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Carmen Chilson

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School of Computer Science Student Profiles

Carmen Chilson

Carmen Chilson – B.S. in CS

Carmen was born in Germany and after living in Sweden and Colorado, moved to Norman in the 6th grade when her father became Professor with the Meteorology Department at the University of Oklahoma. Science was always loved in her family and since she was very young, she has been a very logical person. She really likes Mathematics and decided to take Computer classes in High School. Her Programming class quickly became her favorite one and she joined the Bot-Ball Team: a Robotics Club where robots from different high schools compete. Carmen worked on programming the robots and her team won first place in the regional competition.
She then chose the College of Engineering at OU because of Computer Science. She enjoys coding so much that she decided to make it her major. Now a junior, her favorite class is Dr. Hougen’s CS 4023 Intro to Intelligent Robotics because it is more applied knowledge than just theory. Carmen loves the variety of classes offered to her by the CS department. Each one focuses on a different aspect of Computer Science and it helps getting the big picture of the field. She describes her program as a “blast!” One of the strength of the programs that she noted is that the professors teach practical applications of the theory, the students learn the “why” of things and it helps them become both great programmers and great computer scientists.
Carmen is very engaged in the field: she was hired by the K20 Center as a student programmer and is part of the Software Studio. At the K20 Center, she gets to work on educational video games about calculus, biology, statistics, and physics. She helps developing alternative ways to learn these subjects. What makes her love her job so much is the fact that she can actually see what she codes. Graphic artists, game designers, and programmers work together so the final product is very visual and beautiful. It is a more dynamic kind of programming than she is used to doing in the classroom. She is also the team leader for Roost Rings within the Software Studio. This team works in partnership with the Meteorology and Biology Departments on developing an image processing, data tracking software for radar images following the life of birds and bats and better track their patterns. Carmen is also a member of the Game Developer Association and tries to attend T++ meetings as much she can.
Once she is done with school, Carmen would love to work for Google. She has not decided yet between a career as a video game programmer or focusing on software layout efficiency.
When her schedule allows, Carmen enjoys board and role-playing games like Dungeon and Dragons. She likes all things medieval fantasy and appreciates books like Lord of the Rings. She is very much involved in a Foam Sword Fighting Club that meets every Saturday. Each year, they meet with clubs from all over the U.S. in Pennsylvania and organize a foam sword battle of two teams of 500 warriors! Carmen also speaks German and is very influenced by the German culture.