- Independent Projects: Students have worked on projects such as facial recognition software, a gesture-controlled quadcopter, machine learning, Android apps, an online guided tour, commercial websites and self-guiding vehicles.
- Information Technology Services: Many Computer Science students work for the Western IT Department, keeping student and university computers and networks running smoothly.
- Internships: Students have gotten internships with Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Raytheon, Dell, Northrop Grumman and other companies large and small. Computer Science internships pay well and very often lead directly to a permanent job.
John Peterson Memorial Scholarship In Computer Science
- Students majoring in Computer Information Science
- Completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at Western, 3 of which can be applied toward their majors
- Must have minimum 3.0 GPA
- Plan on enrolling in at least nine credits
This scholarship is provided by Stephen Watson.
Contact the Mathematics & Computer Science Department for application and deadline information.
970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128
Faculty & Staff
Lecturer of Mathematics
Office Location: Hurst Hall 108
Adjunct Professor of Computer Science
Office Location: Hurst Hall 105
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Office Location: Hurst Hall 212
Professor of Computer Science, Mathematics
Office Location: Hurst Hall 214
CS 170 - Information Security and Hacking (3 credits)
An introduction to the principles and concepts of information security and hacking. The course uses real world examples to illustrate attacks on computer systems and networks. Topics include vulnerabilities, threats and attackers, data protection and encryption and the nature of malware. Basic hacking concepts are introduced along with defensive measures and counterattacks.
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 ÒC-Ó.
CS 330 - Operating Systems and Architecture (3 credits)
A study of how hardware and operating systems work in a multiprocessing computer system. The Intel architecture including the instruction set, memory hierarchy, and exception handling are covered. The Windows and Linux operating systems functions and programming interfaces are studied to understand modern computing environments. Prerequisite: CS 191
CS 360 - System Security (3 credits)
A study of system level hacking. Topics include workstation and server vulnerabilities, security and protection mechanisms. The nature of system attacks combined with standard intrusion detection systems will demonstrate the challenge of correctly preventing, diagnosing and responding to attacks. Prerequisite: CS 330
CS 450 - Ethical Hacking and Malware (3 credits)
Application of computer hacking principles to determine vulnerabilities in computer systems and to design preventative processes. Each stage of the attack process from reconnaissance to final objective will be used to analyze attack methods and determine the best method to detect and remediate an attack using an incident response process. Prerequisite: CS 330
CS 460 - Network Security (3 credits)
A study of network and web hacking. Topics include web vulnerabilities, cryptographic tools, web security and protection mechanisms. The nature of network attacks using sample data sets combined with standard intrusion detection systems will demonstrate the challenge of correctly diagnosing and responding to attacks. Prerequisite: CS 235 and CS 330
MATH 380 - Introduction to Cryptography (3 credits)
A presentation of the mathematical background to modern cryptography. Topics include symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, block ciphers, hashing, digital signatures, RSA and discrete-logarithm-based systems, and error correction. The course emphasizes rigorous mathematical formulations as well as programming algorithms. Prerequisite: MATH 151 or CS 191 with minimum grade of “C-“.
Information Security (also referred to as “Cybersecurity”) is an emphasis within the Computer Science major that prepares students for entry-level cybersecurity positions. The “internet of things” has created a high demand for cybersecurity specialists, and graduates can expect to enter a constantly evolving field that is a force for good, with challenging work and great career opportunities.
The Information Security emphasis is built upon a computer science foundation of programming, computer architecture, operating systems and networking courses. As students enter the Information Security core, they tighten their focus on network and web security; computer system and database security; and ethical hacking and malware analysis.
Computer scientists must also be more than technically proficient. Reading, writing, critical analysis and presentation skills are essential for those who wish to do more than develop software. Western’s liberal arts education complements students’ computer science courses, giving them the hard and soft skills necessary to manage people and projects, which is what many people in the field progress toward.
Careers & Opportunities
There is great demand for Information Security graduates: Seventy percent of job openings are going unfilled, entry salaries range from $51,000 to $125,000 and the industry is hungry to hire women and minorities. Graduates will be well qualified for an entry-level cybersecurity positions at business, computer companies, consulting firms and financial companies.
Reach out to Doug MacGregor, Ph.D. for more information.