Grady Ward '16

Year: 2016

Major/Minor: Majors in Computer Science, Math, Econ

Hometown: Essex Junction Vermont

Her Campus: What are you involved with on campus? 

Grady Ward: Much!  I Run (get those gavels going).  I represent the student body at the Board of Trustees.  I TA.  I CA.  I do some research. 

HC: How did you get the library to open up earlier on the weekend?

GW: I asked! The head of LTS (John Unsworth) is superb, but hadn’t known that this was an issue for students.  We both wanted to try it out, but he didn’t have funding for a trial period, so I asked the CEEF fund (through the student Union), and they fronted the money. This will definitely be in place for two years, and more to come if people use it. At today’s grand opening, there were 35 people who came between 9-10 AM.  If I have confidence in nothing else, I am confident in our student body to study early and study often.

HC: What’s the best part of being at Brandeis? 

GW: The people. Brandeis’ strength is in the vibrant students and faculty that dot this campus. I have never been in a place with more caring, passionate, involved people. I love being in an environment where your passion is reflected and enhanced and colored by the energy of those around you. The average Brandeisian is nothing short of extraordinary, and it makes this environment extraordinary.

HC: What are you most excited for this semester?

GW: This one is easy. This semester I am taking one class, and spending the rest of my time on an independent project through the CS and Math departments. I am building a website that will use adaptive machine learning and basic set theory to teach people Calculus. I am writing all of the code, design, back end work… everything.  It is coming along really quickly so far, and I am excited to launch some alpha testing early in February.  Once it is established and used, I am going to try to use it as a tool to better understand how people learn through automated variation leading to formulaic studies. I love thinking about the way that people learn, and I want to help everyone, regardless of how they process learning math, or what experience they have had in the past, better wade through the bog that can be Calculus.

HC: What do you do with your spare time at Brandeis? Do you have much spare time with all you do?

GW:I do have spare time, and I am not ashamed to admit it.  Time freedom is essential to processing the punches that life will throw at you, and I think we do ourselves a great disservice when we place being busy above being happy. In my spare time I do some origami/paper art, I play mini-metro, I have 3 hour discussions over dinner, I play pool with friends. Mo Sidique is convinced that I rap. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

Favorites

Movie: The Lego Movie.  I cried.  I actually cried. The last two movies to make me cry were Finding Nederland and Brokeback Mountain.  But the Lego movie was on another level. It is like it looked into my soul.

Book: East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

TV Show: Arrested Development

Food on Campus: Greek Yogurt from the C-Store. For Days.

Favorite class at Brandeis: Data Structures and Interpretation in Scheme (COSI 21B). Scheme itself is pretty impractical, and the lectures were mainly Ghostbusters, but that class taught me the reasoning skills that have made me a good programmer.