Computer Science:

Research, Industry, and Entrepreneurship

Jarrell Waggoner / @malloc47 /

About me

  • Research
    Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at USC
  • Industry
    Project manager at the OpenIT Lab affiliated with IT-oLogy
  • Entrepreneurship
    Technical lead at Huntstand, Inc., a social networking startup company


I write lots of code on

and blog on my website

These slides are available here:



It's all Programming

It's all Math

CS == IT

What is CS?


Computer science is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications. A computer scientist specializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems.

CS's Resume

  • Invented the Internet (with apologies to Al Gore)
  • Ushered in the information age
  • Broke the Enigma code and helped win WWII
  • Created computer graphics
  • Facilitated truly secure communication (cryptography)
  • Mapped the human genome
  • Beat humans at chess and Jeopardy!


Invented that too

Why CS?




(2010 median salary)

Job Growth

(2011 figures)


FullContactPaid Paid Vacation
eBayRafting trips
GenentechOnsite child and animal daycare
GoogleDogs allowed in the office
FacebookFour months paid maternity/paternity leave
MicrosoftBus service (with wi-fi) directly to work
NetflixDoesn't keep track of vacation days
DropboxSound-proof music studio
TreehouseFour day work week
37 SignalsCompany credit card for everyone


BioinformaticsCS + Biology
Data ScienceCS + Statistics
TheoryCS + Math
Information Technology PolicyCS + Law
Management Information SystemsCS + Business
Health InformaticsCS + Health Care
Digital HumanitiesCS + Humanities
Computer Scientists are the blacksmiths of the 21st century.

Job Categories

Research • Industry • Entrepreneurship



  • Artificial Intelligence
    • Multi-Agent Systems
    • Computer Vision
    • Machine Learning
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computer and Network Security
  • Graphics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Programming Languages and Compilers
  • Robotics
  • Theory

What do you do in Research?

  • Create prototypes of new ideas
    • Build software (code)
    • Construct hardware
    • Collect data
  • Experiment by running prototype on lots of data
    • Supercomputers/clusters
  • Write papers and publish results

Jobs in Research?

  • College professor
  • Industrial research (Microsoft, Siemens, ...)
  • Finance
  • Data science

My Research

Apply Computer Vision techniques to facilitate understanding of metal alloys and bio materials



  • Software Engineering
  • Dev-Ops
  • Operations / Systems Administration
  • Testing
  • Consultant
  • Contractor

What do you do in Industry?


...a lot

Top Technology Companies

My Industry Work

Sina Weibo Mobile Client

Prototyped the mobile client for the popular Sina Weibo Twitter-like microblogging service in China


Technology conference in Columbia


What is a startup?

A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. [...] The only essential thing is growth. --Paul Graham

Building a Company

  1. Start with an industry and an idea to fix it
  2. Find "Co-Founders" to complement your skills
  3. Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  4. Get funding to continue growing
  5. Keep growing

Skills Needed

  • Programming
  • Systems Administration
  • Testing
  • Product management
  • Marketing
  • Business administration
  • Design
  • ...

Funding Levels


Startups I Work With

Getting Started in CS

Educational Resources