Spring 2014| Posse New York Quarterly

  

Dickinson Scholar Pursues Computer Science and Music Majors

Edwin Padilla (center) with his Dickinson College Farm project teammates.

Double majoring in computer science and saxophone performance studies might seem like an unusual pairing, but the two passions are second nature to Dickinson College sophomore Edwin Padilla who taught himself basic programming languages when he was in middle school and picked up the alto saxophone in high school.

“I almost immediately declared my computer science major, but not until the second semester of my freshman year did I realize it seemed natural to declare saxophone performance studies as well,” says Edwin, who plays saxophone in three campus ensembles. “My plan after college is to be a computer programmer by day and a musician by night.”

At age 12, Edwin emigrated from Dominican Republic and grew up in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in tight living quarters with his family. Dedicating practice time to music helped him concentrate on his future and, similarly, computer programming, kept him on track in high school.

Last summer, with funding from the National Science Foundation Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program, Edwin worked with a team to develop a web-based software program for the Dickinson College Farm that minimizes record keeping errors and keeps up-to-date inventory to allow the farmers to make informed decisions that affect sales and future growth.

“After two months, with many hours of meticulous work, the website now tracks inventory, creates invoices, and runs queries and reports," says Edwin. “It was a great way to see how computer science is used in the real world.”

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