Department information

Why choose Computer Science: a message from the chair

Dear UMD Students and Candidates:

When making life-long decision concerning your profession please consider the following arguments why to choose Computer Science as your career:

  1. Computer Science is different than natural sciences such as physics, chemistry, and biology. These sciences are limited by the law of nature. Computer science is not. It is only limited by the rules of mathematical logic and, more generally, by discrete mathematics. Priniciples of logic and discrete mathematics do not depend on specific technology. As a result studying Computer Science makes you less vulnerable to changes in technological advances.

  2. Computer Science is also different than other engineering disciplines. Classical engineering disciplines depend on specific rules of statics and dynamics of their designs and constructions. Again, Computer Science is not. It depends on mathematical logic and discrete mathematics which impose less design limitations. As a result Computer Science designs allow more creativity and flexibility.

  3. In the state of Massachusetts alone software industry (the major employer of computer scienctists) is an annual business of $10.5 billions. This amount constitues 10% of the US $105 billions software industry and 5% of the global world-wide software industry worth annually $210 billions.
  4. According to the Massachusetts Technology Leaders Council (it includes Massachusetts Software Council), in the state of Massachusetts there is 2,700 software companies that employ 146,000 software engineers. The software industry is predicted to grow annually 8% as compared with GNP US national growth of 3.5%. Please visit the web site for additional information:

  5. On national level please visit the site of the Bureau of Labor Statisitcs of the US Department of Labor to find out "what computer scienctists do" and "how many jobs" in software engineering will be available between 2004-2014:

  6. Our Computer Science program at UMASS Dartmouth is both "heads on" (to provide solid foundations for life-long learning) and "hands on" (to provide practical skills for current software industry).

Boleslaw Mikolajczak, Ph.D. CIS Department Chair

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What it is

UMass Dartmouth offers a Bachelor of Science Degree, a minor, and a Master of Science Degree in computer and information science.

Computer science students graduate with a strong background in computer hardware and software, as well as a substantial amount of "hands on" experience.

The program covers a range of topics in computer science, including computer programming, programming languages, program design, software engineering, computer graphics, foundations of artificial intelligence, databases, networking, and parallel and distributed computing.

The UMass Dartmouth computer science program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the ABET(Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

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What you study

A total of 120 credits are needed for a B.S. in computer science. The bulk of study is devoted to computer and information science courses.

In addition to the courses required for a major in computer and information science, students meet the college's requirements for a well-rounded general education. Students take a variety of elected and required courses in subjects such as English, literature, the humanities (history, philosophy, art, music and foreign language), and social sciences (economics, political science, psychology, and sociology).

A wide selection of courses are offered in software engineering, computer languages, artificial intelligence, computer networks, operating systems, computer architecture, computer graphics, human computer interaction and data bases, computer theory, and design of parallel algorithms.

A typical freshman takes Analytical Geometry and Calculus, Discrete Structures, Computer Programming, Introduction to Program Design, Freshman Seminar, Critical Writing and Reading, and a humanities and social sciences course.

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Careers and further study

Graduates of the computer science program are prepared to pursue graduate study in the discipline, or work in a variety of computer-related positions in the business computer industry or various public and private organizations. Many recent graduates have gone on to graduate studies at UMass Dartmouth or institutions such as Brown University.

Graduates of the computer science program are working at, among others, NYNEX, GTE, Amica Insurance, Xenergy, Inc., Unisys, Autochiam, Inc., Microsoft, and Oracle.

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Honors and awards

Each year, outstanding computer and information science students are recognized at the University Honors Convocation.

Students may also participate in the University Honors Program. To achieve this, they maintain a grade point average of at least 3.2 and complete 30 of their credits at the honors level (either by taking designated honors courses, or developing their own program within a course through "honors contracts"). Upon completion and graduation, University Honors Students receive the distinction "Commonwealth Scholar."

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With more than 200 computer workstations available to the public at UMass Dartmouth, computer science courses are supported by a network of state-of-the-art workstations. The university provides basic training on all computers at no charge to students.

Standard software used includes word processors, spreadsheets, graphics, communications and database management tools. UMass Dartmouth students may also use Internet, an international electronic network allowing exchange of electronic mail throughout the United States and many foreign countries and the World Wide Web.

In addition to the computer clusters available to all students at UMass Dartmouth, computer information science majors have access to powerful computers with specialized software in computing laboratories. These laboratories support computer-aided design and manufacturing, microelectronic circuit design, and robotics.

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The Computer Information Science Club aims to increase knowledge and understanding of their discipline, and provide a social outlet for computer scientists.

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