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Computer Science

 

NOTE: Millsaps College is no longer accepting new Computer Science majors or minors.

For more information, see the College Catalog

Academic Profile

Millsaps offers a bachelors degree in computer science in two concentrations: computer science and computer information systems. We offer a challenging program that combines fundamental computer science with cutting-edge industry applications.

Our faculty is dedicated to undergraduate teaching, advising, and research. All of our classes feature sizes of twenty or fewer students, numerous active-learning in-class exercises often done in pairs or small groups, and challenging course work and high academic standards. All of our graduates complete a senior project in an area of their choice.

Approach to Teaching

Our approach to teaching is very practical, and we provide many opportunities for students to work on projects that are interesting to them both inside and out of the classroom. The low student to faculty ratio ensures that every student can receive individual attention for teaching, advising, and research supervision.

One distinctive aspect of our department is how the latest techniques of the computer industry are integrated into a fundamentally sound computer science curriculum.

Course content is continuously monitored and enhanced so that faculty can deliver an up-to-date computer science education.

In addition, special topics courses and directed studies are often offered to cover subjects of special interest and timeliness, such as "Web Applications with Java" and "Advanced Database with Oracle".

To implement this teaching philosophy, we have developed structured ways by which students apply the knowledge of theory and programming that they learn in class. They are particularly encouraged to seek out applications that are immediately useful to others in the community. The application of knowledge to gain experience in solving real-world problems is both required and encouraged:

  • It is required in each computer science course.
  • It is required in senior seminar on a larger scale, where students must complete a significant, year-long project.
  • It is encouraged in directed studies, independent research, and Honors research projects. Many of these have borne fruit in "products" that are useful to the college or the community. Students gain great practical experience by working on such projects.
  • It is supported by helping students find part-time jobs on and off campus, and by faculty who often act as technical consultants for students who seek help with difficult job assignments.
  • Our "integrated" teaching approach results in computer science graduates, who:
  • Are equipped with practical knowledge and training in the latest tools and techniques of the computer industry. Our students leave with skills that are highly attractive to employers.
  • Are well-trained in the fundamentals of computer science, its theory, and the practice of computer programming. This enables them to see k higher learning if they so desire.
  • Have significant experience in the applications of the latest tools and in developing solutions to complex, real-world problems using a combination of systems analysis, industry tools and computer science techniques.

Why Study Computer Science?

Computer science and information technology are challenging fields that allow you to use many of your talents, such as creativity, problem solving, analysis, and the ability to work well with others. New technologies and tools, such as graphical and multimedia systems, make working with computers more fun than ever, with many opportunities for inter-disciplinary work.

In addition, a strong background in computer science and information technology is a valuable asset in any career, not just computer science. Computers are used in many fields, such as art, science, business and medicine, and this has led to a strong demand for workers with information technology skills.

The list below shows just a few of the employment possibilities for computer science graduates.

  • Webmaster
  • Programmer
  • Technical Writer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Graphic Designer
  • Computer Animator
  • Software Engineer
  • Database Developer
  • Systems Administrator
  • Multimedia Developer
  • Database Administrator
  • Technical Product Support
  • Internet Applications Developer
  • Client/Server Database Developer
  • Local Area Network Administrator

At Millsaps, we can attest to the demand for high-tech workers. Our students find rewarding jobs immediately upon graduation, and good part-time jobs while in school. Employers frequently call in search of qualified applicants.

If you don't plan to major in computer science, at least consider a minor! And if you're not sure what exactly computer science is, the best way to find out is by taking Computer Science I (CS1010). This course will give you a feel for the field. Its only prerequisite is College Algebra, or equivalent math from high school. You need no prior computer experience.

ACM Programming Contests

Every fall, the department conducts a campus-wide computer programming contest. The top six finishers are eligible to represent Millsaps in the Association for Computing Machinery's annual programming contest, at the Southeast regional competition.

The team travels with a faculty advisor to the contest site, which varies each year. Millsaps pays for travel, registration, and lodging.

The local programming contest is open to all and the winner has bragging rights for a year. A pizza party after the contest helps soothe frustrations and untangle brains that have been tied into knots!

Questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome. Just email us.