UC Berkeley Computer Science Commencement Speech 2016 – Day in the life of a Berkeley CS student

If the four of you could please come join
me at the podium, Jay and Hriday, will you please speak first. Students, faculty, parents
and loved ones – good morning. You may have all heard stories from students here of what it means to be a Berkeley Computer Science student, but we’re here to tell you the actual story. So you start off the day rolling out of bed, around noon, your laptop is still playing lecture videos from last night at 5x speed — and you still have 7 more to go
before your final tonight. This is what all those hours of binge-watching House of Cards
has prepared us for. So on your way to class, mom calls. *Ring, Ring* Hey honey, how’s college
going? Have you found a girlfriend yet? Mom, I don’t know how many times I have to tell
you this, but I don’t have time for that right now. I’m just trying to find a project partner for my next CS project. And what you come to realize is that CS becomes its own social life. Everyone is helpful and supportive from, especially our professors and TAs. Speaking
of project partners, your peers become some of your best friends. Looking out into the
audience, I see dozens of people in this room with whom I’ve seen both the sun set and rise from Soda hall in the same day. And then theres those days were you phone buzzes because your midterm scores just came out, on gradescope. You immediately call your dad to tell him
your scores. “Dad, I just found out I got a 35% on my test”. “Oh son, I’m so sorry,
I’m sure you’ll do better on the next one”. “No dad, that’s great, it’s 2 standard deviations above the average”! To get back to our original question, What does it mean to be a Berkeley computer science student? Well, some of you may have thought it means to be a tech support
wizard like your uncle might think you are or think that a hack-a-thon involves hacking
into Target as my non-cs friends from back home thought it meant. What Berkeley CS really teaches you is how to be a problem solver. We’re now capable of designing technical solutions
for real-world complex problems. Like using stable marriage algorithms to create the next
great Tinder or perfecting middle out compression to beat Pied Piper to the punch. Through all of experiences here at Berkeley, we’ve had both hardships and successes, but it’s together
that we’ve been able to make this journey. As a class we’re extremely excited to make
an enormous impact on the world. Jay and I are standing up here together because we know
that we haven’t made this journey alone. We’d like to extend an enormous thank you to our
peers, faculty, family, … and most importantly, Stack Overflow. To commemorate this moment,
we’d like to celebrate what we all accomplished together today by taking the most epic selfie
in computer science history. Just one moment please… If you all could just smile for us (: and to the class of 2016, congratulations! *Roaring Applause*


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