#WhyICode: Mary Beth Moore Finds Love for Language Applies to Programming As Well

September 8, 2017


I started coding in Fall of 2011 when I took my first Computer Science course (ever). I had been working as an Instructor in the Humanities (Art History and Developmental English) and in student support at a community college. I was looking for more opportunities and one of the professors in the Computer Science program at Frostburg State suggested I might be interested in the program. I had never studied computer science or done any programming, but I found the idea intriguing.  I found myself loving the courses I was taking (Java programming and Computer Science 101). I was originally scheduled to take several more undergraduate courses before beginning the graduate program since I had a BA and an MA (in art history) already. Because of scheduling issues, I had to start graduate coursework right away. So after one semester, I was thrown right into a graduate program. I was able to make it work. 


To me programming relates to my love of language, especially grammar. I became an art history major, in part, because I had a number of foreign language credits.  In those days, to be an art history major, you had to pass translation exams as well as read in other languages, and my language skills were very useful. I have always loved learning grammar and finding ways to express myself in other languages as well as my own. To me programming is in some ways like learning a new language (the most exciting part to me is trying to master the grammar) but with different rules from human language.  I also see a relation to the patterns we look for as art historians when we analyze a work of art. 


Now I have the opportunity to share my passion with my students, and I'm thrilled.


- Mary Beth Moore



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