Issue Date: Feb 16, 2001
By Caroline Yount
Compute this: Enrollment has increased in Camden's computer science department from 155 declared undergraduate majors in 1997 to 210 in 2000.
The computer science curriculum, revised in 1998, features a carefully designed set of core courses that provide a solid foundation covering the entire spectrum of theory, software/hardware design and applications, said Michael Palis, the department's chair. These anchor courses include introductory computer programming, data structures, algorithms, theory of computation, programming language concepts and more.
Upper-division electives build on the core to allow students to gain depth of knowledge in specialized areas of computer science. In addition, the required senior design project challenges students to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity by completing a significant assignment that has practical uses.
Palis noted that the computer science department prepares students for careers through an internship program with organizations ranging from such large companies as Computer Sciences Corporation and Unisys Corporation to local community organizations such as the Maple Shade School District.
Students undertake a wide variety of responsibilities, such as software development, network administration, database design, Web site development and maintenance, and computer hardware installation and repair. Palis said the feedback from both students and the sponsoring organizations has been overwhelmingly positive. Indeed, many sponsors have offered the students permanent positions within their organizations.
The department recently received a National Science Foundation grant to establish the Crimson Scholars Program, which will provide 30 scholarships to low-income, upper-division undergraduate students in computer science and mathematics. Priority will be given to students from underrepresented groups, such as women, ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities.
Along with a monetary award, the program will provide opportunities for enriching the academic experience of the scholarship recipients through such activities as faculty advisement and mentoring, independent study and honors theses, industry internships, professional development and career-planning workshops, research experiences and community outreach. The first scholars will join the campus in the fall.
This article was published in the Feb 16, 2001 edition of the Rutgers Focus and is available online at http://urwebsrv.rutgers.edu/focus/article/link/647/