Overview of the Computer Science Program at University of Delaware

The Department of Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) offers two computer science degree majors and an information systems major.

The majority of computer science majors pursue the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) degree, a focused technical course of study. The Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science (BACS) is a more flexible liberal arts program, especially good for students double- or triple- majoring, or students who desire a technical undergraduate degree before attempting a professional degree (law, medical, business).

The BS curriculum emphasizes software development and computer theory with the goal that students learn how computers are used to solve real-life problems. Majors develop excellent programming skills as they build a solid foundation in the theory and practice of computer science and software engineering. All of the members of the department's faculty hold doctorates. The research of the faculty encompasses areas such as artificial intelligence and natural language processing, networking, high performance and parallel computing systems, graphics and computer vision, multimedia, software engineering and testing, bioinformatics, theory and algorithms, and computer algebra. The upper-level course offerings reflect these areas as well as cover other topics such as database managements systems and web technology. Within the BS program, students are encouraged to explore how other subject areas impact and are impacted by computer science through a four-course concentration in a related discipline such as management information systems, game design, networking, graphics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, or many others.

A Bachelor of Science major in Information Systems (INSY) combines business and information technology subjects. It is designed to satisfy demand for students with a combination of technical and business training. Indeed, the major was designed through a process of consultation between business, government, and academic leaders. Related majors in Computer Science and in Management Information Systems are described in separate guides. The Information Systems major is oriented toward students interested in the design of new software systems for business and consumer needs.

What's Special about the Program:

The diverse interests of the faculty members give majors a wide range of courses from which to choose. Because classes typically have no more than 40 students, students benefit from a high level of interaction with their professors. The concentration component also allows majors to pursue related interests in line with their career goals. Students are strongly encouraged to get involved in undergraduate research through independent studies and funded research experiences, with the goal of learning from internationally recognized scholars outside the classroom and participating in the exciting quest for new contributions to the field. In the last three years, student research activity has led to national recognition by the Computing Research Association for five of our majors. The department faculty are active researchers and superb teachers who devote extensive time and effort to educating, mentoring, and advising students. Eight of our faculty have been awarded the prestigious university-wide Excellence-in-Teaching Award, which is given to only four faculty each year among the over 1000 faculty at the University of Delaware.

Facilities and Resources:

The department is committed to providing students with access to the most advanced computer technology available and maintains research laboratories jointly with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as separate research laboratories for subareas requiring extensive experimental studies. CIS and ECE jointly manage high performance clusters being used for coursework and research in parallel computing, networking, artificial intelligence, and multimedia.

Career Paths:

A degree in computer science opens the door to careers in software development, software engineering, systems analysis, and marketing in a variety of industries and businesses. Some students go on to graduate study in top graduate programs. For example, recent graduates are currently pursuing graduate work at Cornell, Princeton, and Waterloo. Delaware graduates obtain jobs with major computer manufacturers and software development firms such as IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, and major corporations such as DuPont and Bank of America. Employment opportunities also are available in virtually every manufacturing and service industry such as chemical companies, consumer products firms, banks and financial services companies. Government contractors and small software development firms represent other potential employers. Several have been created by our graduates.

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