Why study computer science at a liberal arts college like The College of Wooster?
Liberal arts colleges provide students with a blend of analytical, problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills in addition to foundational skills in math and computer science. At Wooster, students learn in small classes with full-time faculty dedicated to teaching undergraduate students. The interdisciplinary nature of a liberal arts education gives students the freedom to explore other fields and double major while still graduating in four years. Among the many departmental activities are regular colloquium talks, weekly lunches together, and also fall and spring picnics.
Computer Science at The College of Wooster
Computer science majors at Wooster are prepared for employment in the software industry and for graduate school, and about half decide to further their education at some of the top graduate programs in the nation. Our students extend what they learn in the classroom through research opportunities and practical application. Students engage in various experiential learning opportunities such as participating in programming competitions, completing internships at various companies, doing sophomore and senior independent study research with the help of a faculty mentor, participating in off-campus summer research experience for undergraduate programs, presenting work at regional meetings, and participating in the Applied Methods and Research Experience program (AMRE). In this summer program, students get paid while gaining consulting experience. Teams of students with faculty advisors work on applications with business, industry, or agency clients, or do academic research in a specialized area within the mathematical and computational sciences. Routine AMRE clients include Fortune 500 corporations Goodyear and Progressive Insurance.
The mission of the Computer Science program is to educate students in the theoretical foundation of the discipline and its creative application to the solution of complex problems, and to prepare students to learn independently in a discipline that is constantly changing. Supported by a liberal arts education, the program seeks to develop students who are sensitive to the wide range of social concerns influenced by the discipline and who are articulate in expression of their ideas and actions. Students successfully completing the Computer Science major should have the computer science background and the mathematical maturity needed to enter a graduate program in Computer Science or to take an entry-level position in a computing-related field.
As computing is increasingly applied to other fields, students in the natural sciences, business and economics, and other majors may benefit from a minor or double major in Computer Science.
All students at Wooster complete an Independent Study (I.S.) during their senior year, and the I.S. is of central importance in our department. I.S. is an opportunity to expand the student’s understanding of the discipline and to do significant work in an area of personal interest. The ability to engage in independent learning is one of the primary goals of the department and of the College at large, and the successful completion of the I.S. thesis represents the culmination of the student’s academic program.
Over two semesters, each student designs a plan of study, completes the I.S. thesis, and gives an oral presentation and defense of the project. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, the student is free to pursue virtually any area of interest within the discipline.
Name: Kyle Rossi Major: Computer Science Minor: Mathematics Advisor: Daniel Palmer; Heather Guarnera (second reader) This thesis visualizes a complex constraint satisfaction problem (CSP), […]
Some of our alumni have gone on to earn advanced degrees in fields such as theoretical computer science, evolutionary computing, and computational physics. After graduation our students have gone directly to Purdue, Dartmouth, The Ohio State University, Carnegie Mellon, and Indiana, among other graduate schools.
Computer Science majors from Wooster pursue diverse careers, from computer programming and consulting to web design, government agency work, and technical startups.
Mathematics and computer science major credits multiple professors for helping him find his path
Applied Methods and Research Experience (AMRE)
The Applied Methods and Research Experience (AMRE) gives College of Wooster students the opportunity to apply classroom learning in the role of business and organizational consultants.
For eight weeks of the summer, student teams and faculty advisors are paired with a (usually local) business, industry, or agency (client). Student participants are exposed to practical applications of their liberal arts education in a “real world” setting. This experience aids students in determining professional interests and developing professional skills. The faculty advisors have the opportunity to be involved with a very select group of students in a summer activity, while potentially contributing to research in applied fields. Clients have the opportunity to tangibly support education and, at a low cost, obtain solutions to problems that would most likely not be addressed internally.
The structure of the program is based upon several research teams which work independently on separate projects, but also come together for discussion of progress. These teams are comprised of students (usually three) and a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor involvement is heavy initially as the student team becomes familiar with the project definition. After approximately two weeks, involvement becomes primarily advisory as the students work directly with client representatives and others. Student teams give weekly progress reports in the form of oral presentations, in addition to periodic presentations to their respective clients. Each team also gives a final oral presentation and written report to the client upon completion of the project.
In addition to work done on the project, a number of lectures are presented by the faculty advisors as a part of the AMRE program. These lectures are intended to teach the students skills or tools necessary to complete their assigned projects. Colloquia are also given on a variety of topics including group dynamics and oral presentation. These colloquia are given by individuals from academia, local corporations and professional consultants.
Services and Expertise
Management Solutions: production scheduling, inventory management, forecasting, lot sizing analysis, job scheduling, network and work flow analysis
Data Analysis: statistical analysis, abc analysis, regression modeling, simulation, probability modeling, artificial neural networks, data mining, genetic algorithm
Computer and Information Systems: software development, system design, artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, data mining, database development, web/database solutions, simulation, 3D graphical modeling
Engineering and Design: mathematical modeling, numerical analysis, systems analysis, process optimization, control theory, dynamical systems, Monte Carlo simulation