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Welcome to the Computer Science Department

Whether you are a student, parent, or a prospective faculty member, we would like to welcome you to our Department. The faculty and staff of this Department are proud of what it is, and what it will become.

We're student friendly! We recognize that the most important part of our Department is its students.Our goal is to give our students an outstanding education and outstanding opportunities to participate in cutting edge research projects. We encourage both graduate and undergraduate majors to participate with faculty in research. We are also committed to showing our majors what it means to be a computer scientist through seminars and active student organizations.

Students working on a project

Graduate Programs. We grant the following graduate degrees: PhD in Computer Science, Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science with project or research option, Master of Computer Science (MCS) with coursework only, and Master of Science (MS) in Data Science with thesis only. The CS department has active graduate-level research in a wide variety of fields.

Undergraduate Programs. We offer a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science degree. It is a professional degree program and accredited by the ABET, Inc. Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC). Students completing the BS degree are prepared to work in all aspects of the computing industry or to enter quality graduate programs. 

We offer two minors and five certificate programs, all of which are designed to further knowledge transfer across multiple layers of the broader community.

The Computer Science Minor provides foundational computing skills and knowledge that can be applied to many fileds; the Computer Science Teaching Minor trains current USU students working on degrees in education.

Our CS Teaching Level 1 and CS Teaching Level 2 certificate programs are online and allow K-12 teachers to earn a CS teaching endorsement. The other three certificate programs, Software Development, Web & Mobile Developer, and Cloud Computing, are specializations in the CS field. These are available to current USU students, as well as individuals int he broader community.

Faculty
Our faculty are recognized leaders in educating students in a variety of fields, including but not limited to:

Artificial Intelligence      Computer Vision High-Performance Computing
Machine Learning Robotics Computer Science Education
Deep Learning Human-Centered Privacy and Security Computational Geometry
Data Science Interactive Visual Analytics Software Systems

We have a diverse student body and faculty. The Department of Computer Science is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation from CSAB for its undergraduate program. We are one of six Departments in the College of Science.

overhead Logan CanyonIn addition to offering all of the educational and research opportunities of an outstanding Computer Science Department, we also offer our students, faculty, and staff a lifestyle that is outdoor-oriented with access to many of the cultural experiences of a larger city. USU is located in Northern Utah’s beautiful Cache Valley in the city of Logan.

With a population of over 50,000, we have access to all of the amenities of a modern city, and are still only minutes away from outstanding ski areas, wilderness camping, mountain biking, etc. Logan is host to the nation’s longest one day bike race – LOTOJA, and the Top of Utah Marathon. In addition, Logan is within driving distance of some of America’s premier National Parks, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone. We are only about an hour away from the Salt Lake Valley with its international airport and world class cultural opportunities.

Mission

Student working with Virtual Reality

 

The mission of the Department of Computer Science is to graduate students who are prepared with a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in the field of computer science that readies them for the workforce or graduate study. Our focus on learning, communication, and teamwork skills prepares students to meet the challenges required to adapt and innovate in a rapidly changing field, to engage in lifelong learning, and contribute to society.

Department's Academic Objectives

The core objective of the Department is to fulfill its mission as defined in its mission statement.

In addition to Student Outcomes, the following categorized objectives, when met, will serve to fulfill the mission of the Department.

Curriculum

  1. Each course delivered to computer science majors will be technically current, and pedagogically sound. Course content and pedagogy will be determined by established by curriculum committees and approved at the Department level.
  2. Where prerequisites are given, they will be appropriate and necessary.
  3. Both theory and application will be integrated into the curriculum. In this way, a student completing the program will be ready to contribute to their field and have the necessary intellectual tools to continue to learn after graduation, whether it be in a structured educational environment or a self-taught environment.
  4. The curriculum will include sufficient course work in the liberal arts to give graduates the breadth needed to be contributing members of society. In addition, ethics and values will be taught to give students the tools to needed to be positive contributors to society.
  5. The undergraduate computer science degree, and all options within it, will be accredited by the appropriate professional organization(s).
  6. At the upper undergraduate and graduate level, students will have the opportunity to take leading-edge 5000-level courses in each of the seven research areas of the Department, namely, artificial intelligence, data science, high-performance computing, computer sceince education, computational geometry, privacy and security, and software systems. Courses at the 6000-level will present cutting-edge knowledge in their area of emphasis.

Teaching

  1. Quality teaching is valued.
  2. All tenure-track faculty members will be expected to have adequate breadth of background to teach computer science classes at all levels in the curriculum.
  3. Teaching is a significant component of every tenure-track faculty member's role and performance as a teacher will be considered in all faculty evaluations.
  4. Where resources and facilities permit, teaching techniques and technologies that are most effective for computer science instruction will be used.
  5. In addition to classroom instruction, laboratory and significant out-of-class homework experiences will be measurable components of the program.
  6. Student and peer evaluations of teaching performance will be sought and used.

Research

  1. Research and graduate student supervision are important components of a tenure-track faculty member's role.
  2. Research is an important means by which the Department advances the state of the art in computer science.
  3. The graduate student's supervisory committee will ensure that a plan A thesis contains an appropriate component of originality and a plan B report presents research results of an appropriate level.
  4. Faculty members supervising graduate students will be current in their respective area(s) of emphasis.
  5. Faculty members will seek external funding as needed to enable them to maintain their research program and support graduate research assistants.
  6. Faculty members will publish and/or present the results of their research through appropriate channels.
 

Service

  1. Faculty and staff will be service oriented.
  2. Where appropriate, faculty members will participate in extension and distance learning programs.
  3. Faculty members will make themselves available to the community as experts and consultants.
  4. Faculty members will actively contribute to the scientific community.

Students

  1. The Department will devote time and resources to recruit and retain the best students available to the program.
  2. Students will be frequently and meaningfully evaluated as they progress through the program.
  3. Input from students concerning curriculum, teaching, research, and the program in general will be sought and used.

Advisement

  1. Forms, check sheets, etc. which accurately and completely describe program requirements will be maintained and available to all majors.
  2. The Department will maintain contact with its majors through electronic means and meetings with advisors.