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Computing Sciences at the College
Computer Science and Computer Information Systems
Computer science is the study of the theory and practice of computation. A computer scientist creates new hardware and software that is more efficient, effective, and reliable. Computer information systems, on the other hand, is the study of the use of computers for systematic organization of data that supports efficient and accurate collection, processing, analysis and retrieval of information. An information system specialist applies existing technology to solve real world problems. Both incorporate aspects of several other fields: mathematics, to analyze the properties of algorithms and data structures; engineering, to design and construct practical programs and machines; the experimental sciences, both to investigate the behavior of programs running on real machines and to use programs for modeling scientific phenomena; the cognitive sciences, to develop "intelligent" programs and to study computation in relation to human intelligence; and business administration, to identify information needs of organizations.
Computer science and computer information systems are young and rapidly developing fields. Presently their chief areas, reflected in regular course offerings at the College, are: algorithms, data structures, programming languages, software engineering, object-oriented design and development, systems analysis, software project management, computer organization, architecture, operating systems, artificial intelligence, decision support and expert systems, computer networks, computer and network security, database systems, data mining, web publishing, multimedia, electronic commerce, etc. Other areas are covered in independent study and topics courses. In addition, students can gain valuable job experience through internship programs and Brockport Career Exploration courses (BCEC).
The programs offered by the department provide students with an excellent basis for a variety of careers and for graduate study. Possible careers include programming, system analysis and design, maintenance, management and user support of software in areas such as business, science, engineering, and computer systems. Fields of graduate study include computer science, mathematics, information systems, information management, and various areas of science and engineering.
Options in Programs
The computing sciences programs at The College at Brockport are rigorous and strive to present students with the most thorough education possible in this rapidly changing field. Students may select from courses designed to prepare them for a wide variety of postgraduate and career goals. The purpose of this section is to provide information which will aid the student in developing the program which best suits his or her individual needs.
A student interested in computing sciences has several options to choose from:
- A major in computer science (CSC) in one of the two tracks:
- A major in computer information systems (CIS) (accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET, http://www.abet.org)
- A double major in computer science and computer information systems
- A double major in computer science or computer information systems and another discipline such as mathematics or business administration
- A minor in computer science
- A minor in computer information systems
Both majors offered by the department have several entry-level courses in common. Hence, the selection of a specific major and the track, if any, may be postponed until the sophomore year. Students majoring in computer science have the option of switching between tracks before graduation. Further, students may choose a major in computer science and a minor in computer information systems, or vice versa, subject to some restrictions in courses and credits.
Students should strive to choose a coherent set of courses aimed at achieving their educational goals. Suggested course sequences for all programs are presented in the section on Useful Information for Students. An individual student's program should, however, be discussed with his or her faculty advisor. It is suggested that students consider a minor or a second major in another discipline to complement their computer science or computer information systems major.
Internships, Theses, and Other Capstone Experiences
Students are strongly encouraged to widen their educational experience by pursuing an independent study, an internship, a senior thesis, or a study abroad program. Students can gain valuable job experience through the Internship program, offered by the Department of Computer Science. The student works in an employment setting under close supervision; internships and career exploration may be paid or unpaid, but both award college credit. A third possibility to gain work experience is to seek on-campus employment in the computing laboratories, in particular with the Information Technology Services or the Office of Telecommunication Services. Students interested in pursuing a graduate program are strongly urged to consider an independent study or the thesis option to test out their potential for independent research and advanced study. Students interested in pursuing a graduate program are also encouraged to seek work experience as a tutor or a laboratory assistant, either in the Department of Computer Science or the Student Learning Center.