Love and computers

Larry Cullum introduces new computer science class to BHS


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Beck Mac, Staff Writer

Larry Cullum and his wife always had a return to Vermont on their bucket list. Unfortunately, last January, Cullum’s wife passed away.

“And so I decided to go ahead and do it,” Cullum said. “Vermont’s my new adventure.”

Cullum was hired this year to teach AP Computer Science Principles. This new course is funded by a “Future Engineers” grant from Amazon and is intended to prepare students for college courses and careers in computer sciences.

“It’s called computer science, but it’s more of an art,” Cullum said. “Every problem you can solve, every person has a different way to prove and solve something.” 

Anders Thelemarck ‘23 is in Cullum’s class.

“I just feel like computer science is important in day-to-day life,” Thelemarck said. “Like when they said ‘no matter what field you go into it is kind of gonna be important.’”

Finley O’Neal ‘23 agrees.  

“I mean, computers are everywhere nowadays. And it’s really helpful for anyone regardless of your interests to learn about how they work,” O’Neal said.

Cullum was first introduced to computer science in the late 1970s when he was in high school.

“I had to build my own computer from a kit because I couldn’t afford an Apple computer,” Cullum said. “So that’s what I did, [I] hooked it up to a TV- and programmed in basic.” 

Cullum’s interest in computers led to a 20-year career working for the federal government in the field of information technology. 

“I basically did every type of position in information technology from help desk to programming to database administration and server supervision,” Cullum said. “I’ve kind of seen it all.”

For the last 9 years, Cullum has been teaching computer science in Texas. Cullum sees this new course as one that can appeal to every student. 

“This class is…like a broad survey course,” Cullum said. “Like if you’re in college and you were taking a computer science class and you weren’t a computer science major.”

Currently students are learning about parts of computers, different types of programming languages and how codes are run by computers. 

“It’s really easy for people to get into,” O’Neil said. “You don’t really need any prior knowledge to take [it].”

Thelemarck says he wants more people to take the class.

“[It’s] definitely helpful… definitely opens up a lot of careers,” Thelemarck said. “I think it’s really fun.”