Nov 29, 2022  
2022-23 Western Washington University Catalog 
    
2022-23 Western Washington University Catalog

Computer Science


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Introduction

Specialized software for scientific and technical computing for desktops, laptop computers, and mobile devices, are transforming the world rapidly and irreversibly. Search engines and social networking sites are forging connections among people worldwide, while advances in scientific and medical disciplines routinely produce vast datasets. This affords opportunities and in some cases a need for not only advances in hardware and software but necessitates new approaches for the storage and analysis of data, and for effective ways for people of all backgrounds and capabilities to interface with software and hardware tools. Advances in areas such as robotics, video games, multicore computing, virtual reality, machine learning, and cyber security are central to the discipline of computer science. Other fields such as genetics, atomic physics, renewable energy, and health care depend upon computers for advancement as well. The increasing reliance on computers in our modern technological society makes the study of computer science exciting and challenging.

Graduates of Western’s Computer Science Department are employed by industry giants such as Microsoft, Boeing, Google, Amazon and Dell, while others have gone on to work for small start-ups and government research labs. Some have started their own companies. Our alumni create a rich network of contacts which current students often utilize to land paid internships and lucrative, challenging jobs right out of college. There is no shortage of exciting career opportunities available to graduates of computer science.

Computer science at Western is composed of core classes organized around the study of design and analysis techniques used to write software in various application domains along with details about the internal workings of computers and networks. Elective classes in areas such as artificial intelligence, mobile device programming, data science, robotics, graphics, web programming, bioinformatics, computer security, mobile app development, virtual reality, and video game programming allow students to explore areas of individual interest.
Faculty research interests span diverse areas of computer science including robotics, natural language processing, multiprocessing, cyber security, information retrieval, graphics, optimization algorithms, video games, bioinformatics, computer networks, machine learning, computer vision, and human computer interaction. Members of the department are involved in collaborative projects with government agencies, local industry and other academic units at Western.

Faculty

FILIP JAGODZINSKI (2015) Chair and Associate Professor. BS, Columbia University; MS, Villanova University; PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
SHAMEEM AHMED (2015) Associate Professor. BS, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology; MS, Marquette University; PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
JUSTICE BANSON (2016) Instructor. BS, University of Education; MEd, University of Cape Coast.
ARAN CLAUSON (2014) Instructor and Director, Corporate Alliance Program. BS, MS, Western Washington University; PhD, University of Oregon.
WESLEY DENEKE (2017) Associate Professor. BS, PhD, University of Arkansas.
YASMINE ELGLALY (2020) Assistant Professor. BS, Suez Canal University; MS, Ain Shams University; PhD, Virginia Polytechnic and Institute State University.
PERRY FIZZANO (2007) Professor. BS, Widener University; MS, PhD, Dartmouth College.
ERIK FRETHEIM (2016) Senior Instructor and Director, Computer and Information Systems Security Program. BS, United States Military Academy; MBA, Long Island University; MSEE, PhD, Air Force Institute of Technology.
QIANG HAO (2017) Assistant Professor. BS University of Hong Kong; MS, PhD University of Georgia.
CAROLINE HARDIN (2019) Assistant Professor. BS, MS, & PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
KAMERON HARRIS (2017) Assistant Professor. BA, MS, University of Vermont; PhD, University of Washington.
JAMES W. HEARNE (1986) Professor. BA, MA, PhD, University of California.
BRIAN HUTCHINSON (2013) Associate Professor. BA, BS, MS, Western Washington University; MS, PhD, University of Washington.
TAREK IDRISS (2019) Assistant Professor. BS, University of Balamand; MS, University of Balamand & University of Louisiana at Lafayette; PhD, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
YUDONG LIU (2013) Associate Professor. BS, MS, Jilin University; PhD, Simon Fraser University.
SHRIRANG MARE (2020) Assistant Professor. BE, Birla Institute of Technology and Science; PhD, Dartmouth College.
MICHAEL MEEHAN (1996) Professor. BS, Birmingham-Southern College; MS, PhD, University of Alabama-Huntsville.
PHILIP A. NELSON (1987) Professor. BS, Pacific Union College; MS, University of California-Davis; PhD, University of Washington.
DUSTIN O’HARA (2019) Director of Internet Studies Center. BA, University of California, Los Angeles; MFA, University of California, Santa Cruz; PhD, University of California, Los Angeles.
MOUSHUMI SHARMIN (2015) Associate Professor. BS, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology; MS, Marquette University; PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
MICHAEL TSIKERDEKIS (2017) Associate Professor. BS, Aristotle University; PhD Masaryk University.
SCOTT WEHRWEIN (2018) Assistant Professor. BA, Middlebury College; MS, PhD, Cornell University.

