major requirements

Learn about the CS Major, 10/25

Are you trying to figure out your major? Is Computer Science one of the possibilities? Come join the CS department at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, 25 October 2016, in Science 3821, to learn about the CS major. We'll give an overview of the major, opportunities for students, and more. You'll also have the chance to talk to faculty and students.

Planning with Grinnell's New CS Curriculum and Major

Grinnell's computer science curriculum and major are in transtion!

As discussed in past Thursday Extras, revisions to the curriculum have been motivated by faculty perspectives, alumni feedback, and recommendations by the national professional societies (ACM and IEEE-CS). New and revised offerings reflect emerging subject areas, expansion of cutting-edge pedagogy, and explicit connections with Grinnell's core values. The innovative packaging of topics ensure that majors will cover numerous core subjects within the field, while allowing students to select a range of courses that support their career and educational goals.

Final approvals for this new curriculum were completed about two weeks ago, and the full proposal will go into effect over this coming summer.

The Thursday Extra on Thursday, February 26, will look ahead to highlight new courses, consider scheduling possibilities, and suggest possible options for students with various varying interests.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The presentation, “Planning with Grinnell's New CS Curriculum and Major,” will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: Rethinking Mathematics in CS at Grinnell

On October 27, members of the computer science department's faculty will share information on potential new major requirements and a discrete structures course.

Mathematics serves many purposes within the CS curriculum. Certainly, mathematical techniques are necessary for a wide variety of activities, including linear algebra in computer graphics, mathematical induction as a precursor to recursion, and a variety of techniques in artificial intelligence. In addition, in order to successfully analyze algorithms, an activity central to computer science, students need some mathematical sophistication, including an ability to read and write proofs.

For many years, Grinnell has relied on MAT 218, Combinatorics, to ensure that students had an appropriate background for the computer science major. However, the CS faculty have also been concerned about the effects on students of MAT 218's long prerequisite chain.

The Computer Science and Mathematics/Statistics departments are considering offering a new course entitled "Discrete Structures" that will serve many of the needs of CS majors and will approach many topics through both a mathematical and computational perspective. The new course is also likely to have prerequisites of MAT 131, Calculus I, and CSC 151, Functional Problem Solving. Dr. Stone's notes on a possible structure for that course appear here.

If this new course is offered, the Computer Science department is likely to change its requirements so that students may take either MAT 218 or this new course. Before we move forward further with these proposals, we would like to hear from our students.

We invite you to come meet with us to discuss the new course and the potential changes to the computer science curriculum. Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The presentation and discussion will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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