Tim Lethbridge's Years as an Undergraduate at UNB
While still at Bathurst High School I was
uncertain about what to study. I was interested in Computing, Meteorology
and Broadcasting (not necessarily in that order). The guidance counsellor
suggested that I try to find a program whereby I could keep all three
interests alive. I managed to at least keep the first two alive when I
decided to attend the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.
The decision of university was clinched, however, when the University of
New Brunswick invited
several top math students to attend "CS-days" at the department of
computer science. That day, I had a chance to program my first "real'
computer using punched cards -- I wrote a program to compute pi using
Taylor series -- and became hooked.
Before starting my computer science studies, I spent the summer of 1991
in total French immersion at Mount Allison
My education at UNB
I think my computing education at UNB was excellent. Looking back, I am
especially pleased at the following aspects:
- The co-op program. I feel all computing
students should have co-op experience.
- The large amount of programming I had to do. I believe that, although
theory is essential, computer science students need to do a lot of raw
programming to hone their skills. Those long nights spend finishing big
programming projects were well worth while. When I later was taught
theory and software engineering discipline, I could immediately see how
to apply it.
- The flexibility of the program. I am extremely pleased that I was
able to take courses in ecomonics, politics, business and electrical
- The quality of teaching. Certain professors were excellent at
stimulating the attention and interest of students.
While at UNB, I lived mostly in residence (Neville House in my first
year, the Jones House, then Aitken House as a proctor or residence
I also spent much time in three other pursuits:
- The Brunswickan: I started writing
for the student newspaper in my
first week of University. By the end of the first term I was promoted to
News Editor and spent much of the next year's free time writing
prolifically. In time I became Managing Editor and after academic work
became too time consuming my role faded to 'Technical Coordinator'.
Finally, while studying for my Master's degree I became the Movies
columnist. These journalistic experiences greatly enhanced my writing and
exposed me to numerous aspects of the journalist's trade.
- CHSR-FM: I also spend time as a
regular news broadcaster on the
campus radio station. In addition I did some interviewing and DJing
(although I admit I am not knowledgeable about music). This experience
helped develop my public speaking abilities, which later became valuable
when I started teaching..
- Campus Politics: I ran in numerous elections at UNB and at various
times held postitions as Vice President of the Student Union, member of
the university Senate and member of the university Board of Governors. I
learned much about how universities work, and also about how to negotiate
and work with people with diverse interests. Towards the end of my stay
at UNB I spent several years as chair of the student council.
In 1985 I graduated with a BSc(Computer Science). After spending a summer
exploring Europe, I started studing for my
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