Student Stories

Real world stories from students using zyBooks in their classes.

Coding in the biochemistry lab

Emma Ward has her eyes fixed on a career in life science research. The University of Illinois at Chicago student talked to numerous faculty while investigating graduate school options. As she gathered advice in laying out her path towards her goal, one problem stood out to her: there was a need for programming skills in biology and biochemistry. “[The demand is] only growing in life sciences for people to learn computational skills,” she said. Several PhD students remarked to her that they had to teach themselves, as computer science wasn’t covered in their typical undergraduate curriculum. Seeking advice from some principal investigators in her field, the value of the skill was confirmed further as a tool that would give her a strong edge on her applications. “Many PIs said someone with computational skills would absolutely be considered first.” As a biochemistry major, Emma took many classes that used digital more ››

Artist discovers a passion for computer science

When thinking about a college major, John Pham was most interested in art and robotics. So, when it came time to declare a major at the University of California, Riverside, he felt most drawn to mechanical engineering, well aware of the challenges that lay ahead. John’s first experience in coding happened at Citrus Hack, the April student hackathon at UCR. “I just went to check it out,” he says, but John actually produced a video game with his team. John discovered that web development and machine learning allowed him to integrate his artistic interests to solve problems. John initially braced himself for a tough start learning C++ in CS10, the introductory computer science course at UCR. “This is probably going to be the hardest class I’ve ever taken,” he remembers thinking. At first, John would take several tries on learning activities using zyBooks. By the end of the course, more ››

When students tell us how they really feel

Student feedback is vital to creating an effective learning experience. Every day, we receive questions and comments from students about zyBooks. Some of these students were kind enough to allow their comments to be shared – hear what they have to say!