Meet the Majors

Ananda Montoly ’22

Computer Science and Statistical and Data Sciences

About Ananda

Class of 2022

Hometown: Keene, NH

Computer Science and Statistical and Data Sciences

House: Chase

Other clubs, sports, activities:
President of Smithies in CS, Smith CS Liaison.

Describe your major in five words or less.
Messing around with weird machines? Analytical, creative, fun, exploratory, innovative.

What’s your “Big Dream” for your future?
I’d love to travel across the U.S. I grew up in the White Mountain range of NH and it’s been a dream of mine to see the Rockies. We have such amazing ecological diversity in the US and I’m super excited to get to explore all of it.

What was one thing that surprised you most about your major?
There’s such a big difference between programming as a hobby and learning the theory behind computer science. As someone who thought of CS as only “learn how to make videogames,” I had to learn a lot. I really loved getting to explore the different sub-fields of CS.

Did you ever have trouble deciding on a major? What, ultimately, helped you decide?
I fell in love with computer science about a month into my first computer science class and knew that I couldn’t do anything else. I’d programmed on and off since I was a little kid, and I loved the process of making something new. There’s so much space for freedom and creativity in computer science.

There’s so much space for freedom and creativity in computer science.

Describe one moment with a professor that particularly sticks out to you.
The first time that I was invited to join a professor’s lab was a big moment for me. He’d been the professor for my computer science intro class, and I really looked up to him (like everyone in that class did). He’s been a fantastic mentor through the years and getting his advice over tea has been a highlight of my time at Smith.

What spot on campus will you miss the most? Where was your favorite place for dinner?
There’s a bench in Bass Hall that’s directly in front of a large aquarium. I loved to sit there while watching the marine animals and waiting for class. Alternatively, walking along the road from Ford Hall to the quad and passing by the botanical garden in the summertime was amazing. There are so many places to get lost on campus.

Also, my favorite dining hall was Chase! I loved it so much I moved there.

What do you wish other people knew about the class of 2022?
We’re navigating an unprecedented time, but everyone I’ve met in class of 2022 has been working hard to keep their feet under them.

What’s your all-time favorite Smith memory?
I remember sitting between two friends of mine on our way back from Mountain Day a few years ago and listening to them talk about literature and their favorite films. We’d eaten apple cider donuts, sat in the sun and taken pictures throughout the farm. They were both so smart and so interesting to listen in on.

What do you think has been the most “Smithie” thing you’ve done in life so far?
I’m not proud of this one. When I first caught myself doing the “UGH!” and then saying all the things I had to do when a friend was complaining about her workload, I knew that was a Smithie moment.

If you could tell an incoming first-year anything about Smith, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to explore! I ended up doing things completely differently than what I expected when I came into Smith. There are so many classes, clubs, and opportunities to try new things here that it’s worth going down cool rabbit holes.