Lisanne Weidmann

Lisanne Weidmann
Ethical hacker at the police, I like the sound of that
Lisanne Weidmann
Computing Science
Country of previous education
The Netherlands

Lisanne Weidmann is a Bachelor's student Computing Science at Radboud University. Lisanne was interviewed by Tech Gelderland about why she chose to study this programme.

Computing Science is a technical study, aimed at the societal impact of the design and use of digital systems. It’s exactly that connection that appeals to Lisanne Weidmann, student of Computing Science.

Lisanne Weidmann has just started her third year as a student of Computing Science at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. Why in Nijmegen? “It is close to where I live, in Wageningen, and the city immediately felt familiar. Moreover, when I was a ‘student for a day’ at Computing Science, I learnt that there is a special track for Cyber Security. That’s when I knew: this is my study.”

“Central to Computing Science is the societal impact of systems and how to handle that. How has a system been designed? And why? Is it accessible? Is it safe? How can we use it safely and sensibly? Those are questions that are discussed during the study programme”, Lisanne animatedly explains. “To do that, you also need to understand programming and you have to be able to design and analyse data structures. It’s a must to be good at maths and programming. But you also have to be creative in coming up with solutions to make systems do what they are supposed to do.”

Curious about how computers work

For Lisanne, this doesn’t pose a problem: she’s good at sciences. “At primary school I was already interested in how computers work. At secondary school, Het Streek Lyceum in Ede, we had to make a website for Information Science. This was an assignment on both the technical aspect and the design aspect. The technical aspect really appealed to me. I wanted to know what went on behind the screens.”

“The first year of Computing Science is a base year with a lot of maths and programming. In the second year, you choose one of many tracks”, Lisanne explains. “I have chosen Cyber Security and Data Science. After my study, I’d like to have a job with societal relevance. This is why my dream job is to be an ethical hacker at the national police. There, you work with people from different disciplines in the field of strategic and practical systems and data design and analysis.”

Taking some time to settle in

The study programme Computing Science is English-taught. “That was quite scary, and I needed some time to settle in. Looking back, it is definitely not complicated, anyone with even a mild interest in computers is used to many English terms. Our year is made up of students from all over the world, so it’s quite natural that everything is in English. Because we are such a diverse group, people look from different perspectives at the societal role and impact of Computing Science. This also challenges your own view on the field.”

Lisanne Weidmann has noticed that more and more women choose to study Computing Science. “When I started, one out of seven students was female. Now, that’s one out of five. This also changes the image; it’s no longer a male bastion. It lowers the threshold for women to choose for Computing Science, a great development!”