There are a number of goals that we have for our students. We would like our students to:
- Gain a breadth of knowledge as computer scientists
- Become disciplined self teachers
- Learn to solve problems cooperatively as a team
- Engage in satisfying careers after college
The following sections will address these goals and how we go about satisfying them.
Goal 1: Computer Science Discipline
In our dynamic discipline, curricular changes are guided by the IEEE/ACM Computing Curricula document as well as peer review from colleagues at other institutions. Our major strikes a balance between breadth and depth of topics. Beyond the core topic areas, we also offer special topics courses (CS391 and CS392) regularly that allow the faculty to present interesting topics that do not fit into our course rotation. These have included Mobile Computing, Game AI, Game Programming, Scientific Visualization, Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction, and Data Mining.
Goal 2: Self Learning
This general liberal arts goal is a necessity in Computer Science. Whereas the programming languages and software students use in class today will change with time, the fundamentals of problem solving and computation are more static and offer lasting value. We provide ample resources, opportunities, and support to enable student exploration of Computer Science topics beyond our assignments and syllabi. Students who want to take a concept further are encouraged to do an independent study course or summer research with a professor.
Goal 3: Team Work
Computer Science is a team-oriented problem-solving discipline. Thus our students work in teams in many classes. Advanced System Design, our capstone course, features a semester-long team project. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence includes pair programming and a team robotics project. Introduction to Networks includes an option to build a larger scale network application as a team. To facilitate teamwork both in and out of class, our lab was designed with fold-away desks so students can work either on a desk between their workstations or right next to each other on a single workstation. The student lounge is also ideal for student collaboration featuring a cluster of machines, a blackboard, a large conference table and storage space for shared resources.
Goal 4: Career Satisfaction
Four short years students have at Gettysburg College provide a solid foundation for all of the years to follow. A broad introduction to our discipline gives a broader vision for our students' careers. We therefore introduce them to many aspects of our field so they can find careers that fit their strengths. The senior capstone course, Advanced System Design (CS440), requires students to work on a real world project. The students, as a group, work with a client and experience some of the important social aspects of Computer Science. The project deliverables vary from year to year and could include web services, standalone applications or systems recommendations.