With her transition from one culture to another, Lydia Sinapova, Professor of Computer Science, has a unique perspective that not many would have the chance experience. Since starting at Simpson in 1999, she has aided many students with their journeys toward success. In her free time, Lydia’s hobbies include travel, spending time with family and friends, reading, watching movies, solving puzzles, and even computer programming “just for fun” –in her own words.
How long have you been teaching at Simpson and what do you teach?
I have been teaching at Simpson since the Fall of 1999. I regularly teach Discrete Mathematics, Intro to Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, Operating Systems, and Theory of Computation.
What makes teaching at Simpson unique?
Teaching small classes allows a high level of interaction with the students. I know all my students by their first names, and it is not unusual for them to share some of their personal experiences with me. At Simpson, I can work individually with students that need some help, and also with students who want to learn more than offered in the textbooks alone. Since 2003, I have engaged a number of students in undergraduate research. Several students have their work published and presented at the Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium, and at the “Posters on the Hill” event organized by the Council on Undergraduate Research.
What do you enjoy most about working with adult students?
The students in the EW&G program are goal-oriented. They know what they want, they value their time, and they try to get the most out of each minute spent in class. I really admire their perseverance and willingness to learn.
Where did you graduate?
I received all my degrees at Sofia University, Bulgaria
Please tell us about your experience of becoming an American citizen.
Becoming an American citizen was a long journey. My husband was the first of our family to move to the USA in 1993. By that time, I was working on my PhD and stayed with our kids in Bulgaria to finish it. This was a very hard time for our family. I moved to the United States to join my husband in 1997. In 1999, I applied for a tenure track position at Simpson College and was hired. Eventually I received a green card, and later I applied for US citizenship. I became an American Citizen in March 2008.
Please tell us about your family and how you like to spend your free time.
My husband works for Iowa Student Loan Liquidation Corporation as a data analyst. My daughter teaches mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My son is a graduate student at Iowa State University.
What is your favorite vacation spot, favorite book, and/or favorite film?
Every summer I travel to Bulgaria to visit my relatives and friends. I like very much to read science fiction and fantasy books.