “I enjoy computer science because you actually get to examine the world from a very logical but unique mind-set, and it’s a field where you’re not tied down. It can be used for mathematics, by biologists and anyone trying to examine things and the world around them and trying to find patterns. It’s a tool set for jumping around to different things.”
 

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Last Updated: 10/14/08