Bachelor in Computer Science
The course offerings in computer science prepare you for professional employment or continued study in graduate school.
About the Major
Students normally begin with the introductory course in computer science and programming. This is followed by intermediate courses that cover the basic issues of hardware and software. Students learn a variety of high-level programming languages (including C/C++ and Scheme), assembly language, the UNIX operating system, object-oriented programming and gain familiarity with the university and departmental computer hardware.
Many areas of theoretical and applied computer science are covered in the advanced courses. Majors take courses in the theory of computation and analysis of algorithms. The department offers applied courses in database theory, operating systems and artificial intelligence. For students interested in computer languages, course offerings include compiler design and the theory of programming languages.
Computer science students interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in engineering may choose to participate in Ohio Wesleyan's 3-2 engineering program. Under this option, a student completes a specially-designed computer science major in three years and then transfers to one of several participating engineering schools for two additional years. Upon successfully completing this five-year course of study, the student receives a computer science degree from Ohio Wesleyan and an engineering degree from the engineering school. Participating schools currently include Case Western Reserve University, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, and Washington University in St. Louis.
Computer Science Major
The department offers majors in computer science and in mathematics. In addition, the mathematics major can be designed to include a concentration in statistics. The department also offers the computer science 3-2 option major for those students planning to pursue a combined-degree pre-engineering program.
The department provides a full range of courses for students anticipating graduate work in computer science, mathematics, or statistics. There are also courses available for cognate majors where strong mathematical or computer skills are required. Lastly, the department provides service courses in support of many majors on campus, especially those requiring statistics or calculus.
Majors often take advanced courses in other departments directly complementing their studies in mathematics or computer science. Double majors with mathematics or computer science and a related area, such as economics or physics, are often undertaken. Upon graduation, recent majors have found employment in business, management science, statistical research, computing, actuarial science, environmental research, and teaching. In addition, majors have gained admission to graduate or professional programs in computer science, mathematics, philosophy, physics, economics, business, law, and medicine. Potential majors and others interested should consult with any member of the department in planning their coursework.
Students double majoring in mathematics and computer science are limited to 17 courses within the department among those counted toward the 34 units required for graduation.
Students wishing to concentrate in computer science should contact Professors McCulloch, Wiebe, or Zaring. Those wishing to concentrate in statistics should see Professor Linder. Those wishing to concentrate in secondary education should contact the department, and those wishing to prepare for graduate study in mathematics should contact Professors Jackson, Nunemacher, Schwartz, or Pyzza.
Courses for Non-Majors
The department offers a number of courses specifically as a service to non-majors who seek training in mathematical sciences. These include MATH 105, a course in elementary probability and statistics that includes computer experience, and which prepares students to read the increasingly quantitative journals of the social and life sciences. Exploring Computer Science (CS 103) offers a broad, applications-oriented introduction to computing for students having no prior computing experience. Great Ideas in Mathematics (MATH 104) provides an introduction to modern mathematical ideas for students who will study no further mathematics. Precalculus (MATH 108) is for students who have a moderate mathematical background but not one sufficient to begin calculus immediately. The calculus courses (MATH 110, MATH 111, and MATH 210) are recommended for students who wish to continue the study of mathematics in college after a strong high school background. They are particularly important for any of the sciences and economics. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming (CS 110) provides a careful entry into the discipline of computer science and teaches programming in a high-level language.
Computer Science, rather than being the study of physical computing machinery and/or computer programs, is the study of abstract transformational processes. A student completing a major in computer science will have been
- Exposed to a broad range of the intellectual achievements of computer science;
- Shown the crucial, pervasive role of abstraction as a conceptual and practical tool for conceptualizing about complex objects;
- Given an opportunity to secure the theoretical and applied foundations necessary to either continue studies in graduate school or to seek employment as a professional computer scientist.
Subject Matter Objectives
Given the nature of computer science as a mathematical, logical, and scientific discipline, a computer science education should focus on the acquisition of conceptual and foundational material that will serve students for their entire careers. The acquisition of sets of specific technical facts (whose rapid obsolescence is almost certain) is not a major objective.
A student completing a major in computer science should have acquired
- A basic knowledge of algorithmic concepts (including programming and data structures);
- A basic knowledge of relevant mathematical concepts (including discrete mathematics and logic);
- A basic knowledge of hardware concepts (including computer organization and architecture);
- An advanced knowledge of relevant theoretical concepts (including automata theory, computability theory, and analysis of algorithms);
- An advanced knowledge of software/system concepts (including a selection of concepts in programming languages, artificial intelligence, operating systems, and/or information systems).
MATH 110, MATH 111, MATH 250; CS 110, CS 210, CS 255, CS 270, CS 360, CS 380; and any three CS courses numbered 250 or above. (CS 110, CS 210, CS 270, and MATH 250 must be completed by the end of the sophomore year).
Undergraduate research, performed under the mentorship of expert faculty, is a central component of The OWU Connection. We offer many ways for you to explore an existing problem or develop a new avenue of discovery. You can do independent work with a faculty member, apply for grant funding for a project, or take part in the 10-week Summer Science Research Program or the NSF-funded REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates).
Recent topics of independent studies include operations research, computer graphics, neural networks, and quality control.
Students in all majors have a variety of opportunities to travel and gain a global perspective.
Computer Science students pursue Travel-Learning classes, OWU Connection Grants, Internships, and special projects that can take them anywhere in the world.
Apply your classroom learning to real problems and build your connections to the professional world with internships.
OWU's Computer Science majors have across the country, from high-tech start-ups to Facebook.
OWU faculty are outstanding scholars and researchers—and passionate teachers. They will push you, challenge you, inspire you, and work with you on your own research and creative projects.
They can even pack a 3-minute lecture with ideas, insight, and imagination. Check out our unique I³ lectures.
A Look at Computer Science