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Patrick Burton, Computer Science, Mathematics, Undergraduate

“I always knew that I wanted to do something with computers,” said Burton, a local graduate of Lawrence Central High School. “I kept getting computer viruses when I was a kid, and I would have my dad come in and fix them. Finally, he told me to start fixing things myself.

“Eventually, I started to try to understand the ‘why.’ I found myself wanting to know why a computer works the way it does,” he added.

Now two years into his degree, Burton said the School of Science is helping to fill that curiosity. The faculty “is always willing to sit down and talk to you” and he said the diversity of the IUPUI campus has been a benefit as well.

Studying CIS also allows him to dig deeper in computer and software functionality. His co-major in mathematics helps him to understand algorithms and what numbers and formulas mean.

Burton’s days are full of classes and working as a tutor at the IUPUI Math Assistance Center. He hopes to one day be a bilingual tutor in math and help students to not feel intimidated by math. He also is involved in several campus organizations, such as the Math Club, Computer Science Club and the IUPUI Honors College.“I feel more willing to apply myself to many situations that I’ve not been exposed to before,” he said. “Computer science is really about understanding the different structures and determining how you represent your thoughts where the computer understands it and can design a way to work more efficiently.”

He is exploring on-campus research opportunities, possibly something involving securities, network integrity or data mining.

Burton will graduate in 2014 and may pursue a master’s degree in computer science and maybe even a doctorate in mathematics.

“Every single class I’ve taken so far I can see being useful in the future. I think my education will allow me to be versatile and more marketable when planning my career,” he said.

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