Computing a Positive Change

Chinedu Emeka

Class of 2017
Majors: Computer Science, Economics
Onitsha, Nigeria

“When you have everybody working together, you see real change in society.”

So says Chinedu Emeka ’17, a double major in computer science and economics from Onitsha, Nigeria.

Valpo’s tradition of service clearly resonates with Chinedu. After just a year on campus, he has become a member of the Valparaiso University Student Senate and the secretary of the Valparaiso University International Student Association.

As a member of BridgeMe, an organization that mentors international secondary school students who are interested in undergraduate study in the United States, Chinedu extends a helping hand to young people in a position he once occupied.

Chinedu’s embrace of service to others extends to his campus job: he is a tutor for the University’s Academic Success Center, where he helps first-year students get a firm grasp on fundamental concepts in math and computer science.

This attitude makes Chinedu feel right at home in the Computing and Information Sciences Department, he says.

“What distinguishes Valpo’s computer science program is the effort that professors devote to ensuring that students succeed,” Chinedu says. They make themselves available to students all the time – it’s a great resource. Everybody is very supportive. You learn that if you work a little harder, you’ll be able to do what you need to do.”

That support, Chinedu notes, is important because the department’s programs are rigorous.

“The Professors make sure we’re always challenged,” Chinedu says. “They always keep students on their toes, and that’s nice, because when we get out there into the work force, we’ll be able to handle practically any work that’s thrown at us.”

One kind of work that especially appeals to Chinedu is research. He is considering graduate study in computer science to pursue his interest in artificial intelligence, which has potential applications in a wide range of fields and tends to radically expand expectations about what computers can do.

“I’d like to help push computer science to its limits,” he says.