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Part 1:

I have changed my major a few different times, but recently I have found

my interest in computer science and software engineering. I was first inspired by

video games to pursue a game designer career, but from then decided to use

software and programming to help people and to help better the world.

Technology continues to prosper, and I wish to be included in it. Having minimal

to no experience in the computer science field, I have always pondered about

what it takes to be a software engineer. Interviewing professors at Ritsumeikan

University could definitely help me grasp an idea in the area. Even though I have

no experience taking computer science courses, it was definitely beneficial to

hear what the computer science professors had to say about the subject. I was

able to receive answers from three different computer science professors, and all

of them had different responses. However, it seems as though all three of the

professors I interviewed love to research, and that is why they became a

professor. I do not have an interest in the education field, but I still enjoy reading

articles about upcoming technology. It seems as though America has been more

focused on space research, with NASA detecting more planets, but Japan has

always had their attention on robots. Japan and America may differ when it

comes to mobile phones and graduate school, but when it comes down to it, it is

the same when it comes down to the fact that Computer Science is important for

the world.
Japan may be known for high-end technology, with their ever-growing

development of robots, but a question I have been asked, and have wondered

myself, Even though their technology is amazing, why does Japan still use flip

phones? Simply from what I have seen and heard, flip phones lasted much

longer than other advanced nations. An article in TechInAsia mentions that in

2015, just 48.9% of the 106 million mobile user population were on smartphones,

and the rest were on Japanese branded flip phones. By 2016, that percentage

raised to 52.4%. The question is, why? Why is the change from flip phones to

smartphones so gradual, while the change in America was exponential?

TechInAsia also says that the Japanese flip phones have been kept elaborate-

which did things your old Nokia never did, such as mobile payments in stores

(Freischlad, 2016). Since the flip phones are so unique, someone coined the

term Galapagos syndrome to explain how the phone industry evolved so

differently than other countries before smartphones. In Japanese, flip phones

earned the nickname gara-kei or Galapagos phones. Gara-kei comes from the

words Galapagos, and Keitai, which is the Japanese word for mobile phone.

College education in America versus the rest of the world is slightly different.

In America, we have community colleges, but most of the rest of the world do

not. During my stay in the International Dormitory in Kyoto, I made a few different

friends who are from Ireland and England. They consistently referred to

university as uni, which is something I personally have not heard within the

United States. My classmates and I explained what community college was, and

they were confused at the beginning. Even Japan has no community college. I
also learned that entrance exams for high school in Japan are crucial, and you

can move on to university. Being accepted to a good university can determine

your career status. That being said, Professor Shigeru Yamashita's opinion was

that Japanese university is easier than the United States. Since most students do

more research, lecture isnt as difficult in graduate school. For undergraduates,

there are more lectures, and the students are focused on passing examinations. I

wish to achieve a Masters or maybe even Doctorates degree, so hearing this

about Japan universities was interesting, even though graduate school is

supposedly more difficult in America. Professor Yamashita also advised me to

stay motivated, as it is important to decide a major, and for them to become

successful. When I asked Professor Katsuhisa Maruyama the same question

about what graduate school was like, he responded in saying he was strongly

engaged in research study on software engineering. For a student to become

better, he suggested to touch on as many as high-level research studies as

possible. Professor Kyouji Kawagoe had a similar response, saying that the

student must be able to problem solve by themselves, as no one else can think

for them. I am determined to take their thoughts into account when I continue my

college education, no matter where I am attending.

My intention for studying computer science/software engineering is to help

build technology that will help people, and to help save the world. I have big,

slightly unrealistic dreams for a 20-year-old, but I am committed to making it

happen. I was scrolling through Facebook one day when I came across an

inspiring video of a software engineer who created technology to help a woman


with Parkinsons disease. With the use of this technology, she was able to write

her name and start drawing again, which brought happy tears to her face. Not

only did this inspire me, but also a man who records video games on YouTube

for a living ignited a fire in me to help people more. He does a charity liv stream

every month, which means that once a month, he will record him and his friends

playing video games on live, and his viewers can donate to a charity and a cause

they are doing it for. He will also put thousands of dollars into the cause. He

makes people smile with his humor and videos, and he goes a step beyond to be

so selfless. All of these little things add up to brighten peoples days. Together

we make a whole species, but even to this day, we fight amongst ourselves. If I

can make my technology practical and help people live better or happier lives,

then my goal will be accomplished. Computer science can help me achieve those

dreams.

