About Computer Science
- E. J. Dijkstra
Computer science is the study of the structure, transformation, and limits of information. Computer scientists use the notions of algorithmand representation as a means to understand nature and to design artificial systems.
Software engineering is one of the key applications of computer science today. From handheld wireless devices to supercomputers, software is pervasive. The analysis, design, construction, and maintenance of these vast yet highly intricate software systems is one of the greatest practical challenges in the world today.
The undergraduate computer science curriculum at Lamar consists of classic computer science mixed with a strong component of programming and software design. Students begin their study of programming in the Java language, then move on to learn about data structures, algorithms, computer systems. Electives include courses in web programming, databases, networks, artificial intelligence and 3D graphics programming.
The graduate curriculum is described in the Graduate Studies Section.
The study of computer science cultivates talents in many different areas. It develops imagination (the ability to create and relate new and unforeseen objects), mathematical skill (the ability to think abstractly and logically), technical virtuosity (mastery of complex computer languages such as C++), and discipline (adaptation to the rigors of large and demanding projects). These analytical and creative talents give our majors a dramatic edge in business leadership. The emphasis on creativity that is central to computer science education is a key attraction. Computer science students have the privilege of being on the inside of one of the most profound intellectual and creative developments in human history. If that were not reward enough, there is always the money: The average starting salary for a software engineer with C++ and Java skills ranges from $65,625 to $101,383. [Source: RH Technology 2004 Salary Guide].
Computer science touches nearly every human endeavor, and students majoring in other disciplines are invited to consider a minor or double major with computer science:
"We need more computer scientists whose passions are art, language, literature, education, entertainment, psychology, biology, music, history or political science. We need them because computers have an impact on all areas in our world. We need people with passion and vision from every area to drive the development of computer technology as well as applications."
-- Maria Klawe, "Refreshing the Nerds", Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery (July 2001)