Computer Science Program Goals
The computer science program at The University of Akron has many roles to play both on and off campus. A primary goal of the program is the education of students to fulfill needs in industrial, commercial, government, and university environments. Such a diversity of settings requires that the students have a strong foundation in the field of computer science so as to be capable of productive work anywhere. As a consequence we stress the following:
- A student must learn the concepts underlying many different solutions to problems. Only by knowing these concepts can a student extend the knowledge gained in school into new situations.
- A purely theoretical understanding is insufficient; the student must also be able to implement the concepts in a variety of environments. Every course in our curriculum requires the student to write computer programs. The student will use a variety of computer languages, hardware, and operating systems. The range of environments extends from machine language programming on a single board computer using a simple monitor up to writing applications software under UNIX on a parallel processor.
- The ability to express oneself is an absolute necessity. Programming requires the ability to write in a formal system; the student must also be able to write in English. Comments, documentation, and program descriptions are an essential part of programming assignments. In addition, many courses require the student to write an expository paper on one aspect of the course. Typically a course is fairly broad in the discussion of topics; an expository paper requires the student to research and write about some topic in depth.
- In a field as rapidly changing as computer science, remaining up-to-date is an essential aspect of professionalism. Students are encouraged to read professional journals, join and be active in professional societies and to develop the ability to learn on their own. Education does not end on graduation day; it must continue into the future.
- As computers continue to affect more aspects of everyday life, the consequences of inappropriate or unethical behavior become more severe. The students must be aware of what is considered ethical and legal behavior, as well as the consequences of violations of such norms.