Computer Information Science

Computer Information Science focuses on computer-based problem solving - particularly through algorithms and their implementation in programming languages. From system analysis to mobile apps, as a Computer Information Science major at Western, you'll learn and develop solutions to challenging problems while gaining skills that can be applied in many different fields.

What Is the Computer Information Science about?

The CIS program teaches the fundamentals of computation that are common to all branches of Computer Science.   Our students learn the basics of programming languages, algorithms, software engineering, web applications, and system development.  Throughout the curriculum we emphasize written and verbal skills, teamwork, and problem solving.   Graduates of our program are able to use computing in a wide variety of situations.  Students who choose to combine CIS with other disciplines find that their computing skills make them better at whatever field they are interested in.

Beyond the Classroom

Our program provides many opportunities for students to customize their education.  An internship or capstone project is required in the program, allowing students to get real-world experience as part of their education.   Our internships have covered a wide range of companies, including  Amazon, Cigna Health Systems, Konica/Minolta, Rocky Mountain Biological Lab, CRM Culture, and Innovative Technology Systems.  In addition to the opportunity to do a capstone project, our program encourages students to participate in independent studies and directed research projects throughout their time in our program.  We have a robotics group that has worked with a wide variety of robot platforms.  Our students have developed the 3-D game software used in our computer camp, built websites for local organizations, analyzed campus web traffic, created course scheduling software, and helped build kinetic sculpture with the art department.

After Graduation

Computing is essential to all aspects of our society.  Jobs in computing are high paying and plentiful.  There are many different career paths in Computer Science, including software engineering, web development, video game programming, information technology, mobile device programming, networking, data analytics, web-based marketing, database management, and embedded system programming.  Many jobs in CS can be done remotely, allowing graduates to work where they please.  Western has a strong network of CS alumni who help our students with internships and job placement.  The Association for Computing Machinery has much more career information.

Untitled Document

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Computer Information Science Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family. 

Share your interest with friends and family: 
  1. Email this to your friends or family    Share on LinkedIn    Share on Google+    Twitter    Share this on Facebook

  2. Get more information about the program.
  3. Schedule a campus visit so you can meet professors, see the beautiful Gunnison Valley, and find out if Western is the perfect school for you.
  4. Start the online application process - apply online now.
  5. Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.

Courses

 CIS 120 - INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND ANALYSIS (3 credits)

An in-depth study of the essentials of word-processing, spreadsheets, and information management, using modern computers and software. Substantial student competence in these areas is required for further study at the College. Applications are presented from various fields.

 CIS 150 - COMPUTERS IN SOCIETY (3 credits)

An introduction to the use of computing devices and their impact on society. Topics include: how computers work, the history of computing, philosophical issues in computing, the economics of software development, intellectual property issues, privacy and security, applications of computing, legal issues, the digital divide, the role of computing in government, and computer-assisted collaboration.

 CIS 160 - INTRODUCTION TO WEB DESIGN (3 credits)

CIS 160 Web Design for the Nontechnical Person. An introduction to the basics of the XHTML web page specification language, cascading style sheets (CSS) and the Plone Content Management System (CMS). Students learn to create attractive, professional web pages and websites using XHTML and CSS, including embedded graphics and multimedia. The student also learns to use a CMS for easier web page implementation, including add-ons such as forums and shopping carts.

 CIS 190 - COMPUTER SCIENCE I (3 credits)

An introduction to software development. Students develop text, graphical user interface (GUI) and applet web graphical applications using object oriented techniques in Java. Emphasis is placed on good software engineering practices for problem analysis, program design, documentation, testing and debugging.

 CIS 191 - COMPUTER SCIENCE II (3 credits)

A continuation of CIS 190 taught in the Java programming language. Students develop stand alone GUI and console applications and applets of increasing sophistication. Topics include: arrays, objects and classes, encapsulation and inheritance, file management, dynamic data structures, searching, sorting, recursion, stacks and queues, with emphasis on abstraction and implementation and an introduction to algorithm analysis. Prerequisite: CIS 190 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 192 - INDEPENDENT STUDY I (1-6 credits)

A singular investigation into a unique problem agreed upon by the student and advisor. Independent Studies (CIS 192,292,392,492) may be repeated for a total of up to 12 credits.

 CIS 195 - DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (3 credits)

An introduction to the practice and principles of relational database design, implementation and manipulation. Topics include: Structured Query Language (SQL), relational models, Entity-Relationship modeling, security, multi-user databases, transactions, Object Relational Mapping and database administration. Students will design and implement relational database applications of increasing complexity. Prerequisite: CIS 190 with a minimum grade of "C-"; prerequisite or corequisite: CIS 191.

