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Department of

Mathematics and Computer Science

Computer Science Major

Computer science is the system of principles and theory which deals with computers' function. It studies the nature of computation. For any given problem, it asks whether the answer can be computed, and if so, what are the most efficient and practical ways to do the computation. (Often the methods that are best for machines are quite different from those that are practical for human beings.) Computers are machines that manipulate abstract symbols according to specified rules. Therefore, computer science relies heavily on abstract reasoning and mathematics. The mathematics involved is usually quite different, however from traditional mathematics. Much of it has been developed recently in response to the development of computers. As an academic discipline within the liberal arts tradition, computer science has ties with many other disciplines. The natural sciences provide the physical principles upon which computers are built. Computer science serves the sciences, engineering, and business in providing the means to perform complex calculations and to analyze large amounts of data. Psychology and philosophy share with computer science the desire to understand the nature of reason, language, and intelligence.

The most important skills needed by a prospective computer scientist are an excellent command of one’s native language and the ability to think in a mathematical way. Note: One of the modern, high-level programming languages is used in the introductory programming courses, and many of the upper-division computer science courses assume a knowledge of one of these languages. Therefore, a knowledge of BASIC or ForTRAN is not a substitute for COMP 150 or 151. 112

Major Requirements

Lower-division preparation for the major

Note: MATH 160 satisfies the core curriculum logic competency requirement. Students majoring in computer science should take this course instead of PHIL 101 or 102.

Upper-division (27 units)

Required courses:

Nine upper-division elective units chosen from

It is highly recommended that computer science majors pursue a minor in a related field such as mathematics, physics, engineering, or business administration.

It is also recommended that computer science majors take one or more of the courses MATH 320 (Linear Algebra), MATH 350 (Probability), and MATH 355 (Combinatorics), for additional background in mathematics.

Recommended Program of Study

  Semester I Semester II
Freshman Year COMP 150 (3), MATH 150 (4), CC (9) COMP 151 (3), MATH 151 (4), CC (9)
Sophomore Year COMP 280 (3), COMP 285 (3), MATH 160 (3), CC (9) COMP 300 (4), COMP 305 (3), CC (9)
Junior Year COMP 310 (3), Upper-Division COMP, elective (3), CC and Electives (9-12) Upper-division COMP elective (3), CC and Electives (12-15)
Senior Year COMP 465W (3), Upper-division COMP, Elective (3), CC and Electives (9-12) COMP 370 / 3 UNITS, COMP 495 (2), CC and Electives (9-12)
COMP 100 Introductory Computer Programming
COMP 150 Computer Programming I
COMP 151 Computer Programming II
COMP 160 Programming Languages
COMP 280 Introduction to Assembly Language
COMP 285 Data Structures and Algorithms
COMP 300 Principles of Digital Hardware
COMP 305 Object-oriented Design and Programming
COMP 310 Operating Systems
COMP 340 Numerical Analysis
COMP 345 Database Management Systems Design
COMP 350 Computer Graphics
COMP 355 Digital Modeling and Simulation
COMP 360 Principles of Programming Languages
COMP 370 Automata, Computability, and Formal Languages
COMP 375 Networking
COMP 380 Neural Networks
COMP 465W Software Engineering
COMP 480 Algorithms
COMP 494 Special Topics
COMP 495 Senior Project

Lower Division Courses (COMP)

100 Introductory Computer Programming / 3 UNITS
An elementary introduction to computer programming and applications for non-majors and non-minors. Computer organization; problem solving; algorithms; structured programming in a simple computer language; computer applications; and current issues and trends in computer science. This course does not satisfy any of the requirements for the computer science major or minor and is not a substitute for COMP 150. (every semester)

150 Computer Programming I / 3 UNITS
Algorithms and programming in a selected computer language; expressions, statements, basic data types; sequence, decision, iteration; functions and procedures; arrays; recursion; file input and output; loop invariants; syntax analysis; and program design, documentation, validation, and debugging. Prerequisite: MATH 115 or equivalent. COMP 100 is not a prerequisite. (every semester)

151 Computer Programming II / 3 UNITS
Continuation of COMP 150. Basic data structures, including lists, stacks, queues, and binary trees; abstract data types; sorting and searching algorithms; exception handling; event driven programming; Prerequisite: COMP 150 or equivalent. (every semester)

160 Programming Languages / 3 UNITS
Introduction to a particular high-level programming language such as Ada, C, COBOL, Lisp, or Prolog. Programming assignments appropriate to the language studied. Prerequisite: COMP 150 or equivalent. This course does not satisfy any of the requirements for the major in Computer Science.

