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Douglas Jordan

An interview with a Penn State Computer Science and Engineering student who also completed the 2014 Boston Marathon.

Douglas Jordan

From L to R: Douglas Jordan, Mike Williams, Dave Moyer, Tom Still, Will Appman. Image courtesy of Douglas Jordan.

Meet Douglas Jordan, a Schreyer Honors College Scholar majoring in computer science and mathematics. In fall 2014, he will be entering the integrated undergraduate graduate (IUG) program to obtain a master's degree in computer science and engineering. He has completed the 2014 Boston Marathon.

We caught up with Jordan after running the marathon to ask him about his experience as not only a computer science student, but one that participates in marathons and how it felt to finish the marathon, among other things.

CSE: What makes participating in the Boston Marathon special to you?

Douglas Jordan: Obviously after last year's events, this marathon was special to everyone involved in the running community. It was really incredible to see the support from everyone as well as the field being larger than ever (36,000). Ever since I started running I always thought being able to complete a marathon would be an awesome goal, nonetheless running Boston. When I qualified at Pittsburgh last year, I was so excited but it wasn't until that I got to the expo on Saturday before the marathon that it really hit me.

CSE: Was there a particular reason you ran in this marathon?

Douglas Jordan: Boston is the Holy Grail for marathoners, and since I qualified I knew I had to do it.

CSE: Did you participate in the Marathon last year?

Douglas Jordan: Not the Boston Marathon, but I did run in both the Pittsburgh and State College Marathons.

CSE: How did it feel to run in the marathon after last year's tragedy?

Douglas Jordan: It was an amazing honor. The crowd was louder than ever, and at no point during the race were there less than 100 people lining both sides of the street cheering for you. When I toed the line, the announcer said, "This year, we take back the finish." When he said that it was almost numbing, and I thought about what he said every time I started to get mentally exhausted during the race. When Meb won, being the first American to win in more than twenty-five years, it was that much more incredible. When I crossed the finish line I just stopped moving and looked all around me in appreciation of the city of Boston, and the entire running community for being stronger than ever.

CSE: How do you fit running into your busy schedule being a dual major, scholar, THON technology captain, etc.?

Douglas Jordan: The short answer would be organization and priorities. I would get up early on Sunday mornings to run with my friend Tom Stitt, and we would put in 15-20 miles before most people woke up. For me, running makes me more productive. I try to go to Club XC practice most days of the week, and I find that the days that I take an hour and a half out of my day to run I actually accomplish more than days that I don't.

CSE: How does computer science fit into your future plans?

Douglas Jordan: For the immediate future, I will be interning at Microsoft this summer, working on the Azure team. In the fall I will enter into the integrated undergraduate graduate (IUG) program where I will complete my master's degree. I'm not entirely sure where this will take me but I am sure I will end up either at a tech company or at a university, hopefully doing research in the computer science field.

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