Majors & Minors

Computer Science

From developing interactive Web applications for nonprofit organizations to creating a mathematical model of the optimal free throw in basketball, you’ll learn to apply theory to real-world issues in creative and interdisciplinary ways.


Jacob Schrum

Jacob Schrum

Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Chair


Jacob Schrum

Jacob Schrum

Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Chair

Fulfilling Southwestern’s commitment to interdisciplinary learning, the Math and Computer Science Department provides an integrated approach to solving complex, open-ended problems—a skill necessary for succeeding in the digital age and beyond. Math students discover new ways of seeing and engaging with the world around them, from predicting national healthcare expenditures or timing cancer treatments to analyzing traffic accidents and visitations to a national park. More than just learning how to code, computer science students theorize about systems while developing algorithms and gaining hands-on experiences with database management.

Whether you major in computer science, mathematics, or computational mathematics, you will be empowered to make a positive impact on the world. You will hone your critical and creative thinking through such courses as Operations Research, Artificial Intelligence, Graph Theory, and Topology. But you will also have opportunities to combine your interests in math and computer science with your passion for the arts or community service. Our recent students have

  • Used hyperbolic geometry to crochet models of Texas coral reefs
  • Analyzed the structure of the Choose Your Own Adventure series using graph theory
  • Created computer systems that generated artistic animations
  • Composed a musical performance modeling how the HIV virus proliferates through the body
  • Partnered with Upward Bound and GirlStart to improve their websites and databases

Collaborating one on one with our award-winning faculty to advance the frontiers of knowledge is just one advantage of the SU experience. As mentors and advisors, our faculty encourage student engagement with the broader mathematics community. Current students and alumni have participated in faculty-supervised research, but they have also initiated projects that have resulted in presentations and posters at regional, national, or international conferences. Our majors have garnered awards with faculty and coauthored publications in peer-reviewed journals. Students also participate in national competitions such as the Putnam Competition, the COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling, the Binance Dexathon, and the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.


Featured Alumni Stories

Sarah Friday ’20 and Lord Chair and Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Fumiko Futamura in SCOPE 2019

Generating Art

Sarah Friday ’20 has published original research on art generated by artificial intelligence while double majoring in the seemingly disparate fields of art and computer science.

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Mike May ’20

With Energy to Spare

Recent physics graduate Mike May ’20 demonstrates how taking risks by learning outside your major is crucial to becoming a leader in innovation.

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Ben and Michael Patterson ’17

“The Best of Both Worlds”

For student–athletes Ben Patterson ’17 and Michael Patterson ’17, the Southwestern Experience included a foray into entrepreneurship.

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Computer Science News

Anna Krolikowski ’20 studied abroad in London during the fall of her sophomore year.

Computers and Creativity

Anna Krolikowski ’20 sees creativity and story as the common denominators of her English and computer science majors.

Ocean research

Of Whales in Research

Physics major Hayden Smith ’20 is studying ocean engineering in hopes of pursuing a career in renewable energy.


Math/CS Lecture Series goes Virtual

The regularly occurring 403 lectures hosted by the Mathematics and Computer Science department found new life online during COVID-19.