280 Introduction to Assembly Language / 3 UNITS
Machine structure; machine language; assembly language instructions and addressing modes; data representations; subroutines; macros; traps and interrupts; and input and output. Prerequisite: COMP 151. (fall semester)

285 Data Structures and Algorithms / 3 UNITS
Data structures, algorithm analysis and general programming design and applications; balanced trees, hashing, priority queues, sets, and graphs; more on sorting and searching; Prerequisites: COMP 151 and MATH 160, or equivalent courses. (fall semester)

Upper-Division Courses (COMP)

300 Principles of Digital Hardware / 4 UNITS
Combinational and sequential logic, registers, arithmetic units. Introduction to computer architecture. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: COMP 280 and MATH 160, or consent of instructor. (spring semester)

305 Object-oriented Design and Programming / 3 UNITS
Classes, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, class derivation, abstract classes, namespaces, function overloading and overriding, function name overload resolution, container classes, template classes; unified modeling language (UML); constructing conceptual models, system sequence diagrams; design patterns; case studies. Prerequisite: COMP 285 or equivalent. (spring semester)

310 Operating Systems / 3 UNITS
Principles of computer operating systems; process management; memory management; file systems; protection; deadlock. Concurrent programming. Prerequisites: COMP 285 and 300, or equivalent courses. (fall semester)

340 Numerical Analysis / 3 UNITS
Approximate computations and round-off errors; Taylor expansions; numerical solution of equations and systems of equations; systems of linear equations; numerical integration; numerical solution of differential equations; interpolation; and problem solving on the computer. Prerequisites: COMP 150 and MATH 151. Cross-listed as MATH 340. (spring semester)

345 Database Management Systems Design / 3 UNITS
Introduction to database concepts; data models; query facilities; and file organization and security. Prerequisite: COMP 285.

350 Computer Graphics / 3 UNITS
The development of high-level, device-independent graphics routines; basic line drawing algorithms, text design, and other graphics primitives; 2-D representations of coordinate systems, image segmentation, and windowing. Prerequisites: COMP 285 and MATH 151.

355 Digital Modeling and Simulation / 3 UNITS
Mathematical modeling; probabilistic and deterministic simulations; pseudo-random number generators; event generators; queuing theory; game theory; and continuous models involving ordinary and partial differential equations. Prerequisites: COMP 305 and MATH 151.

360 Principles of Programming Languages / 3 UNITS
The organization of programming languages with emphasis on language semantics; language definition, data types, and control structures of various languages. Prerequisite: COMP 285; COMP 280 is recommended.

370 Automata, Computability, and Formal Languages / 3 UNITS
Finite state machines; formal grammars; computability and Turing machines. Prerequisites: COMP 285, or upper-division mathematics course. (spring semester)

375 Networking / 3 UNITS
Introduction to the design and implementation of computer and communication networks. The focus is on the concepts and the fundamental design principles that have contributed to the global Internet’s success. Topics covered will include MAC layer design (Ethernet/802.11), the TCP/IP protocol stack, routing algorithms, congestion control and reliability, and applications (HTTP, FTP, etc.) and advanced topics such as peer-to-peer networks and network simulation tools. Recent trends in networking such as multimedia networking, mobile/ cellular networks and sensor networks will also be discussed. Prerequisite: COMP 151 or equivalent.

380 Neural Networks / 3 UNITS
A study of the fundamental concepts, architectures, learning algorithms and applications of various artificial neural networks, including perceptron, kohonen self organizing maps, learning vector quantization, backpropagation, and radial basis functions. Prerequisites: COMP 285 and MATH 151, or consent of instructor.

465W Software Engineering / 3 UNITS
Theoretical and practical aspects of software development; project planning; requirements and specification; general and detailed design; implementation; validation and verification; formal documentation. Students will participate in developing documentation for a large software project. Prerequisite: COMP 305. (fall semester)

480 Algorithms / 3 UNITS
Advanced theory of algorithms. Topics may include: algorithm analysis; algorithm design techniques; and computational complexity. Prerequisites: COMP 285 and MATH 151.

494 Special Topics / 3 UNITS
Topics of special interest chosen by the instructor. Prerequisites: COMP 305 and consent of the instructor. 494 may be repeated for credit with a different topic.

495 Senior Project / 2 UNITS
The course involves participation in a capstone senior project of substantial interest to computer scientists.