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  • Undergraduate Computer Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The Computer Science major is designed to prepare students for either professional employment in the computer science and programming fields or for graduate study in computer science. Students receive a thorough grounding in modern computer science theory and learn how this theory can be applied to the design of complex software systems.

The curriculum begins with a year-long introduction to the art and science of computer programming, using the Java language. This introduces concepts of object-oriented programming, development and analysis of algorithms, and principles of software design.

The student’s intermediate years involve the study of how hardware is constructed and organized, the nature and development of programming languages, the study of efficient data structures and algorithms, and the theoretical study of the computational process. Experience is gained using procedural, functional, logic, and object-oriented programming languages. At each stage, appropriate mathematics is used as a method of describing and reasoning about computing systems.

The student’s final year is devoted to using this foundation to design and engineer major software projects in areas such as compiler and operating system design, computer graphics, or artificial intelligence. Incorporated into the major is a strong mathematics and natural science component. Calculus, discrete mathematics, and probability and statistics form the nucleus of a math program that earns the graduate a core concentration in mathematics. The program also includes a minimum of three semesters of lab based science. Students may elect to earn a minor in mathematics (by taking a sixth mathematics course) or to take a fourth science course.

While rigorous, three free electives permit the student to pursue an interest in an unrelated discipline. With the addition of two or three courses, most students would be able to earn a minor in an additional field.

The Computer Science Program is designed to enable graduates to anticipate and to respond effectively to the uncertainties of a changing technological, social, political and economic world. Specific program educational objectives and outcomes include:

Program Educational Objectives

During the first few years after graduation, we expect our graduates to:

  1. Apply disciplinary knowledge and skill to analyze, design, implement, and test solutions to applied problems individually and in diverse teams. Present solutions using the variety of media that best promotes understanding.
  2. Continue to grow intellectually and professionally in the computing sciences and appreciate the continuous pursui of knowledge in other areas of interest.
  3. Use knowledge and draw on experiences relevant to current and emerging needs in computing sciences and recognize the social, ethical, and cultural impact of technology in a global setting.
  4. Serve as an exemplar and ambassador of the RWU Computer Science program, strengthening its tradition of excellence, by becoming active in professional societies and organizations and by volunteering within your community.

Degree Requirements

The major in computer science leads to the Bachelor of Science degree. Students normally complete a minimum of 121 credits, including satisfaction of all University Core Curriculum requirements. The approved outline is as follows:

First Year (14 credits) - Fall

COMSC 110 Introduction to Computer Science I & Lab (4 credits)
CORE 102 History and the Modern World (3 credits)
MATH 213 Calculus I & Lab (4 credits)
WTNG 102 Expository Writing (3 credits)

First Year (15 credits) - Spring

COMSC 111 Data Structures & Lab (4 credits)
MATH 214 Calculus II & Lab (4 credits)
MATH 221 Discrete Mathematics (3 credits)
    Science course sequence & lab (first course) (4 credits)
(BIO103 or CHEM191 or PHYS201)
(4 credits)

Second Year (17 credits) - Fall

COMSC 210 Principles of Computer Organization & Lab (4 credits)
COMSC 335 Theory of Computation (3 credits)
CORE 103 Human Behavior in Perspective (3 credits)
WTNG 220 Critical Writing for the Professions (3 credits)
    Science course sequence & lab (second course)
(BIO104 or CHEM192 or PHYS202)
(4 credits)

Second Year (16 credits) - Spring

COMSC 230 Principles of Programming Languages (3 credits)
COMSC 340 Analysis of Algorithms (3 credits)
CORE 104 Literature, Philosophy and the Ascent of Ideas (3 credits)
MATH 315 Probability & Statistics (3 credits)
    Additional science course with lab (CORE 101 is not acceptable) (4 credits)

Third Year (16 credits) - Fall

COMM 210 Introduction to Public Speaking (3 credits)
COMSC 420 Principles of Operating Systems (3 credits)
CORE 105 The Artistic Impulse (3 credits)
ENGR 270 Digital Systems Design & Lab (4 credits)

Third Year (15 or 16 credits) - Spring

COMM 440 Language Translation & Compiler Design (3 credits)
ENGR 445 Dynamic Modeling and Control (3 credits)
    Computer Science Elective (3 credits)
MATH   Math Elective (200 or above) (3/4 credits)
    Elective (3 credits)

Fourth Year (15 credits) - Fall

COMSC 490 Integrated Senior Design I (3 credits)
CORE   Core Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar (3 credits)
ENGR 445 Data Communications (3 credits)
    Computer Science Elective (3 credits)
    Elective (3 credits)

Fourth Year (13 or 14 credits) - Spring

COMSC 401 Computer Science Senior Seminar (1 credit)
COMSC 492 Integrated Senior Design II (3 credits)
ENGR 465 Network Analysis & Design (3 credits)
    Computer Science Elective (3 credits)
    Math Elective (>200) (3 credits)
or      
    Science Elective (3/4 credits)

Total: 121-122 Semester Credits

Computer science electives must be selected from the following list:

COMSC 410 Artificial Intelligence (3 credits)
COMSC 450 Special Topics (with permission of advisor) (3 credits)
ENGR 240 Circuit Theory & Lab (4 credits)
ENGR 424 Digital Signal Processing (3 credits)
ENGR 450 Mechatronics (3 credits)