School of Science & Engineering

Computer Science

The Computer Science curriculum emphasizes hands-on application of knowledge by incorporating software engineering throughout the curriculum. During the freshman and sophomore years, students build the foundation of computer science knowledge while also developing the soft skills that employers value from a liberal arts education. Juniors and Seniors focus on applying principles of this foundational knowledge and Software Engineering to advanced topics including Cybersecurity, Computer Networks, and Operating Systems.

There are two tracks to choose from based on your career goals:

  • The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science prepares students for graduate school in computer science and also for careers in industry involving complex computations using advanced computer science topics including algorithm analysis and software security.
  • The Bachelor Arts in Computer Science is great for students interested in designing and developing software with the broadest emphasis on core computer science theory and programming.

Teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills (written and oral) are emphasized throughout the program. Projects are oriented towards service to the surrounding community and the university when possible. Students are encouraged to pursue internships early, through our extensive connections with area companies.

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Traditional undergraduate students that receive financial aid, like scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study employment.

Students participating in trips spanning six continents, 102 countries, and 27 states through our Tri-S Program.

Students in both undergraduate and graduate studies who are experiencing Real Life: Together.

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Program Options

How can I get involved in the Computer Science program?

Major

You can participate in the program in a variety of ways:

The BS in Computer Science provides the foundational scientific and math courses needed for graduate studies, which are also beneficial for understanding the complex problems that arise in advanced areas of computer science.

Complementary Major

Students wanting to pair computer science with another major can complete the 32-hour complementary major. There is also the Business – Information Systems program.

Minors

The computer science minor is well-suited for math and science majors, as well as those students pursuing a career in medicine and life sciences.

  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
Classes

What courses will I take?

  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Database Programming
  • Cybersecurity and Cybersecurity Lab
  • Software Engineering
  • Senior Design I and II

The 51-hour BA in Computer Science also includes:

  • Computer Science I and II
  • Introduction to Web Applications

The 80-hour BS in Computer Science includes these additional classes:

  • Computer architecture
  • Linear algebra

The curriculum is structured with foundational courses, a professional core, a mathematics and science core, and additional electives.

Careers

What kind of jobs can I anticipate after graduation?

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 74% of new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs through 2022 will be in computing. Nearly a third of all of those new jobs will be created in the computer science subfield of software development.

B.S. in Computer Science:

  • business intelligence analyst
  • computer programmer
  • data architect
  • database administrator
  • network systems administrator
  • software developer
  • software systems developer

B.A. in Computer Science:

  • E-commerce developer
  • network administrator
  • software programmer
  • technical writer
  • website developer
Computer Science Internships

Experiential Learning

At Anderson University, Computer Science students are encouraged to pursue hands-on experiential learning starting as freshmen.

Students have the opportunity to work for the Computer Science department, the University’s Information Technology Services department, and our on-campus Genesys Internship center. Close partnerships with many area businesses also provide students with ample internship opportunities off campus, both during the school year and in the summer.

Computer Science Department

Paid work experiences are available within the Computer Science department as early as a student’s first semester. Opportunities include maintaining the computers in the three computer science labs, supporting the CS departmental network, administering the servers in the Ascension Data Center (opening Fall 2017), as well as serving as web designers and classroom lab assistants.

Information Technology Services (ITS)

Computer Science students also have the opportunity to work with the Anderson University ITS. Past on-campus positions have included university-wide classroom technical support, database programming, network administration, and instructional resources support.

Genesys Center

Anderson University is the only location where Genesys (formerly Interactive Intelligence) maintains an on-campus internship center, staffed with full-time Genesys employees. Computer Science students have the opportunity to gain real-world industry experience — between classes! The Genesys interns receive close mentoring and professional development opportunities, competitive pay, flexible scheduling, and the chance to network with the leaders of the Indianapolis technology scene.

Experience

Students will have the opportunity for experiential learning in the brand new Ascension Health Server Room in the Engineering Center. This room will feature glass walls with five racks of servers, firewalls, and other networking equipment, providing an opportunity for real-world, hands-on experience in a classroom setting, to prepare students for internships and job placements.

The Genesys space opened in fall 2016 as an experiential learning program. Students work in the space 15-20 hours a week with a Genesys employee on-site. The first year was very successful, and two students proceeded directly from their internships into full-time positions with Genesys following their graduation. The partnership was initiated by Interactive Intelligence to form a pipeline for AU talent, supplementing the more than 30 alumni already working at Genesys in Indianapolis.

Technology Requirements

Philosophy/Rationale

Students are expected to spend significant amounts of time mastering software tools.  Our goal is to use software tools that are cross-platform and easily installable on student laptops to remove as many barriers to learning as possible.  The laptop and engineering calculator are crucial to the learning process and thus justify the financial investment.  Selecting software tools that students can use directly on their laptops, as opposed to only in computer laboratories, has shown to increase the time students spend using the tools because they can use the software more easily, wherever they are working, and whenever they are doing homework and/or projects.  There are many auxiliary student benefits of owning and operating a laptop such as gaining experience with system administration, troubleshooting/problem solving, and a deeper understanding of computing systems.  Software not capable of being installed on student laptops is installed for student use in specialized computer laboratories.

Laptop

Each student is required to have a reliable laptop capable of running engineering and computer science software (provided by the university) such as AutoDesk Inventor, Spice, and software compilers.  Therefore we have established the following minimum requirements:

  • Operating system options:
    • Windows 10+ (64 bit) with a VM for Linux or BSD as necessary
    • Mac OS X with a VM or bootcamp for Windows
    • Linux or BSD with a VM for Windows
  • RAM: 8 GB (16 GB recommended)
  • CPU: modern 64 bit processor such as i5 or i7 with at least two physical cores
  • Storage capacity: 200 GB (400 GB for a Mac, Linux, or BSD because students will need to run Bootcamp with a 200 GB partition for Windows)
  • Connectivity: 2x USB2 or USB3 and 1000Base-T ethernet (adaptor OK)
  • WiFi (IEEE 802.11n with WPA2)
  • Graphics card needs to support at least one external display via HDMI (preferred) or VGA (adaptor OK) to be able to use the projectors for presentations.

Note that these requirements can change without notice (but within reason) due to changes in the system requirements from the vendors of the software used within the program. Please keep in mind that these are minimum requirements and there are software packages that benefit from a more capable computer system. The minimum cost for a new Windows machine that meets the requirements is $900 and for a Mac it is $1500.  About half the students use Mac and the other half use Windows. Usually, there are a few Linux users.

Calculator

Calculators are often allowed on exams and are needed for completing homework. The calculator needs to be able to graph functions, use complex numbers, and solve linear systems of equations with complex coefficients. It is also helpful if the calculator has a computer algebra system (CAS).  One of the following (or equivalent) is required:

  • TI-89 (recommended)
  • TI-Nspire CX CAS

The average cost of the above calculators is approximately $130. Note that none of these calculators are currently allowed on the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exam (the allowed calculators have a much more limited capability and are relatively inexpensive at around $30).