By Audrey Patterson | Journalist
Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science is celebrating its 27th year as a school.
According to the School of Engineering and Computer Science Timeline, the school has seen cyber missionaries, a professor featured in National Geographic, and Baylor researchers create car parts from coconut shells.
Cindy Fry, Lecturer in Computer Science, has been employed at Baylor since 1997 and has been with the School of Engineering and Computer Science since its inception. Fry said she thinks the school’s growth has been tremendous.
“When I got to work, there was an engineering department and a computer science department,” Fry said. “And the engineering department had two disciplines; it had mechanical and electrical. But again, the growth of the school itself has been pretty amazing.
Mechanical engineering lecturer Dr. Jill Klentzman has worked at Baylor since 2014 and has also seen changes at the school.
“There’s been a lot of growth,” Klentzman said. “We have more professors, and they’ve pushed more research, so we have more labs in the BRICs, a lot more productivity and grants.”
As the school has evolved, the various departments have also fine-tuned their curriculum over the years.
“Computing is a pretty dynamic field,” Fry said. “It’s constantly evolving. That’s not too surprising when you consider how quickly the discipline has grown since the first computer was built. It’s a new discipline, relatively speaking, but constant change is a hallmark of any IT department to be relevant.
The engineering department also continuously evaluates the curriculum that should be put in place for the students.
“We’ve removed some classes that seem more relevant for now,” Klentzman said. “So now we need numerical methods, which requires them to take some sort of programming course… Since we’ve hired more professors, we have different choices that we didn’t usually give students. »
The two lecturers said they have countless memories of their time on the Baylor campus, but have collected favorites over the years.
“I’ve been on mission trips with Engineers with a Mission, and absolutely loved it,” Klentzman said. “We went to Haiti one year and we went to Mexico another year. In Haiti, we installed solar panels and carried out water tests.
Fry said Baylor has given her and her family many opportunities to do things that go beyond the classroom, together and with students.
“I would say the other thing about the school, and our department in particular, is the camaraderie and the collegiality,” Fry said. “I mean, sometimes we disagree about things, but we’re a team, and I love that. I love all my colleagues. They’re good friends and exceptional people in their field, so I think it’s rare in jobs.I’ve held many jobs and it’s rare to find a group of people you enjoy working with as much as I enjoyed working at Baylor in the School of Engineering and Computer Science.
Fry said this school is rich in history, but the disciplines aren’t for everyone, so it’s important to know what kind of students should be part of the school’s future.
“If you like challenges and problems that never stay the same, if you like that kind of problem solving and finding good solutions to things that people need, then [computer science] is good discipline for everyone,” Fry said.
“I think [a career in engineering] is such a rewarding profession,” Klentzman said. “You always have the opportunity to explore things and learn things, and it’s really about solving puzzles all the time and trying to make things better. I think as engineers Christians, we can really help to make the world a better place with better structures for people to live healthier and happier lives, so I think it’s great to be able to do these kinds of practical things and still make a big difference in people’s lives.