Aaron Selesi (E’18) with President Suresh
The Carnegie Mellon University adventure began this week at Orientation for nearly 1,600 first-year students at the Pittsburgh and Doha campuses.
For the next four years the Class of 2018 will explore unlimited possibilities to transform themselves and prepare to change the world.
The best part: Choosing their own adventure.
Carnegie Mellon President Subra Suresh welcomed the students and their families on Sunday.
Now in his second year as president, Dr. Suresh shared what he has personally learned about CMU with the university's newest family members — the first-year students and their parents. He described the CMU adventure as being one defined by focus, passion, creativity, entrepreneurship and community.
He told the students they would be joining the nearly 100,000 alumni who came before them, part of a legacy that spans the globe. He added that "You will have a role in solving the grand challenges of humanity."
Orientation counselors echoed Dr. Suresh's thoughts on the CMU journey awaiting the incoming students. The student counselors also are continuing their paths this fall.
"We come to CMU to study something we're passionate about and we think we know how that path will unfold," said Harley Montano (E'15), one of this year's head orientation counselors. "But what's great about CMU is it also presents new paths at every step of the way."
Natalie Giannangeli (DC'15) said that anyone starting with a plan should abandon it and try something completely different.
"Find opportunities for extracurriculars, scholarships, internships and don't be afraid of taking a risk with them," she said. "Doing what is challenging and scary is much more valuable in the long run than doing what is easy, comfortable and safe."
Incoming first-year student Sri Pingali (CS'18) is up for the challenge — and ready to begin her personal adventure. Pingali said that one of the reasons she came to Carnegie Mellon was to explore different fields and opportunities. She enrolled in the School of Computer Science because she was impressed with its applied research in human computer interaction and language technologies.
"The School of Computer Science is one of the best programs I saw," she said. "I like that what they do is interdisciplinary and am excited about the broad opportunities available."
Now celebrating 25 years, CMU's School of Computer Science has been a leader in efforts to increase the number of women in the discipline of computer science and its female enrollment has long exceeded national averages. But even with that, a new benchmark has been set for the school, with women making up 40 percent of this fall's first-year class.
Orientation runs through Aug. 24. A series of activities will help springboard first-year students into their time at CMU both at the Pittsburgh and Doha, Qatar, campuses.
Among the highlights of the main campus is Playfair, where students assemble on the Cut for the "largest icebreaker ever."
In Doha, Qatar, the only other CMU campus welcoming first-year students, students at CMU's Education City campus will be divided into 12 houses named after famous and exceptional Tartans who have made remarkable contributions. They also will reflect on the incredible and life-changing journey that students undergo.
As has been a CMU tradition since 2008, incoming students were sent copies of "The Last Lecture," written by the late CMU alumnus and computer science professor Randy Pausch (CS'88) and the late Jeffrey Zaslow (DC'80). The students will meet with faculty and staff mentors to share what it means to "really achieve childhood dreams."
Class of 2018 - By the Numbers
- A record 19,812 students applied for admission to the Pittsburgh campus, 4.9 percent more than last year;
- Class size: approximately 1,470 students in Pittsburgh; more than 100 in Qatar;
- In Pittsburgh, 45% are women, 18% are international and 13% are minority students;
- 45 U.S. states are represented: top 5 are California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts;
- 23 countries are represented in Pittsburgh; 12 countries represented in Qatar.
Related Links: Orientation website