Programs

The Computer Science Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science which is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. The department also offers a Data Science Bachelor of Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Computer Science - Secondary. Alternatively, the Computer Science Department cooperates with the Department of Mathematics to offer a combined major, Mathematics/Computer Science, BS. The department also offers two minors – one in Computer Science and one in Computer Systems. At the graduate level, the department offers a Master of Science in Computer Science.

Students from all majors can pursue an interdisciplinary minor in Internet Studies, and three certificate programs: Web Content Development, Web Programming, and E-commerce. This minor and the certificate programs are designed so that computer science majors, as well as non-computer science majors, may gain the technical and communication background necessary for developing, maintaining, and managing websites and resources.

Declaring a Computer Science Major

Students interested in majoring or minoring in one of the CS majors, minors, or certificate programs, are advised to connect with the appropriate advisor, to formulate a balanced academic plan. The contact information for all advisors, is available on the CS website, which also includes links to major application forms, their deadlines, and our policies.

Internet Studies Center

The Internet Studies Center (ISC) provides an adjunct program to a regular degree program. The center offers courses in website development and management that enable students to apply their major field in the world of web-based communications and enterprise. Students completing a sequence of these courses are eligible for certification. The courses follow three different tracks. Students from a wide variety of liberal arts and science majors pursue the Web Content Development track. This certifies that students have sufficient technical knowledge and skill to work effectively as web content producers in a development team where they must work with programmers and project managers to produce a professional website. The Web Programming certification track provides a deeper technical program for CS majors to master programming skills pertinent to content delivery in large, dynamic websites. Finally, the E-commerce certification track, offered in conjunction with the Finance, Marketing and Decision Sciences department of the College of Business and Economics, provides students with in-depth knowledge of large website management for e-commerce and other enterprise applications.

Those students interested in Web development but not seeking certification may take a set of courses that leads to a minor in internet resource creation and management. This minor complements degrees in disciplines outside computing, providing students with the ability to publish and maintain material on the World Wide Web. This minor will enhance students standing in applications to entry-level positions and helps increase the marketability of their major degree. The curriculum for this minor and all of the ISC-sponsored courses adapt to changes in internet technology as the internet evolves.

Facilities

The department has state-of-the-art laboratories that support the computer science department and the several degree and certificate programs. The general-purpose labs support the teaching of first-year classes and beyond. These labs contain modern dual-monitor desktop workstations running Windows and Linux, and have specialized software installed that is available nowhere else on campus. Additionally, special purpose labs and equipment support education and research in robotics, computer graphics, mobile app development, computer vision, human computer interaction, multi-processor computing, computer security, data mining and information retrieval.

Advice to Transfer Students

We welcome transfer students each quarter. The following courses provide the best foundation for transferring to study Computer Science:

  • CSCI 141 Computer Programming I
  • CSCI 145 Computer Programming & Liner Data Structures (Java)
  • MATH 124 Calculus I and MATH 125 Calculus II
  • One lab science series chosen from:
    • BIOL 204, BIOL 205, and BIOL 206;
    • CHEM 161, CHEM 162, and CHEM 163;
    • PHYS 161, PHYS 162, and PHYS 163;
    • GEOL 211, GEOL 212, and one of GEOL 308, GEOL 309, GEOL 314, GEOL 315, GEOL 316, GEOL 340
  • CSCI 241 Data Structures
  • MATH 204 Elementary Linear Algebra

Once admitted to Western, you may contact our Computer Science transfer advisor for recommendations on what to register for in your first term at WWU or to evaluate the equivalency of any Computer Science courses. Students should be aware that like-named 200-level community college courses may not transfer as equivalent.

We do not offer direct admission to any of the Computer Science majors. New transfers with CSCI 145 credit are eligible for the Computer Science re-major and should sign up immediately upon transfer.

Contact Information

Department of Computer Science, Communication Facility 495, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225- 9165. Please direct questions to the departmental office: The phone is 360-650-3805, or correspond by e-mail to cs.dept@wwu.edu. Up-to-date information about advising is on the advising page of the Computer Science website at cs.wwu.edu.

Advising

Advising is available for prospective and transfer students, declared pre-major and major students. Contact information for advisors is available on the Computer Science Department website. Undergraduate Advisor: Located in CF 459. Go to cs.wwu.edu and click on the advising link.

Programs

    Undergraduate MajorUndergraduate MinorGraduateCertification

    Courses

      Computer Science

      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

      Computer & Information Systems Security

      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

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