Computer Science consists of the science of algorithms (theory, analysis, design and implementation) as well as the design and implementation of computer systems. As such it is an interdisciplinary field with roots in mathematics and engineering and applications in many other academic disciplines. The program at Bryn Mawr is founded on the belief that computer science should transcend from being a subfield of mathematics and engineering and play a broader role in all forms of human inquiry. The Computer Science Department is supported jointly by faculty at both Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. The department welcomes students who wish to pursue a major in computer science. Additionally, the department also offers a minor in computer science, a minor in computational methods and a concentration in computer science (at Haverford College). The department also strives to facilitate evolving interdisciplinary majors. For example, students can propose a major in cognitive science by combining coursework from computer science and disciplines such as psychology and philosophy. Students can further specialize their majors by selecting elective courses that focus on specific disciplinary tracks or pathways within the discipline. All majors, minors and concentrations offered by the department emphasize foundations and basic principles of information science with the goal of providing students with skills that transcend short-term trends in computer hardware and software.
Major in Computer Science
Students are encouraged to prepare a major course plan in consultation with their academic adviser in Computer Science. The requirements for a major in computer science are three introductory courses (CMSC 110/113, 206 and 231), three core courses (two of CMSC 240, 245, 246 and one of 330, 340 or 345), six electives of a student’s choosing and a senior thesis. Students can specialize in specific disciplinary tracks or pathways by carefully choosing their elective courses. Such pathways can enable specialization in areas such as: computational theory, computer systems, software development, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, robotics, computational media, computational linguistics, cognitive science, etc. Students should ensure that they have completed at least three courses in computer science by the end of their sophomore year (we highly recommend CMSC 110/113, 206 and 231).
Minor in Computer Science
Students in any major are encouraged to complete a minor in computer science. Completing a minor in computer science enables students to pursue graduate studies in computer science, in addition to their own major. The requirements for a minor in computer science at Bryn Mawr are 110/113, 206, 231, any two of 240, 245, 246, 330, 340 or 345, and two electives chosen from any course in computer science, approved by the student’s adviser in computer science. As mentioned above, these requirements can be combined with any major, depending on the student’s interest and preparation.
Minor in Computational Methods
This minor is designed to enable students majoring in any of the sciences (biology, chemistry, geology, physics, psychology), classical and Near Eastern archaeology, economics, growth and structure of cities, mathematics, philosophy, and sociology, to learn computational methods and applications in their major area of study. The requirements for a minor in computational methods at Bryn Mawr are 110/113, 206, 231; one of 240, 245, 246, 330, 340 or 345; any two computational courses depending on a student’s major and interests (there are many such courses to choose from in biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, geology, mathematics, physics, psychology and sociology). Students can declare a minor at the end of their sophomore year or soon after. Students should prepare a course plan and have it approved by at least two faculty advisers. Students minoring in computational methods are encouraged to propose senior projects/theses that involve the application of computational modeling in their major field of study.