Computer Science

Q: What courses should be taken during the first year?
Analytical, computational and technological skills have become increasingly important in many disciplines and professional careers. We therefore encourage students to improve and further develop those skills independent of their intended majors, by taking courses in Mathematics and Computer Science in their first year in college.

The introductory sequence consisting of CSci 120-CS121 starts in the Fall. Students with advanced programming experience should discuss their appropriated placement with the department. 

Students who plan to major in computer science should start with the program early. An ideal program sequence begins with CSci 120 Introduction to Computing in the Fall of the first year, followed by CSci 121 Data Structures and Math 114 Discrete Math in the Spring. The first core course, CSCI 160 Algorithms should be taken the following Fall semester.
The Calculus sequence (MATH 120-Math 121), or the Honor Calculus sequence (Math 124-Math 125) should be be taken preferably in the first year, but in no case later than the second year. To enroll in an introductory mathematics course students (with the exception of those with advanced-placement credit in calculus) must take the Mathematics Placement Test given during preregistration. Base on placement scores, students are placed into Precalculus, Calculus, or Honors Calculus. Students are encouraged to enroll in the course according to their placement.

Students with a strong mathematics background who place into Math 124 are strongly encouraged to take Honors Calculus sequence in the first year.
The three mathematics courses required for the computer science major are meant to ensure that all students will have the mathematical tools, which are indispensable for the study of computer science.
Q: What courses should first year students steer clear of?
Most computer science courses have to be taken in a particular sequence. Studetnts are not allowed to register for courses without fulfilling the necessary prerequisites first. For this reason, a computer science major cannot be completed in less than three years.
Q: Is there a preferred sequence that students should follow?
The department offers 2 FYI courses: 1) Diving into Mathematics Research; 2) Diving into Computer Science Research. It is a 5th class for all students, and it is spread over the course of the year with 0.5 credit per semester. It gives first-year students a unique opportunity to work with faculty and peers on interesting current research projects and to become a part of an intellectual and social community of students with similar interests. Both courses are by permission only and there is a limited number of spaces. With a few exceptions, only students with a strong background in Mathematics who register for Honors Calculus or have credit for Calculus will be allowed to join the class. Students interested in Mathematics research should contact Professor Gideon Maschler ( Students interested in research in Computer or Computational Science should contact Professor Natalia Sternberg (
Q: Where should students or faculty go for more information?
Students or faculty can contact Professor Natalia Sternberg, Department Chair, for further information.