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New Computer Science Degree Requirements

We've been hard at work re-designing the Computer Science major, and the new requirements go into effect in Fall 2016.   The re-designed major ensures that students organize their study of computer science around their long-term goals.  To this end, as part of their major, students will now choose an emphasis in Security, Software, Algorithms and Complexity, or Data Science.  The Algorithms and Complexity emphasis focuses on the mathematical side of CS, exploiting our strength as a joint Math/CS department.  Data Science and Security emphases also leverage this strength; both are highly mathematical, and cover topics that are in high demand among employers.  The Software emphasis provides a more broad, traditional CS experience.  Students also have the option to design their own emphases with the guidance of their advisor; for instance, a student may choose to create an emphasis in Computer Science & Art, or Computational Biology. We are also adding lab sections to our introductory computing sequence.  This year, we added a lab to the first course in the sequence, CSCI 10, and next year we will be adding a lab to the second course, CSCI 60.  A lab allows students to begin programming with new ideas in a supported environment, before attempting homework on their own.  This makes homework less stressful, and the extra step of lab in between lecture and homework leads to more solid performance on homework.  Students have reacted very positively to the new labs, and we look forward to expanding their use in the coming years.

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