An innovative 4 year Bachelor programme with additional project requirements added for Specialization in E-Commerce through hands-on development and gaining of practical real-world knowledge.
Coming out of High School into a degree in Computer Science at Acadia, I was due for a rude-awakening. Mine was made especially painful by the fact that I had boasted in High School that I managed to "get pretty good marks without studying". I would find out the hard way (as I usually do) that this was a big mistake. From the minute I got my first D's in Calculus (yes, that's one step above an F), I knew the old routine of "play hard, hardly work", was not going to cut it anymore. By the end of my first year, I realized I had to pull my socks up, and fast...
Luckily, there was as yet still a devout student hiding in me somewhere, and as the Academic year opened in 2002-2003, I did something I hadn't thought of trying the year prior; I actually worked hard and studied every night! Low and behold, that saying "practice makes perfect" seems to still apply. My recovery was nearly complete, but I still had no idea what I wanted to focus on. I'm interested in International Business; should I do a language minor? No, turns out we CS students weren't allowed to do so back then (after many complaints, I think they changed that rule shortly after I graduated). Having missed my shot at the Co-op program (which enjoys 100% placements for CS), all because of my shoddy 1st year grades, I realized that it wasn't enough to simply study hard and burn the midnight candle; to make up for missed opportunities and develop myself professionally, I would have to chart my own path. After really enjoying a couple business electives, I realized what I was missing in Computer Science: REALITY!!! (duh, of course). I decided that all this technical mumbo-jumbo was nice to know and everythinam I actually going to need to write my own Assembly-language instruction compiler? How many times would I be stuck out on the job and my boss would come to me and say "hey, can you wire me up a digital alarm clock using only these three circuits and old pieces of wire?" Unless your mentor is McGyver, not gonna happen... but how many times would someone have a great idea and wonder, "How can I actually make money with this online?" or "Is there a market for moving this old process X to an online service Y in country Z?"
E-Commerce was the clear path for me, as I could ponder these types of questions for long periods of time; in fact, I didn't even mind doing it, I discovered that I actually enjoyed it. By combining technical knowledge with business knowledge, I felt like I could finally see the whole picture, and suddenly course work was no longer work but it became an interesting hobby. When work starts to approach play and one enjoys the material rather than struggles through every bit of it, you can't help but see a huge improvement in their performance. My grades climbed a steep scale (it's a long way to the top though, especially from the bottom), and by the close of the 2004-2005 Academic year, I had earned the title of "Most Improved Student" in the Faculty of Computer Science at Acadia.
Taking the additional credit hours required to add a Specialization in E-Commerce to my degree was a challenging yet rewarding decision. By working with students from the school of Business in a larger number of cross-discipline Business-focused courses than the typical Computer Science major is exposed to, I firmly believe I was able to develop a wider understanding and more gounded perspective on computer science and technology issues. It IS important to consider the bottom-line before making a decision.
Created in cooperation with the F.C. Manning School of Business, Acadia's undergraduate E-commerce specialization builds computer scientists who are Web 2.0 ready both technically and around the board room table.
Founded a group to put all the many separate Martial Arts clubs under a single banner. This group organized charity seminars and Martial Arts expos every semester so new students could see what instruction/training was available at Acadia.
Skiing is definitely my favourite winter-time sport. You can feel the stress float away as you ascend a steep slope with beautiful scenery behind you, knowing that as soon as you reach the top, you'll only be limited (in speed, fun and, I suppose, safety) by your own skill and ambitions on the way down.
Gained a taste for foreign and independent films not typically shown in North American Theatres or on Television. As a hobby, it also lead to me becoming an amateur film-buff for a few years until I realized how much my collection was costing me!
Always wanting to explore new venues, I got into breakdancing through a friend of mine, only to realize I certainly don't have a career in professional dancing anytime soon. Still, there's an odd satisfaction which can be had by occasionally throwing caution to the wing and letting yourself cut loose on the floor (whether you're good, bad or ugly) just enjoy yourself!
Online Dental Appointment Scheduling System (ODASS)
Published to School of Computer Science Archives
Detailed report on what went into the final Web Application, how to install/configure/run/administer, formal user manual, FAQs, and Code Documentation.
Winner: The Mostafa Nassar Award
Awarded in Recognition of Outstanding Academic Improvement
In Memory of Dr. Mostafa Nassar