What makes Washington State University’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture stand out from the crowd for those looking to get a degree?

We ask computer science major Daniel Chia for his thoughts on what makes WSU such a special place.

Daniel Chia.

Name: Daniel Chia

Expected Date of Graduation: May 2022

Major: Computer Science, minor in Mathematics

Activities: Cyber Security Group WSU, Dr. Venera Arnaoudova’s Software Engineering Lab WSU, Harold Frank Entrepreneurship Institute


  • Ralph & Gladys Lowry Scholarship Endowment
  • University Achievement Award
  • Parachini Don & Mary Ann Endowment
  • Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Scholarship

Q: What have you learned in your major, or experienced in your classes or your activities during your time at WSU, that will help you most in your future?

A: I’m the sort of person who learns better when I can see the real-world application of a concept. My computer science classes provided a solid foundation in areas like algorithms, object-oriented software principles, systems programming, databases, computer security and exposure to development practices that have allowed me to succeed at past software engineering internships.

In additional to technical knowledge gained, I’ve gained soft skills in programs such as the Harold Frank Entrepreneurship Institute. The confidence I’ve gained in public speaking and communication have helped me connect with people outside the realm of classes or people my age.

Q: Why did you choose computer science as your major?

A: I chose computer science as I was interested in understanding how mathematics and programming are applied in the technology industry we rely so heavily upon today. I think computer science is very interesting as it deals with both abstract concepts like understanding the complexity of algorithms (for instance the number of possible states or permutations in a 7x7x7 rubrics cube is more than the number of particles in the universe), as well as tangible applications like developing an app or program. There’s also an abundance of companies that hire interns to work on software development that has allowed me to learn faster and prepare for the real world.

Q: Why would you recommend attending Washington State University? How have you benefitted by attending WSU?

A: Before coming to WSU Pullman, I spent middle-high school in a big city called Singapore which is also the name of the country! I think if you are someone looking for a safe, welcoming and peaceful environment, Pullman is a great place to be in and WSU has a solid electrical engineering and computer science curriculum.

When I was a software engineering (SWE) intern at different companies including Micron, Emsi and Premera Blue Cross that hired interns from a variety of colleges I did not feel unprepared or outmatched by other interns. I have been fortunate to receive top-notch instruction from computer science professors like Sakire Arslan-Ay, Venera Arnaoudova, Andy O’Fallon, Zhe Dang, Annath Jillepalli, and my entrepreneurship capstone instructor Ray Combs. This summer I’ll be an SWE intern with the Azure Core group at Microsoft and I believe WSU helped me get there.

Q: What advice do you have for fellow or prospective students? What can you recommend they do to succeed in your major or at WSU?

A: I think for computer science specifically, I would recommend taking the initiative to learn programming and software concepts outside of class on your own. The great thing about programming is you don’t need any special equipment or a lab, just a laptop or computer and there are so many free high-quality open-source courseware you can watch to learn anything from algorithms to machine learning.

Something that I’ve learned over time is that seeking mentorship and learning from others is a crucial skill to learn faster and understand where to effectively spend your time and energy.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and reach out if you would like to chat!