Scott Hudson SelfieWhy did you choose to study computer science?

I realized soon after I first got to use a computer in high school (1976) that they were an incredibly versatile way of creating things. I could sit down starting with just my thoughts, write those down in a certain way, and work them into something that actually did things — interesting and powerful things. After that I was hooked, and I knew what I was going to do: I was going to be a computer scientist.

Tell us about your career path.

I have pretty much always been an academic computer scientist. I started with a BS and MS in CS at Arizona State; I got my PhD at CU. After that I’ve had three jobs as a professor. But in the end, I have always considered myself to be an overgrown PhD student. So part of my heart has always been at CU.

What is your biggest career or life lesson to date?

I would boil down a series of lessons from some great mentors as this advice: “surround yourself with really smart people and listen.” This is not the “listen” from your mom which means “do what I say.” It’s the “listen” that means “hear what is really being said, and carefully consider it.”