The Computer Science curriculum is traditional, at least in the early courses. The first two courses in the major are taught in Java, which is an excellent language for introducing object-oriented concepts.

The following list of courses represents current or recent course offerings. See the course catalog for updated information.

  • 54-144 Explorations in Computing
    This course is an introduction to the discipline of computer science with an emphasis on applications in the liberal arts. Topics include basic programming constructs, basic data structures, algorithmic computation, selection, iteration, interactive user interfaces, abstraction and reasoning about computer programs. This is an introductory course intended for humanities, social science and fine arts majors. May not be used for the Computer Science major or minor. Cannot be taken after successful completion of Computer Science 54-184, 54-284, or 54-454 without departmental approval. Contributes to Data Science. (Spring) (NS)
  • 54-184 Computer Science I
    This is the standard first course in computer programming in an object-oriented style. It is primarily intended for students pursuing a major or minor in computer science, mathematics or other disciplines in the natural sciences. Topics include primitive types and operations, assignment, conditional execution, iteration, arrays, classes, methods, recursion, encapsulation, type extension, inheritance and reasoning about programs in Java. The course includes a laboratory component designed to explore applications and to enhance conceptualization. Contributes to Data Science. (Fall, Spring) (NS)
  • 54-281 Colloquium in Computer Science Seminar-Style Course
    Presentation of one lecture and participation in discussions is required. This course may be repeated for credit, but may not be counted toward the major or minor. Must be taken Pass/D/F. Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Computer Science 54-284, and permission of the instructor.
  • 54-284 Computer Science II
    This course is a continuation of 54-184 Computer Science I, with an emphasis on abstract data objects such as lists, stacks, queues, trees and graphs, and test-first programming using the automated testing paradigm JUnit. Topics include algorithms for searching, sorting, traversing, inserting and deleting, and reasoning about these algorithms. The course includes a laboratory component designed to explore applications and to enhance conceptualization. Prerequisite: Computer Science 54-184 or permission of instructor. Contributes to Design Thinking. (Spring) (NS)
  • 54-291 Puzzling Programs
    Given a precise program specification and a few input/output examples, students will gain experience quickly devising a solution that passes a suite of unseen (and generally more complicated) input/output examples. Teamwork, troubleshooting code based on very limited feedback from automated systems, effectively reading problem descriptions, and discerning relevant details will be practiced. This course (or prior enrollment in this course) is required for students wishing to compete in the South Central USA Regional ACM Programming Contest. This course may be repeated for credit, but may not be counted towards the major or minor. Must be taken P/D/F. Prerequisite: Computer Science 54-184. (Fall)
  • 54-384 Discrete Mathematics
    This course investigates concepts in the modeling of discrete phenomena. Topics include logic, structure of proof, set theory, combinatorics, graphs, induction and recurrence relations. Also Mathematics 52-384. Prerequisites: Mathematics 52-164, Computer Science 54-184, and either Mathematics 52-264 or Computer Science 54-284, or permission of instructor. (Fall) (NS)
  • 54-394 Computer Organization
    This course studies computer architecture, internal representation of data, assembly language programming, subroutines and parameter passing, design of machine language instruction sets, bus structure, digital logic, and support for parallelism. The course includes a laboratory component designed to explore applications and to enhance conceptualization. Prerequisite: Computer Science 54-284 or permission of instructor. (Fall) (NS)
  • 54-414 Operations Research
    Formulation and solution of problems with management, economics, engineering and science applications using modeling, optimization techniques, and simulation. Topics include linear and integer programming, simplex method, duality, sensitivity analysis, branch and bound algorithm, transportation and assignment problems, network optimization, and problem solving using optimization software. Also Mathematics 52-414 and Business 30-414. Prerequisites: Mathematics 52-164 (Modern Calculus I), and either Business 30-474 (Finance) or Mathematics 52-674 (Linear Algebra), or permission of the instructor. Contributes to Data Science.
  • 54-424 Artificial Intelligence
    This course studies the use of computer algorithms to emulate the cognitive and problem solving capabilities of humans. Topics include: search, optimization, reinforcement learning, evolutionary computation, statistical methods and (deep) neural networks. Prerequisite: Computer Science 54-284 or permission of instructor. (NS)
  • 54-454 Algorithms
    An introduction to the design and analysis of algorithms and their implementation in C++. Topics include: greedy, divide-and-conquer, dynamic programming, graph, and randomized algorithms; asymptotic analysis and computational tractability (e.g. NP-completeness); practical data structures (stacks, trees, queues, graphs, hash tables, heaps). Prerequisite: Computer Science 54-284, or permission of instructor. Contributes to Design Thinking. (Spring) (NS)
  • 54-474 Programming Languages
    A study of the principles and practice in the design and implementation of imperative, functional, logic and object-oriented programming languages. Prerequisite: Computer Science 54-394 or permission of instructor. (Fall) (NS)
  • 54-514 Database Management
    An introduction to the theory and practice of database management systems. Topics include database terminology, the entity-relationship model, the relational model, normalization, querying databases using SQL, and exploration of other database technologies. The course includes a laboratory component designed to explore applications and to enhance conceptualization. Prerequisite: Computer Science 54-284 or permission of instructor. (NS)
  • 54-524 Introduction to Numerical Analysis
    See Mathematics 52-524. (NS)
  • 54-534 Functional Programming
    An introduction to functional programming. Topics include functions, lists, types, induction and recursion, pattern matching, infinite lists and trees. A functional programming language such as Haskell, Lisp or ML will be used in the course. There will be a large number of programming projects. Prerequisite: Computer Science 54-284 or permission of instructor. (NS)
  • 54-644 Computer Systems
    An introduction to operating systems and computer networks. Topics include process control, scheduling, threads, concurrency, memory management, virtual memory, network protocol layers, packets, routing and network security. Prerequisite: Computer Science 54-394. (Spring) (NS)
  • 54-844 Seminar in Special Topics
    A limited enrollment seminar not generally covered in other courses. This course may be repeated for credit as topics vary. (NS)
  • 54-894 Senior Seminar in Software Engineering
    Introduction to techniques and theories for the development of large software systems. This course will fulfill the capstone requirement in Computer Science. Topics include: software design and quality, ethics, professional issues, the study of current software engineering trends, theory and practice. Each student will contribute substantially to a major semester project, do at least one major individual presentation, and have significant class participation. Each student will take the Major Field Test. Prerequisite: Six courses in the major at the 300 level or above, and permission of instructor. Must have completed one of Computer Science 54-454, 54-514, or 54-474. (Spring) (NS) (WA)