Computer Science

Courses

The following is a list of courses offered in this program at Western. The official University Catalog contains more detailed and specific information about degree requirements for this major.

 CS 120 - PROFESSIONAL COMPUTER SKILLS (3 credits)

A comprehensive study of the essentials of software used by professionals, emphasizing applications of spreadsheets to fundamental data organization, presentation, analysis and decision making applications.

 CS 140 - GAME PROGRAMMING FOR BEGINNERS (3 credits)

For the complete beginner, an introduction to computer programming by writing basic animations and arcade games. Standard programming issues such as language constructs, problem solving and debugging are combined with game specific considerations such as animation, scoring, collision detection, game levels and working with multiple moving objects. The course uses industry-standard software such as Python.

 CS 190 - COMPUTER SCIENCE I (3 credits)

An introduction to software development. Students develop applications using modern programming languages and techniques. Emphasis is placed on good software engineering practices for problem analysis, program design, documentation, testing and debugging. The course uses an industry standard programming language.

 CS 191 - COMPUTER SCIENCE II (3 credits)

A continuation of CS 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: CS 190 with a minimum grade of C-.

 CS 195 - DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (3 credits)

An introduction to the principles and practice of relational database design, implementation and manipulation. Topics include Structured Query Language (SQL), relational models, elementary database design as well as database management with a programming language such as Java. Prerequisite: CS 190 with a minimum grade of “C-”.

 CS 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 several networking models. Various data communication hardware and software are also examined. Prerequisites: CS 191 with a minimum grade of “C-”.

 CS 280 - DATA STRUCTURES (3 credits)

A survey of advanced data structures and algorithms. Topics include: linear lists, linked lists, arrays, trees, multi-linked lists, hashing, searching, sorting, recursion and analysis of the algorithms that use these structures. Taught in Java. Prerequisite: CS 191 with a minimum grade of "C-".

 CS 310 - PROGRAMMING PROJECTS W Python (3 credits)

A project-based course focusing on medium-sized projects in a given programming language using tools and environments appropriate to the selected language. Students gain proficiency in the language by doing projects from a variety of subjects such as artificial intelligence, graphics, machine learning, compilers, and Human-Computer Interaction. This course contains individual and group work. May be repeated with a different implementation language. Prerequisite: CS 191 with a minimum grade of “C-.”

 CS 311 - EMBEDDED SYSTEMS (3 credits)

A project-based introduction to embedded systems. Students build and program systems that include microcontrollers and sensors, actuators, networking, motors, and cameras. Various applications involve robotics, remote sensing, sound processing, and kinetic sculpture. Prerequisites: CS 190 and junior standing.

 CS 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: CS 280 with a minimum grade of C-.

 CS 480 - COMPUTR SCI APPLICATION PROJCT (3 credits)

Students develop a comprehensive application project with a supervising faculty member. A summary paper is written or public presentation of the project is made to the CS faculty and students. Prerequisite: 18 credits of Computer Science course work, including nine upper-division credits, and instructor permission.

 CS 480 - IS:Computer Science (3 credits)

Students develop a comprehensive application project with a supervising faculty member. A summary paper is written or public presentation of the project is made to the CS faculty and students. Prerequisite: 18 credits of Computer Science course work, including nine upper-division credits, and instructor permission.

 CS 497 - ST: CYBER SECURITY (3 credits)

Special topics

Computer 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 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 Computer Science?

The CS 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 CS with other disciplines find that their computing skills make them better at whatever field they are interested in.  With a BS degree in Computer Science from Western you will be prepared for a wide range of interesting and well paid jobs.

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.

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Computer 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:
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  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.
 
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Four-Year Program

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. To find scholarships based on year of study (e.g. - Freshmen Scholarships), please see the navigation to the left.

 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 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

 Western Presidential Scholars Award

The Western Presidential Scholars Award is a full tuition scholarship available to Valedictorians of Colorado high schools (residents only) aimed at increasing the number of high achieving students attending Western State Colorado University.  The scholarship is renewable for eight consecutive semesters (four years) and will cover full in-state tuition charges after the COF stipend is applied.  The Western Presidential Scholars Award would replace any other merit scholarship that may have already been awarded to the student.  The Western Presidential Scholars Award is a competitive scholarship (application is required) as there are a limited number of awards available each year.  Below are some details you should know:

Minimum Criteria

  •          3.80 cumulative High School GPA 
  •          25 ACT score/1200 SAT combined score
  •          Be ranked #1 on high school transcript or certified as ‘valedictorian’ by high school official

Application Process

To apply students must submit a letter of application, one letter of recommendation, and provide verification of Valedictorian status.  Completed applications must be received by April 1st of each year.

Renewal Criteria

  •          Must enroll in and successfully complete 12 credits each semester (24 credits each year)
  •          Must maintain a 3.0 GPA at Western 

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Andrew G. Keck
Professor of Mathematics
B.A., DePauw University; M.Phil., University of Utah; Ph.D., University of Montana.
Phone: (970) 943-2802
Office Location: Hurst Hall 212
Erik Kjosness
Lecturer in Math
Phone: 970.943.2127
Office Location: Hurst Hall 108
Daniel L. Schuster
Chair of Computer 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