My initial thought was to pursue a video game designer career, but I still

want to be able to enjoy the hobby without criticizing it since it could have been

my job to do so. After years of being selfish and not really caring about the rest of

the world, I made friends and saw things online that gave me a drive to contribute

to society. All I ever really wanted was to stand out, make a point, and leave a

positive impact on someone or something. I questioned all three professors,

Why is computer science important for the future? and got varied answers.

Professor Yamashita simply said that it is important to develop software for

society. I think he had a similar idea in mind to mine, since technology continues

to grow and we depend on it. Professor Kyouji Kawagoe saw the advancement of
technology, and stated that technology changed the world within the past 10

years. Perhaps, in another 10 years, the world will also be different. He even

suggested the concept nanotech or nanobots being inserted into blood to

communicate with the brain in 20 years. The only time I ever really thought about

nanobots was in the movie G.I. Joe, but when the professor mentioned this, it

really had me thinking about the possibility and it coming to reality. Professor

Maruyama had a different take-he was not sure that it was entirely important,

because what he does is research. He said, Research fields are very flexible

and tangled. As crucial as research is, I believe that the development of

technology and software is just as, or even more, important.

Some of the most helpful careers include nursing and teaching, both of

which I do not have an interest in. Thankfully, computer science plays a huge

role in society. Rasmussen College has an article that lists ways computer

science benefits society, including:

1. Solving problems and improving solutions

a. An example that is mentioned is Uber and Airbnb-softwares that

have revolutionized service industries that many never even

questioned. This software has made our daily lives easier to

manage.

2. Protecting people and organizations

a. I am considering a cyber security job, since any company needs

assistance with securing their digital data. A friend of a friend of

mine has a government security job, and usually his work is


classified. He ultimately helps save countless lives by making

sure the digital footprint of something is safe.

3. Furthering education

a. I definitely would have had a strenuous time researching these

facts if it was not for the Internet.

4. Improving communication

a. Even this article mentions going back to landline phone calls,

and snail-mail correspondence if it werent for online

communication. Social networking has exploded since the last

10 years, making our lives convenient as well as fun.

5. Organizing and streamlining philanthropy

a. As I mentioned earlier, one of the YouTubers I watch, named

Markiplier, plays video games for a living. He uses computer

science to live stream and help people help give back to society.

He does most of this within the walls of his own home, and with

help of a few friends. Not only has he given back to others, but

also there were tweets of celebrity Nicki Minaj paying off

thousands of her fans student loans and tuition. Students would

message or tweet her, and she would reply back, saying she will

pay it off for them. Even though money is a tangible concept, it

is crucial to have to move forward in life, and one day, I will be

able to help those in need to pay off their debts.

6. Positively impacting every area of society


a. Word of mouth definitely creates an impact in how others

perceive things, but even spreading information through social

networking can make a difference. I have seen countless videos

and tips of Life Hacks, and new ideas for inventions from

everyday people, and it brings me such joy to see people trying

to help each other; there is so much hate in the world so we

need to work together. (Ruesink, 2015)

I am still unsure with which company I may want to work for, but according

to Computer Science Degree Hub, CSC (Computer Science Corporation)

provides the most computer science careers globally. Careers include IT

contracting, management, and outsourcing services for companies in various

industries. It is a decent option, and they offer many opportunities. When I

interviewed Professor Shigeru Yamashita, he informed me that getting a job in

software engineering is easy nowadays, and there are lots of job opportunities.

Professor Yamashita also mentioned that even if you dont have computer

science education, you can still get a job, but it is better to have some sort of

background in the field. Interviewing the three professors helped me gain some

knowledge in the field and their teaching career, and after their insight, I am

better prepared for my pathway to continue to graduate school and onto my own

employment. I will learn as much as possible in order to give back to society.


iPhone

Works Cited

Computer Science Degree Hub. (2017). Retrieved from

http://www.computersciencedegreehub.com/faq/type-companies-hire-computer-

science-degree/

Freischlad, N. (Ed.). (2016, March 27). Retrieved from TechInAsia:

https://www.techinasia.com/japans-flip-phones-finally-dying

Ruesink, M. (2015, December 7). 6 Surprising Ways Computer Science Benefits

Society. Retrieved from

http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/ways-computer-science-

benefits-society/