The Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering offers two programs of undergraduate study, one leading to a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and the other leading to a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. Both programs provide a balanced, practical and theoretical approach to the study of software and hardware that includes the latest advances in these two areas. These programs emphasize the development of problem solving skills applied to the analysis and design of real world problems. Students in these programs also are given a broad background in the fundamentals of mathematics and the physical sciences. Because of the similarities of the two programs, students cannot double major in computer science and computer engineering, nor can they major in computer engineering and minor in computer science.
The two programs differ in emphasis. Computer engineering focuses upon problems that arise from hardware and hardware development, whereas computer science concentrates on issues in computer applications and software development. Students are encouraged to develop hybrid programs of study that combine computer science/computer engineering with other disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, economics, geography, management science, mathematics, physics, visual arts and other related disciplines. Graduates of the computer science program are well-prepared for advanced studies and for problem-solving across the breadth of the discipline - the theory, design, development and application of computers and computer systems.
Major areas within the computer science program include programming languages, algorithms, operating systems, computer architecture, database systems and theory of computation. The program is designed to provide students with a firm grounding in the basics in each of these areas and deeper understanding in several of them. Computer science is a rich and diverse discipline. Areas of interest to computer scientists range from theoretical studies to software engineering (performance analysis, human factors, software development tools) to the very practical development of software for business and industry. Computer scientists find their skills — especially their problem solving skills — have wide applicability in academic and in industrial settings. The computer engineering program provides a practical and theoretical background in computer hardware, software, interfacing and design.
Areas of interest to computer engineers range from circuit theory and digital signal processing to the study of software/hardware interfaces to the design and analysis of hardware systems and devices. Emphasis is placed on the development of problem-solving skills through hands-on laboratory experience with commercial electronic design software and hardware systems. These skills prepare computer engineers for various academic and industrial positions. The department has close ties with nearby centers of research and development, such as NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Defense, the Center for Computing Sciences, Northrop Grumman and Verizon.
For official curriculum for this major, please visit the online undergraduate catalog. This site is your one-stop location for academic policies, major requirements, academic support services, and the first year experience.
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