Computer Science: The brains behind the machines


Kylee Crisswell

Zaid Al Shareef reflecting on a passed project to check for improvements to be made.

 Computer science is defined as the study of the principles and use of computers. In Donnieta Ray’s advanced placement computer science class, this is exactly what her students do. Prior to enrolling in her Advanced Placement class, Ray’s students had to begin with Computer Science Essentials(CSE). This is considered to be the building block basis of computer science. In this course, the code begins with familiarizing students with different skill sets and strategies that will be used in her advanced classes. For most students reaching the advanced programming, level seemed to be the ultimate goal. 

Zorion Peckham, a junior currently enrolled in Donnieta’s AP course, explained that the images depicted on the coding projects are made up of small pixels of color to create one large one. When the image is coded to create movement, the movement can become stiff. Creativity and algorithms might not be enough for the coding competition, though.

“The only thing I would want to change is the motion of the characters to create a more fluid final project,” Peckham said. “This provides just one of many aspects of the tech world, however.”

A handful of Ray’s AP students had the opportunity to go to The Oklahoma Women in technology conference providing another important element of the stem community. At the aforementioned conference, there were college recruiters present as well as women-led tech conversations. These conversations were hosted and facilitated by guest speakers such as Michelle Jarrett, who made her name as a business technology manager. 

According to, only 38.9% of the computer science student body were women as of 2019. With such a demand to keep up with the technology of today’s world, opportunities like this conference are crucial to the advancement of our growing tech world. For Logan Murphy,  a senior currently taking Donnieta’s AP computer science course, the competition is beneficial.  Having the opportunity to go up against her peers pushes her interest in learning new methods that work. These methods would be useless without a person being there to understand them.

“I have trouble trying to combine our ideas rather than just going with what I’m thinking,” Murphy said.

Computer Science student Logan Murphy demonstrated a quiz game she designed. (Kylee Crisswell)

Coding is considered to be its own language. The binary system is a series of numbers that are translated in a way the computer can understand. For that to happen, people have to analyze and understand this number system as well as every other important basis of technology to keep coding. Each perspective provides another chance to write more concise, effective code.  There is a vantage point to being undermined. Murphy quickly came to understand that her perspective would matter because it would be one people would listen to less. In her final thoughts, Logan encourages other young women to express their love of code. 

“You shouldn’t be discouraged at all, because there are so many computer science jobs and they need women in those fields because it’s a male-dominated field,” Murphy said. “So, while it is clear that computers may not have brains, it’s evident that the people behind them do.”