Maj
Min

Computer Science

About

As you ponder all the career fields open to a St. Mike’s computer science major (software engineer? artificial intelligence? web development?), think also about two famous quotes shared by our professors:

  • “Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.”-Edsger Dijkstra
  • “Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind.”-Donald Knuth

Our program will help you become proficient developing basic software after three initial required courses, but you’ll also be broadly educated in liberal arts and take focused core courses in the major. Once secure in computer theory and practice, you might work alongside the college’s IT staff pros, present your work at conferences, use our Linux lab or intern at IBM. Small personalized classes, department picnics, contests and guest-lectures help build a tight community of friendly, hard-working students who tackle great special projects together. Our graduates have a strong track record of landing desirable jobs upon graduation.

Sample 4-Year Plan

Fall

CS 111 Introduction to Computer Science I
MA 150 Calculus I
First Year Seminar
Liberal Studies course

Spring

CS 113 Introduction to Computer Science II
MA 160 Calculus II
Liberal Studies course
Liberal Studies course

Fall

CS 211 Data Structures and the Analysis of Algorithms
MA 207 Discrete Mathematics
Liberal Studies course
Elective

Spring

CS 213 Machine Organization and Assembly Language
MA 208 Theory of Computation
Elective
Elective

Fall

CS 303 Organization of Programming Languages
CS 311 Principles of Operating Systems
Junior Seminar
Elective

Spring

CS 313 Computer Architecture
ST 251 Probability and Statistics
Elective
Elective

Fall

CS 407 Software Engineering
Computer Science elective
Elective
Elective

Spring

Computer Science elective
Elective
Elective
Elective

In Depth

Computer Science as presented in our courses is primarily concerned with discovering new knowledge, with strong foundations in theory and selected application domains. The field is the basis for software engineering, just as chemistry forms the basis for chemical engineering or physics the basis for electrical engineering.

You’ll benefit from a carefully-planned balance between theory and practice, rooted in early proficiency with basic software development from your first three courses. You will move on to take core courses in Machine Organization, Programming Languages, Theory of Computation, Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, and Software Engineering.  Elective choices include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Communications and Networks
  • Database
  • Advanced Algorithm Analysis
  • eCommerce
  • Computer
  • Information Security

Here are some definitions to think about in order to better understand our program’s strong emphasis on software development or software engineering:

Engineering is building useful products for real people – that is, the development of solutions to technical problems within economic, social and technical constraints, under conditions of uncertainty. Examples include bridges, highways, skyscrapers, automobiles, dams, nuclear reactors, power grids, airplanes, space shuttles, lunar bases …and computers.

Software engineering (SE) is the engineering of computer software systems, encompassing the requirements, design, construction, management and evolution of software for use by others in industry, office and home. SE applies the scientific background acquired in the foundations of computer science to the development, operation, and maintenance of reliable, efficient, large-scale systems. . Examples include operating systems, search engines, communications networks, manufacturing control systems, and financial software systems.

Special Opportunities

As a St. Mike’s computer science major, you can experience what computers do for people in the “real world” by working part-time during the school year either for the college’s Information Technology Department or for local companies such Global Foundries, Dealer Policy, and Vermont Information Processing. You’ll have the chance to participate in independent study and research projects leading to conference presentations, published papers and software packages. The department also sponsors picnics, dinners, programming contests and guest speakers.

Students also regularly travel to regional programming contests and conferences, including the regional Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSCNE) and the Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. After your first-year courses, you may want to work in our campus Linux-based lab. It is not uncommon for a CS major to work on special computer-related projects in collaboration with professors outside our department too – statistics, psychology, mathematics data science, and economics are a few recent examples.

Careers

Our recent graduates have gone on to careers like:

  • Vermont Information Processing
  • PC Construction Company
  • Dealer Policy
  • Bayer
  • Travelers
  • Galen Healthcare
  • Raytheon
  • Tallan, Inc.
  • Epic Systems
  • Global Foundries
  • VENTURE.co

Graduate Programs Attended

  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • Northeastern University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will create clearly documented software that will be both efficient and robust.
  • Students will produce several solutions to typical computer science problems and use mathematical and/or experimental techniques to investigate and evaluate the value of their alternate solutions.
  • Students will analyze discipline specific material, determine its accuracy, and compose clear and concise prose that summarizes those ideas and/or challenges those conclusions.
  • Students will be prepared for careers that utilize their computing skills.

In Depth

Computer Science as presented in our courses is primarily concerned with discovering new knowledge, with strong foundations in theory and selected application domains. The field is the basis for software engineering, just as chemistry forms the basis for chemical engineering or physics the basis for electrical engineering.

You’ll benefit from a carefully-planned balance between theory and practice, rooted in early proficiency with basic software development from your first three courses. You will move on to take core courses in Machine Organization, Programming Languages, Theory of Computation, Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, and Software Engineering.  Elective choices include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Communications and Networks
  • Database
  • Advanced Algorithm Analysis
  • eCommerce
  • Computer
  • Information Security

Here are some definitions to think about in order to better understand our program’s strong emphasis on software development or software engineering:

Engineering is building useful products for real people – that is, the development of solutions to technical problems within economic, social and technical constraints, under conditions of uncertainty. Examples include bridges, highways, skyscrapers, automobiles, dams, nuclear reactors, power grids, airplanes, space shuttles, lunar bases …and computers.

Software engineering (SE) is the engineering of computer software systems, encompassing the requirements, design, construction, management and evolution of software for use by others in industry, office and home. SE applies the scientific background acquired in the foundations of computer science to the development, operation, and maintenance of reliable, efficient, large-scale systems. . Examples include operating systems, search engines, communications networks, manufacturing control systems, and financial software systems.

Special Opportunities

As a St. Mike’s computer science major, you can experience what computers do for people in the “real world” by working part-time during the school year either for the college’s Information Technology Department or for local companies such Global Foundries, Dealer Policy, and Vermont Information Processing. You’ll have the chance to participate in independent study and research projects leading to conference presentations, published papers and software packages. The department also sponsors picnics, dinners, programming contests and guest speakers.

Students also regularly travel to regional programming contests and conferences, including the regional Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSCNE) and the Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. After your first-year courses, you may want to work in our campus Linux-based lab. It is not uncommon for a CS major to work on special computer-related projects in collaboration with professors outside our department too – statistics, psychology, mathematics data science, and economics are a few recent examples.

Careers

Our recent graduates have gone on to careers like:

  • Vermont Information Processing
  • PC Construction Company
  • Dealer Policy
  • Bayer
  • Travelers
  • Galen Healthcare
  • Raytheon
  • Tallan, Inc.
  • Epic Systems
  • Global Foundries
  • VENTURE.co

Graduate Programs Attended

  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • Northeastern University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will create clearly documented software that will be both efficient and robust.
  • Students will produce several solutions to typical computer science problems and use mathematical and/or experimental techniques to investigate and evaluate the value of their alternate solutions.
  • Students will analyze discipline specific material, determine its accuracy, and compose clear and concise prose that summarizes those ideas and/or challenges those conclusions.
  • Students will be prepared for careers that utilize their computing skills.