Haley Pesik ‘19, Computer Science and Mathematics

Posted on May 23rd, 2018 by

Haley Pesik has been interested in math and science for most of her life. She says that “when I was little… math came very easily to me”. Haley’s dad is an aerospace engineer, and he “would always tell me about rockets, and just a lot about math”. She found what her dad was telling her “really interesting”. In high school, Haley’s best friend took AP Computer Science and talked her into taking it too. She ended up loving the class, and decided that “I want to go into computer science”.

Haley’s talents and gifts are well suited for her field. She says that she’s “a very analytical and logical thinker”, and believes that this helps her solve problems “fast and efficiently”. Haley is also a hard worker, and says that if she wants something she works to get it. Finally, she says that she’s good at caring “about my friends and the people around me”. Haley’s talents are related to how her family has influenced her, and she says that “my parents are definitely the most influential people in my life”. Haley’s dad has influenced her “educationally” and inspired her “to go into a math or engineering field”. Her mom “led by example”, and showed her how to live life kindly and to “treat others the way you’d want to be treated, or even better”. Haley believes her mom taught her the importance of “giving everything you have to help others”.

The beliefs that define Haley are rooted in her faith. She says that “I believe that Jesus died for me because he loves me, and he died for everyone because he loves them”. Because of this, she believes that “I should spread Jesus’s love and love everyone around me”. Haley is Catholic. She thinks that it’s common for Catholics to believe in the Ten Commandments, saying “to sum them up, it’s pretty much love others, love yourself, love your parents, love everything that you have, and be thankful for it”. This emphasis on love defines Haley’s beliefs.

When it comes to her scientific discipline, Haley says that “it’s scary to think that technology is always advancing”. She thinks that people are always focused on the next big technological thing, and they don’t really think about the consequences of what they’re doing. Haley doesn’t think that there are any biblical teachings that particularly scare her. However, she is concerned about the lack of self-reflection in many scientific and technological fields.

Since Haley has come to Gustavus, she says that although “my beliefs haven’t necessarily changed”, she’s “been able to learn a lot about different faiths and different people’s beliefs”. She thinks that she’s learned the most about different beliefs from the groups Proclaim and Explore. Haley says that learning about other faiths has “helped me understand my belief better”. Now, instead of just believing what she’s been taught or is familiar with, she’s actively choosing to believe.

In both computer science and math, Haley says that everything is always proven true. In science, she says that you “can always find the answer to something”. This is very different from faith, where “I just have to believe” and “it can’t be proven”. She thinks that her life and what she’s experienced can be the basis of what she believes, but there’s no way to ever definitively know for sure if what you believe is true. Although she doesn’t feel like there’s a conflict between science and religion in her life, she does think that there’s some kind of conflict between “being able to actually prove something is true and just believing that it is true”. Despite this conflict, both faith and her scientific vocation are central to Haley’s life.


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