 CIS 235 - COMPUTER NETWORKS (3 credits)

An investigation of the transmission of data and information between computer systems. Topics include simple data communications, protocols, error control, local-area networks, wide-area networks such as the Internet packet-switching networks, and various networking models. Various data communication hardware and software are also examined. Prerequisites: CIS 191 with a minimum grade of "C-"; MATH 140 or above excluding MATH 209 and MATH 210 or Accuplacer College-Level Mathematics score of 75 or above.

 CIS 250 - WEB APPLICATIONS DEVELOPMENT I (3 credits)

A course studying modern web site design, focusing on embedded languages, the use of audio and visual plug-ins, web application servers, and the tools that aid development on a professional scale. Basic use of Structured Query Language is studied. Cross platform development, applications to e-commerce, Internet and Intranet are considered. At least one major project is required. Offered in alternate years, 2010-2011. Prerequisites: CIS 191 with a minimum grade of "C-"; MATH 140 or above excluding MATH 209 and MATH 210 or Accuplacer College-Level Mathematics score of 75 or above.

 CIS 275 - SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMMING, MODELING SIMULATION (3 credits)

Designed to develop programming skills appropriate for scientific and industrial applications. Topics may include numerical solution of differential equations, singular value decomposition, and Fourier analysis. Emphasis is placed on modeling, algorithm development and data visualization. Prerequisite: CIS 190 and MATH 151 with a minimum grades of "C-".

 CIS 280 - DATA STRUCTURES (3 credits)

A survey of advanced data structures and algorithms. Topics include: linear lists, linked lists, arrays, tree, multi-linked lists, hashing, searching, sorting, recursion and analysis of the algorithms that use these structures. Taught in Java. Prerequisites: CIS 191 with a minimum grade of 'C-'; MATH 140 or above excluding MATH 209 and MATH 210 or Accuplacer College-Level Mathematics score of 75 or above.

 CIS 292 - INDEPENDENT STUDY ( 1-6 credits)

A singular investigation into a unique problem agreed upon by the student and the advisor. Independent Studies (CIS 192, 292,392,492) may be repeated for a total of up to 12 credit.

 CIS 300 - INTRO COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE W/ ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE (3 credits)

An introduction to computer organization using assembly-language programming. Topics include numeral systems, byte instructions, branching, indexing, computer arithmetic, subroutines, logical operators, and I/O. The fundamental concepts and terminology associated with computer hardware systems are also covered. The physical and electronic components of a computer, including processing units, memory units, and input/output devices are surveyed. Prerequisite: CIS 280 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 310 - VISUAL PROGRAMMING (3 credits)

A focus on common environment and design tools used in the development and implementation of graphic user interfaces. Emphasis is placed on the automation of tasks and the customization of systems by programming constructs. Applications are developed for both a local environment and a broad-based use of the Internet. The implementation language is C++ or Visual Basic. May be repeated with a different implementation language. Prerequisite: CIS 191 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 320 - PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES (3 credits)

An investigation of the theory, usage, and implementation of programming languages. Emphasis is on the theoretical basis for programming languages and practical examples of their use. Basic language paradigms are developed: imperative, functional, object-oriented, and logic. Other topics include type systems and language translation. Languages studied include C, C++, Java, Lisp, Haskell, Prolog, and Python. Prerequisite: CIS 280 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 330 - OPERATING SYSTEMS W/UNIX SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION (3 credits)

A study of the major components of operating systems, such as job and resource management in both multiprogramming and multiprocessing systems. Additionally, an introduction to the UNIX operating system includes UNIX commands, the role of the system administrator, the file system, controlling processes, programming in the shell, the network file system, and security. Prerequisite: CIS 300 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 350 - WEB APPLICATIONS DEVELOPMENT II (3 credits)

A study of client-server applications designed around the World Wide Web. Students design and implement applications which provide access to centralized resources such as databases and mail servers from web browsers. Students utilize Perl, CGI, and SQL to construct applications such as an online shopping site, an enterprise document server, or a shared Intranet database. Security of data during transmission and storage is emphasized. Prerequisite: CIS 250 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 375 - NUMERICAL METHODS (3 credits)

Designed to provide students with the skills needed to solve mathematical problems using a computer. Topics include: computer arithmetic, roots of a single equation, nonlinear simultaneous equations, matrices, determinants, linear simultaneous equations, numerical integration, differential equations, interpolation, curve fitting, and other topics as time permits. Prerequisites: CIS 275 or CIS 280 with a minimum grade of "C-"; and MATH 151.

 CIS 391 - COMPUTER INFORMATION SCIENCE SEMINAR (1 credits)

An advanced topic in computing, selected by the instructor from areas of computer science not usually included in the regular curriculum, conducted in a lecture, seminar or individualized format. Student involvement through presentations is emphasized. May be taken under different topics for a total of three credits. Prerequisite: CIS 191 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 397 - SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1-6 credits)

Special topics - studies to be determined by faculty, department and student.

