Dec 05, 2022  
2016-2017 Catalogue 
2016-2017 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science, B.A.

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Jennifer Bowen, Chair
Denise Byrnes, Associate Chair
Nathan Sommer
Sofia Visa

Computer Science is the study of computer programs, abstract models of computers, and applications of computing. Computer Science combines elements of mathematics, philosophy, languages, and natural science. Although computing technology is continuously changing, the core skills required to practice Computer Science remain the same: problem solving, abstract thinking, and independent learning.

The mission of the Computer Science program is to educate students in the theoretical foundation of the discipline and its creative application to the solution of complex problems, and to prepare students to learn independently in a discipline that is constantly changing. Supported by a liberal arts education, the program seeks to develop students who are sensitive to the wide range of social concerns influenced by the discipline and who are articulate in expression of their ideas and actions. Students successfully completing the Computer Science major should have the computer science background and the mathematical maturity needed to enter a graduate program in Computer Science or to take an entry-level position in a computing-related field.

As computing is increasingly applied to other fields, students in the natural sciences, business and economics, and other majors may benefit from a minor or double major in Computer Science.

Special Notes

  • Junior Independent Study: The College requirement of a third unit of Independent Study is satisfied through the independent work done as part of CSCI 20000 , which must be taken for senior standing in the major.
  • Advanced Placement: At most one course of advanced placement may be counted toward a major or minor. Advanced placement of one course in Computer Science is available to students who have taken the Advanced Placement Examination or an equivalent furnished by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Students are urged to take the AP Examination for this purpose when possible. The decision about granting such placement is made by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science after the student has consulted with the chairperson. Normally a minimum score of 3 on the examination is necessary, but such a score alone does not guarantee advanced placement. A student placed in CSCI 11000  will receive one course credit. The advanced placement policy of the College is explained in the section on Academic Policies .
  • Students are given a recommended placement in Computer Science based upon their high school record, their performance on the SAT and/or ACT, and their performance on a mathematics placement exam administered by the department during Summer registration.
  • Majors are encouraged to take related courses in physics, mathematics, economics, and philosophy.
  • Majors are strongly encouraged to complete the math sequence in the following order; MATH 11100 , MATH 21100 , MATH 21500 , and MATH 22300 .
  • The laboratory and classroom components are closely integrated in Computer Science courses with a laboratory and must therefore be taken concurrently. The course grade and the laboratory grade are identical and are based on performance in both components; the relative weight of the two components is stated in each course syllabus.
  • Multimedia Computing, CSCI 10000 , and Scientific Computing, CSCI 10200 , are designed specifically for students wanting a course in Computer Science to partially fulfill the College’s Learning Across the Disciplines requirements.
  • Those students who are oriented toward the application of the computer to a specific professional objective, such as industrial or business management, medicine, engineering, computational natural science, or law, should consider a Computer Science minor or double major in consultation with the adviser for those programs.
  • Combined programs of liberal arts and engineering are available. (See Pre- Professional and Dual Degree Programs: Pre-Engineering .)
  • Only grades of C- or better are acceptable in courses for the major or minor.

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