Computer science and golf are not typically associated with each other, but for University of Toledo sophomore Amelia Lee the pairing has helped her achieve success in both fields.
The Hilliard, Ohio, native possesses a 4.0 grade-point average as a computer science and engineering major. She has already attained junior academic status after just one year on campus thanks to taking AP courses in calculus, physics and statistics in high school. On the golf course, Lee is the top returnee on a young Rockets’ roster.
“I am motivated to do well, and I enjoy studying, working hard, and seeing the result of that,” Lee said. “I take a similar approach to golf and keep trying to improve every day.”
Head Women’s Golf Coach Jenny Coluccio said Lee brings a great attitude to her program and is a quiet leader.
“Amelia is very diligent and has big goals for herself,” Coluccio said. “She is driven to find a way to reach those goals and is not afraid to work hard and put in the necessary time. That has really helped propel her to where she is and created a great foundation for her.”
Lee’s academic portfolio, along with her desire to enter the computer science field and play college golf, made her decision to attend UToledo a no-brainer.
“I really liked math and science growing up, and the subject of computer science is challenging and interesting for me,” said Lee, whose father, Derek Lee, is a software engineer. “I think being able to solve a problem is fulfilling and satisfying. What impressed me most about our computer science and engineering program was the opportunity to achieve real-world experience with mandatory co-ops. I thought it would be great to learn in a work environment as well as in a classroom or lab.”
UToledo is one of only eight universities nationally to require co-ops as part of its graduation requirements. Christie Hennen, associate director of department student services in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Engineering, said that distinction is extremely helpful for students when they narrow their occupation choices following graduation.
“Students receive actual engineering experience in the workplace and industry,” Hennen said. “They are mentored by their employers, and seeing how their course work can be applied to what they will be doing after graduation is very helpful. After they go out on their first co-op, students often come back really excited to learn more because they see how everything works together.”
Lee is looking forward to taking advantage of those co-op opportunities because she is still unsure of what area of computer science she would like to pursue. However, what she has learned thus far has intrigued her. She is taking a digital logics class that involves building circuits with logic aids. Last year, she took a programming class in Java language, which is critical for the operation of many applications and websites. A couple of her projects included designing board games.
“We had to develop games like tic tac toe and Connect Four, and that was really challenging,” Lee said. “It was hard to get those games to work because there were a lot of moving parts to it that made it complicated at times. You need to think of all the different scenarios because there are many ways to win. It was a very long process.”
That lengthy learning process also could be applied to the sport of golf, which Lee started playing in sixth grade. She likes the challenge golf presents, plus it provides her a chance to unwind.
“Golf is something I can always get better at and it gives me a chance to get outside and take a break from homework,” Lee said. “There are a lot of variables to posting a good score and that carries over a little bit to computer programming. There are a lot of things you need to factor in to get the desired result, and I’m always trying to find the best way to achieve success.”