Alan Cleary


Alan graduated from Western in 2012 in Mathematics and Computer Information Science and is currently working on a PhD at Montana State University

I'm currently a Computer Science PhD student at Montana State University, Bozeman. I graduated from Western with degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science. I chose to pursue a PhD because as an undergraduate I found that I enjoyed research and that there were many advanced Math and Computer Science topics I wanted to study.

Western prepared me for graduate school. The professors are eager to teach and willing to help students that wish to excel achieve their goals. It was because of them that I was able to become involved in extra-curricular activities such as the robotics team, research, and attending conferences. They gave me the experience and education I needed to be confident in continuing my education.

There are opportunities for students to gain financial support. While attending Western I worked on campus as a tutor, software engineer, web master, and summer camp counselor. All of these jobs helped me further develop my skills as a Computer Scientist and get involved with other departments. There are also a variety of scholarships students can apply for, which definitely helped me make ends meet.

Western is in a prime location for outdoor enthusiasts. As an avid rock climber and skier I found the number of destinations close to campus both convenient and impossible to exhaust. I also spent weekends and holidays traveling to destinations in surrounding states. It wasn't uncommon to run into professors during such endeavors.

There is a strong sense of community. While attending Western I was hospitalized as the result of a sporting accident. Not only was I visited by friends and family, but professors and class mates as well. The amount of support I received during this time is an example of the community spirit at Western.