Abby Van Soest

Computer Science (AB)
Email Address:

Concentration: Computer Science

Hello! My name is Abby Van Soest and I am a senior in the computer science department. I was born and raised in a rural area outside Ithaca, New York, and love all things outdoors -- hiking, camping, running, and more! 

One of the most important lessons I've learned at Princeton is the importance of taking classes that are outside your academic comfort zone. As a freshman, I thought I would major in history or English. I took my first computer science class during my freshman spring, and it transformed my life at university and beyond! Take the risk, whatever that means for you -- you never know what you might learn.


Favorite Courses:

  • COS 445: Economics and Computing. The concepts that we used to understand and solve various problems were cool because they were so flexible. They could be applied to everything from selling advertisements to electing presidents to individual decision making and beyond! 
  • ENG 360: Contemporary Fiction. The reading list for this class blew my mind. It made my inner bookworm very, very happy. Also, studying the novels from an academic standpoint also added complexity to the way I read literature.
  • COS 226: Algorithms and Data Structures. This was a super challenging class, but it convinced me to major in computer science. It taught me how to structure logic clearly and elegantly.
  • GER 210: Introduction to German Philosophy. The philosophers we read challenged the way I see myself, my peers, and the institutions in our lives.