9: School of Graduate Engineering and Applied Science

General Information | Degree Programs | Program Descriptions | Course Descriptions | Faculty

Programs in Applied Mathematics | Department of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering | Department of Civil Engineering
Department of Computer Science | Department of Electrical Engineering
Engineering Physics Program | Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering | Department of Systems Engineering

Department of Computer Science

Computer science is that body of knowledge and research associated with the development and utilization of digital computers. It includes material associated with pure and applied mathematics, as well as the more technological areas typical of engineering subjects. Moreover, the existence and proliferation of computer systems has led to the development of programming languages, operating systems, and other areas of study which have no counterpart in more classical disciplines. Our instructional and research programs in computer science are kept flexible in order to accommodate new areas of importance as they develop in this rapidly changing technology.

Programs of study and research through the doctoral level are offered by the department. A suitable background for admission to the graduate program is a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a minor in computer science with a major in physics, engineering or mathematics. Applicants for computer science should have a strong interest in empirical research.

Research in computer science includes algorithms, parallel processing, computer vision, operating systems, performance evaluation, programming languages and environments, software engineering, distributed computing, real-time systems, computer networks, human-computer interfaces, and databases. A major emphasis is in the development of parallel and distributed computing systems.

The department’s computer facilities are primarily UNIX- and Windows NT-based. The department has many centralized services connected by a 100 Mbit switched ethernet infrastructure. The central file servers offer a total of 200 Gbytes of storage, much of which is RAID storage. For large computational jobs, the department runs many multiprocessor Sun UltraSPARC servers with 512 Mbytes of memory and 2 Gbytes of virtual memory. The department also offers high-quality software engineering tools, including commercial development, debugging, and version control software. Support for parallel computation and research is provided by 64 500Mhz DEC Alpha workstations and dozens of fast multiprocessor Pentium-class machines connected by 1.3 Gbit bidirectional Myrinet. Several Silicon Graphics systems are available for virtual reality and graphics research. The department’s state-of-the-art network has as much internal bandwidth as the rest of the School of Engineering combined. It uses ATM at its core, including a LightStream 1010 switch connected to a Cisco Catalyst 5000. For networks research, the department maintains an IBM 8260 and six LightStream 2020 ATM switches. The department runs 100 Mbit switched ethernet to each desktop and provides 155 Mbit (OC3) connectivity to the outside world.

Information Technology and Communications (ITC), a centralized University office, supports the operation of a large number of public workstation facilities. Approximately 500 workstations are located in a number of different locations around Grounds and are available 24-hours a day. Most workstations are Windows NT PCs, most of which provide an X-Windows interface to central, shared computer systems. In addition, ITC supports public Macintosh facilities, as well a public Sun and Silicon Graphics Unix workstations. The University’s internal network consists of hundreds of departmental and building-level LANs connected to a central backbone. Thanks to a joint grant between ITC and the Department of Computer Science, the University’s backbone was upgraded to fiber-optic 622 Mbit (OC12) ATM. This new backbone is connected to “Internet 2” and enables the University to conduct research on the next generation of computer networks. In addition to network infrastructure, ITC is also poised to provide up to 1 terabyte (1000 Gbytes) of central storage space to students, faculty, and staff. ITC currently provides many centralized services for the University community, including electronic mail, printing, technical support, and training seminars.

The department operates a Systems Integration Laboratory to produce complete hardware systems. Cooperative efforts with the electrical engineering department’s Center for Semi-Custom Integrated Circuits allows the department to produce novel hardware systems in support of research.

The department offers four degrees: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Computer Science, and Doctor of Philosophy.


Continue to: Department of Electrical Engineering
Return to: Chapter 9 Index