Meet Zak Crabtree

Serendipity, or God’s hand? Zak Crabtree is very glad he ended up in the Computer Science (CSC) program.

“I don’t have a very good memory of why I chose Computer Science,” he explains. “I knew I liked computers in high school, but I had never programmed before. I got really lucky. I love CSC and wouldn’t change my major to anything different!”

This junior is grateful for the clear and present influence of his favorite professors during three years in the program, who have made an impact on his life through their availability, friendship, and willingness to work patiently with students to make sure everyone understands difficult concepts.

“Knowing all the CSC professors personally is something I didn’t expect,” he says. “It’s always a nice feeling when you step into a class and feel comfortable with the professor, even with new material.”

The impact goes beyond typical classroom assignments and discussions. Stories that Assistant Professor and Chair Elaine Weltz has shared in class about her Christian faith, for example, have made a deep impression; Crabtree says her honest perspective “adds an extra layer of connection.” And during his time at SPU, his faith has grown through careful reflection during University Foundation and University Core classes. He says that looking at the Bible and Christian philosophy from different perspectives has helped him better understand his own faith.

Now Crabtree is looking forward to an internship at Amazon, which is made possible in part because of SPU’s reputation and Seattle location. Beyond that, and after graduation, he’s considering doctoral studies in computational astrophysics. Eventually he wants to work overseas with algorithms or artificial neural networks. While the average person may not easily define what those things are, Zak Crabtree clearly can.

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