Adam Schwarz

Adam Schwarz BA '23



Degree and Class Year

BA ’23


Daly City, California


Computer Science and Mathematics


Data Science


Fire Arts Club

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Diverse, Active, Engaging

What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

My favorite class was Algorithm Design and Analysis with Associate Professor Peter Drake. It helped me get a better understanding of what it is like to work in the computer science field. It was also a great opportunity to meet fellow computer science and mathematics students, as this class was a required class for both the computer science major and the computer science and mathematics major.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

Aside from the campus being gorgeous, Lewis & Clark was the only college where I could really see myself attending. I got a vibe that this would be somewhere I could thrive, and this ultimately is how I made my decision. I have yet to be disappointed.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

The liberal arts focuses on looking at subjects as a whole, and this allows you to explore a variety of topics in these areas. Many departments offer a wide selection of courses, such as the mathematical sciences department. They offer many computer science classes that cover many different topics, and after spending most of my time with this department, I have been able to try new things and see how all of these courses are connected with each other.

Where do you find community on campus?

Firstly, in the Bon (Fields Dining Hall). During any meal, the dining hall is always packed, and it is very easy to spend hours just talking with friends there. Secondly, in the residence halls. The majority of my friends also live on campus, so we spend a lot of time in our rooms or in our hall lounges. Lastly, at the IT Service Desk where I work. Aside from helping the community, my coworkers and I take time to have fun on the job and spend time with each other.

Which residence halls have you lived in? How would you describe the hall’s personality? What is/was the best thing about living on campus?

I have lived in Platt-Howard (both Platt and Howard) and Copeland. Platt-Howard is a quieter community where everyone is friendly with each other, and Copeland is a more active community that is always full of fun surprises. Having lived in both of these halls as both a resident and a resident advisor, the best thing about living on campus is being so close to your friends and to campus resources. I can walk down the hall and hang out with my friends, or I can walk to my classes in just a few minutes.

If you went on a New Student Trip with College Outdoors, how did it shape your experience as an incoming student?

Attending a New Student Trip was the best decision I could have made as an incoming student. It provided me with an opportunity to meet new people and help transition into my new life in college. I met many people who I am still friends with, and it overall was an experience that I would highly encourage any new student with even a sliver of interest in the outdoors to partake in.

If you have studied or will study overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience so far?

I do not plan on studying overseas because I would rather spend my time working directly with my professors on campus. Lewis & Clark offers great study abroad opportunities, but I was not interested in any of them.

Have you been involved with one of our symposia, as an organizer or participant? What was the experience like? How did the event complement your academic experience?

I have not been involved with any symposia, but I have many friends who have, and they have spoken very highly about their experiences.

Did you visit campus before deciding to come to L&C? How did your visit influence your decision to attend?

I visited campus prior to making my decision, and it solidified how beautiful the campus is. It is one thing to be told how pretty campus is, but seeing it for yourself is a completely different experience. It was also helpful to see where I would be living and where I would be walking around, and this put the value of a small liberal arts school into perspective.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Your college experience is what you make it. With the many opportunities available at Lewis & Clark, you are able to shape your own future and make your own decisions as to how you spend your time here.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot on campus is on the walkway in between the reflecting pool and the estate gardens. Assuming it is a clear day, if you stand just below the steps that lead to the reflecting pool and look out beyond the grass in between the trees, you can see Mount Hood!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

My favorite thing about living in Portland is the food. Within 15 minutes of driving off campus or taking the Pioneer Express shuttle, you can find many different restaurants and food carts that always hit the spot.

How did you decide on a major?

Originally, I planned on being a computer science major, but after speaking with my faculty advisor Associate Professor Jeffrey Ely, I was convinced to become a computer science and mathematics major, as he strongly believes that mathematics is an integral part of studying computer science. On top of this, Lewis & Clark offers a hybrid computer science and mathematics major, and this makes it easy to study both subjects.

Have you had the opportunity to do research with a professor? If so, please describe the project and the experience.

I participated in an applied data science practicum related to monarch butterflies with Professor Greta Binford and several other data scientist specialists with the college. We were divided into groups of students, and our goal was to analyze data of monarch butterflies and various milkweed species and present this information to conservation stakeholders. This was a great experience for applying what I am learning in the classroom to a real-world scenario. Since this was a multidisciplinary project, it was also insightful to meet students and professors in departments other than within my own major.