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Joe Barkmeier-Ann Tice Scholarship Q&A

Jace Neubaum (Left) and Robert Robinson (Right) overlaid on fall MacLean Hall - Joe Barkmeier-Ann Tice Scholarship recipients

Two incoming MCS students, Jace Neubaum (Left) and Robert Robinson (Right), were awarded the departmental Joseph Barkmeier and Ann Tice Computer Science Scholarship for 2018-19. This scholarship is in recognition of strong performance as an undergraduate student and an indication of how much the department would value a student join our MCS program.

Prof. Pemmaraju recently asked the recipients the following questions. He also led a Q&A with the benefactors, Drs. Barkmeier and Tice.

Q&A with Scholarship Recipients:

  1. Where are you from? Where did you go to college for your undergrad degree in CS?

Neubaum: I'm from Rockwell City, Iowa.  I attended Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa where I received a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Mathematics.

Robinson: I was born in Clinton, Iowa, and have lived in Iowa all my life. I got my Bachelor's degree from Coe College.

  1. What were your favorite CS courses as an undergrad student? Why?

Neubaum: My favorite courses were Database Programming and Android Mobile Development. Database Programming was my favorite class because it allowed us to put together knowledge from all of our previous Computer Science classes into one large project. This meant creating webpages/interfaces using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP; writing back-end software with C++; and designing and maintaining a database all for one interconnected project. I also enjoyed Android Mobile Development because the content was so cutting-edge. The structure of the class was very open and allowed the students and instructor to design projects together throughout the course, rather than following a pre-written syllabus.

Robinson: I enjoyed most of my CS courses, but I probably enjoyed Fundamentals of Computer Graphics most. I enjoyed learning about and applying graphical concepts to create code which culminated in an easily visible result, even if it was primitive at this point. The professor also taught it quite well, with a good balance between lecture and application.

  1. Besides CS what were your other interests as an undergrad?

Neubaum: Besides CS (and Math), I was heavily involved with the music department. Throughout my 4 years at Morningside I sang in the choir, sang in a barbershop quartet, played in the jazz band, and I also performed a solo senior piano recital.

Robinson: I minored in math and philosophy, finding more interest in the latter. I have always been interested in the kind of deep thinking that characterizes the field, and found many of the topics surprisingly relatable. I also spent much of my time in the choir there.

  1. So far, what have you liked most about being an MCS student at the U of Iowa?

Neubaum: After the first couple of months at the University of Iowa, my favorite thing about being an MCS student is how quickly I was accepted into the CS community on campus. Both professors and graduate students alike have welcomed the new students and are quick to offer help and guidance, as well as discuss their research and interests. This feeling of acceptance has made the transition from an undergrad program at a small private college to a graduate program at a large University much easier.

Robinson: The courses available at this university have been much more interesting, specialized, and applicable to real world situations. While my undergraduate courses helped me to learn important concepts in computer science, I'm now happy to master how to apply them in the workforce.

Joe Barkmeier and Ann TiceQ&A with Joe Barkmeier and Ann Tice.

  1. Could you describe your professional backgrounds. From what little I know, you are both medical doctors. So what your specialization is, where you got your degrees from, where you practiced, etc.

Dr. Joe Barkmeier practiced Diagnostic and Interventional radiology for 35 years at the Carle Health System in Urbana, IL. His undergraduate studies were at Creighton University before attaining his medical degree at the University of Iowa. Following an internship with the University of Iowa Family Medicine Program, Dr. Barkmeier received his Radiology residency at Case Western University Hospitals.

Dr. Ann Tice practiced Dermatology at the Carle Health System for 22 years following her Dermatology residency at the Case Western University Hospitals. She received her undergraduate degree and her medical degree from the University of Iowa followed by an internship in the University of Iowa Family Medicine program.

  1. Could you tell us your connection with the U of Iowa and with the U of Iowa CS department in particular. 

Both Dr. Barkmeier and Dr. Tice have strong roots with the University of Iowa. Ann’s Father, George Tice, and her Uncle, Willian Arnold Tice, Both received their medical degrees from Iowa. Joe’s Father and Mother, Ray and Alice Barkmeier, were loyal Hawkeye fans and donors. His oldest brother John also received his medical degree from Iowa and his sister Julie received her PhD in Speech Pathology from Iowa.
Ann and Joe’s son, Kyle Barkmeier, received his Master Degree in Computer Science from Iowa. His parents and Kyle are very grateful for the TA position and financial support  Kyle received while attending Iowa.

  1. Could you tell us what led you to your decision to provide funding for this scholarship and also how you decided on the parameters of the scholarship, i.e., the funds would go to MCS students from the upper Midwest. 

Ann and I wanted to give back to the University of Iowa for our education and Kyle’s education and financial support. Kyle suggested helping the Computer Science Department. We believe the Midwest has much to offer for families, education, and businesses. However, the coastal and urban areas receive the attention for computer science and financial support. We wanted to help the Midwestern students and give incentives to attend Iowa to help develop 
its program with high caliber students from the Midwest who will keep their talent in the Midwest.