Developing a bold mindset: Deal earns degree in computer science

May 06, 2024

Man stands in front of a building

Logan Deal has spent his time at Mizzou Engineering getting involved in everything from undergraduate research to entrepreneurship. In the lab, he investigated artificial intelligence and neuroscience, and in industry his network with local entrepreneurs led him to an internship after a surprise meeting at the grocery store.

Deal says he has enjoyed his time at Mizzou and the flexibility of the computer science program to take classes outside his major. He also enjoyed his internship last summer at Paycom, and he is returning to become a software developer at the company after graduation.

Read on for a Q&A with Deal about his Mizzou Engineering experience.

How did you get involved at Mizzou?

Initially I met people in my residential community, participated in a Freshman Interest Group (FIG) and joined a study group. Later I joined the Mizzou Computing Association and participated in its hackathon, TigerHacks. Then I learned about research, co-authored K-12 neuroscience lessons featured at the Society for Neuroscience and later participated in a research fellowship for AI’s ability to hypothesize diseases.

I still wanted to get more involved, so I joined the Mizzou Engineering Student Council. And to capitalize on my entrepreneurial interest, I attended Missouri Startup Weekend, where I won an innovation award and worked toward co-founding a software business.

What made you interested in computer science?

What did it for me was learning that software is relevant to any industry and almost any problem. I also love the critical thinking aspect and frankly, just the ability to make so many cool things, from Minecraft to ChatGPT to Google.

But it took effort to get to that realization. Lots of effort. My dad tried to get me into it when I was in elementary school, but it was just boring and didn’t make sense. Printing out “Hello World” and adding two numbers together just wasn’t exciting. However, in middle school, I started making funny spin-offs of Flappy Bird in Scratch, and eventually that got me interested. Later, I started making Roblox games and took coding summer camps at Washington University in St. Louis, and eventually I was bought in.

What’s your favorite Mizzou memory?

By going to some Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (CEO) meetings and Missouri Startup Weekend, I became familiar with a local venture capital company, Redbud VC. One day, I saw one of the partners at Walmart, and he asked if I was looking for an internship. Then, he helped set me up with a remote startup as a software engineer intern, which has been one of my favorite experiences during college.

What’s your favorite thing about the computer science program?

I can take economics, acting, business law, graph theory, and internships for credit towards my degree, in addition to electrical and computer engineering and IT courses. It’s awesome to be able to take classes beyond my major for credit towards.

Why are you proud to be a Tiger?

Mizzou is a school for incredibly rewarding opportunities, people and places. I am astonished at how much there is to discover, take advantage of and contribute to, whether it’s taking an acting or business law class, getting paid to do undergraduate research, or finding an internship and subsequently becoming an ambassador for that company at the Engineering Career Fair. These are just some of the great things I’ve gotten to do, in addition to learning about Mizzou’s history and enjoying our campus amenities.

What’s next for you after graduation?

I’m headed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to be a software developer at Paycom, an employee software company. I enjoyed getting to know the growing area last summer as an intern at the company, and I got to work on an awesome project with a team of other interns to essentially create a new programming language.