Linh Nguyen Le '18

Linh Nguyen Le '18

Majors: Computer Science, Math

Why did you choose to be a math major?

When I came to Luther as a first-year student, I didn't know what to major in. All I knew was that I really liked math. My math professor suggested I try computer science. I enrolled in some computer science classes and realized it was a good combination with my math background. I later developed an interest in data science and data analysis, so now my computer science skills are especially beneficial.

How would you describe the computer science faculty?

The members of the computer science faculty are really friendly and helpful. They are willing to answer all of my questions related to course work and career plans. They always encourage students to come and see them if we have any concerns. Whenever I leave a professor's office, they always say, "feel free to come back if you have any questions." They are all great professors and human beings.

How do you manage a computer science/math double major?

Double majoring in math and computer science could be challenging because of the heavy workload. But I believe that if one works hard enough, one can move mountains. Therefore, I put extra effort into studying to have my double major degree. I start homework as soon as it is assigned, read the material before class starts, and ask my professors whenever I have questions. Also, I try to balance studying and having a social life, as well as living a healthy life so that I can increase my productivity.

What experiences at Luther have been most valuable so far?

The most beneficial experience for me has been getting to know the faculty and staff at Luther. Since Luther’s community is somewhat smaller than some colleges, it’s easy to get to know my professors and some of the staff through conversations and my work-study opportunities. Some have become great mentors and I appreciate getting to know them personally.

Why did you choose a liberal arts education?

I chose a liberal arts education because I love the general courses that are part my major’s requirements. They have expanded my knowledge, helped me grow as a human, changed my perspective on life, and opened my heart and mind to new ideas. I also love the class sizes. They are small enough to allow me to easily interact with my class and professors. They’re also large enough to let me hear diverse perspectives from people of varied backgrounds.

What do you like best about the campus life at Luther?

People here are so nice and sweet and will help you with anything, if they can. Walking around campus, I see people smiling, greeting to each other, and holding doors. They may be small actions but can brighten someone’s day. It makes me believe in a society where everyone is nice.

What is one class you would recommend all students take, regardless of major?

I would recommend all students take the class called Faith and Reason. I took that course that during January Term and found it was very special. It helped me understand more about the history of religions and science, trained me to look at the bigger picture of the problems, and gave me big questions that I needed to think about as a human being. As a math major, I’ve never encountered problems like this where there is no right or wrong; therefore, it was a great experience and I would recommend other students to take that class if they have the chance.

How are you involved in the Decorah community?

I usually go to a Lutheran church in the area and sometimes take part in music events at some of the local coffee shops and at the high school. I also enjoy poetry slams and the farmers market.

After graduation, I would like to work as an actuary or a data scientist where my education will directly apply to my career. I also hope to inspire other students to study math by showing them that it’s a subject that not only involves theories but has valuable applications.

—Linh Nguyen Le

Linh’s Co-Curriculars:

  • Activity coordinator for Asian Student Association and Allies—we plan events and activities to bring knowledge about Asia and the Asian culture to the Luther community
  • Member of Student Philanthropy Council—I participate in and create events to raise student awareness about giving back to Luther
  • Member of Cantorei choir