Shannon Quinn-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shannon Quinn

2010 M.S. in Computational Biology Alumnus

"The M.S. in Computational Biology program offers a unique perspective on problem solving."

I have a background in computer science and I am interested in learning how to merge my skill set with biology, in order to solve problems. In particular, I am interested in algorithms, sequencing and modeling bio systems. Therefore, I wanted to find a graduate school that excelled in computer science as well as biology. Due to this fact, a few of my undergraduate professors at Georgia Tech recommended the M.S. in Computational Biology program, because of its strength in both areas and its unique perspective on merging the two disciplines.

I was also searching for a geographical, cultural and weather change from Georgia, where I grew up and attended undergrad. I am not a big fan of very large cities, such as New York and Boston; however, I did not want something as isolated as South Bend, Indiana. The city of Pittsburgh is vibrant without the large city feel. It is very accommodating to graduate students; I see fellow students everywhere in the city, such as the grocery store, coffeehouse or bus.  Pittsburgh was my perfect solution.

After I arrived at Carnegie Mellon, the level of interaction with the faculty impressed me. It extends beyond the classroom. A student can interact with faculty during journal club, the departmental retreat or by completing research within their laboratories. There is definitely a lot of potential for one-on-one time.

At the departmental retreat in particular, I was able to witness first-hand the dynamic between current graduate students and faculty. The faculty treat graduate student like colleagues.

In the future, I may go onto a Ph.D. program and complete research.  The great thing about Carnegie Mellon and the M.S. in Computational Biology program is that they provide you with the necessary skills and assist you in reaching your future goals.

B.S. in Computer Science, Georgia Tech