 CIS 410 - SYSTEMS ANALYSIS AND DESIGN (3 credits)

The fundamental concepts of systems analysis and design are studied in the context of computerized information systems. Topics include high-level system construction tools, system design methodology, data representation languages such as XML, server-based system design, web services, system security, and system description languages such as UML. Also addressed is the human element in system design: working with users and domain experts to develop system requirements, and understanding the challenges of large scale system projects. Each student completes a number of systems design projects during the term. Prerequisite: CIS 310 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 412 - SOFTWARE ENGINEERING (3 credits)

An introduction to the fundamental principles of software engineering. Formal software development techniques and high-level software tools are emphasized. Students are taught a programming method based on the recognition and description of useful abstractions. Topics include encapsulation and reuse, design patterns, object based design, software testing and quality, formal methods for software design, and project management. Students are expected to complete a significant project that employs techniques from the topics studied. Prerequisite: CIS 410 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 430 - COMPUTER GRAPHICS (3 credits)

A presentation of the design and use of computer-graphics systems (hardware and software) and construction of two- and three-dimensional graphics. Applications of computer graphics in business, industry, education, and communications are emphasized. Prerequisite: CIS 280 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 CIS 450 - MOBILE DEVICE PROGRAMMING: X (3 credits)

An introduction to software development for mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. Specific platforms include, among others, OIS (Apple) and Android. The course covers interface elements and device capabilities such as photo, video and sound, accelerometer, GPS and web services. Students are expected to complete a significant project that employs techniques specific to mobile platforms. May be repeated with a different implementation platform. Prerequisite: CIS 280 with a minimum of "C-"

 CIS 480 - COMPUTER INFORMATION SCIENCE APPLICATION PROJECT (3 credits)

Students develop a comprehensive application project in the area of their specialization. Possible projects include software development, CAI program development, systems analysis consultation with area businesses, or development of a computer hardware/software training program. A public presentation of the project is made before the CIS faculty and students. Prerequisite: 24 credits of CIS course work, including 12 upper-division credits.

 CIS 490 - WORKSHOP IN COMPUTER INFORMATION SCIENCE ( 1-6 credits)

A series of organized meetings dealing with a topic of current interest. Offered periodically in a variety of computer-related subjects. Only three credits of this title can be applied toward a Computer Information Science Minor.

 CIS 492 - INDEPENDENT STUDY ( 1-3 credits)

A singular investigation into a unique problem agreed upon by the student and the advisor. Independent Studies (CIS 192, CIS 292, CIS 392, and CIS 492) may be repeated for a total of up to 12 credits.

 CIS 497 - SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1-6 credits)

Special topics - studies to be determined by faculty, department and student.

 CIS 499 - INTERNSHIP IN CCOMPUTER INFORMATION SCIENCE ( 1-6 credits)

Students participate in a supervised field experience with a cooperating firm in the computer science field. The sponsoring faculty member provides evaluations during periodic visitations. A formal paper is required of the student. Specific department requirements must be met to participate in this course. Prerequisite: 18 credits of Computer Information Science course work, including nine upper-division credits.

Scholarships

Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309.

 Watson, Stephen Memorial Scholarship In Computer Science

Computer Information Science Scholarship Available to:

Students majoring in Computer Information Science, who have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at Western State Colorado University 3 of which can be applied towards their major.

The students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and plan on enrolling in at least 9 credits.

Scholarship Provided by:

Dr. John C. Peterson

Amount: $500

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Math and Computer Information Science Scholarship Committee

Application: Contact the Mathematics and Computer Information Science Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128

Find out more information about Western's Computer Information Science Program at www.western.edu/mathematics

 Computer Science Departmental Scholarship

Computer Information Science Scholarship Available to:

Students majoring in Computer Information Science, who have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at Western State Colorado University 3 of which can be applied towards their major. The students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and plan on enrolling in at least 9 credits.

Amount: $500

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Math and Computer Information Science Scholarship Committee

Application: Contact the Mathematics and Computer Information Science Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128

Find out more information about Western's Computer Information Science Program at www.western.edu/mathematics

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Chair, Department of Mathematics and Computer Information Science
B.A., DePauw University; M.Phil., University of Utah; Ph.D., University of Montana.
Phone: (970) 943-2802
Office Location: Hurst Hall 212
Professor of Computer Information Science
B.S., University of Denver; M.S., University of Colorado; Ph.D., University of Utah.
Phone: (970) 943-2392
Office Location: Hurst Hall 114
Professor of Computer Information Science and Mathematics
B.A., University of Colorado; B.S., M.S., Eastern Washington University; Ph.D., University of Texas-Austin.
Phone: (970) 943-2999
Office Location: Hurst Hall 214