Computer Sciences

Preparing computing leaders of the future

Welcome to the College of the Ozarks Computer Sciences department web site. The goal of this web site is to provide information that will help you consider or prepare for a career in computer science. In particular, this site should help you decide how to develop the skills you need to be successful in a computing career — a journey that ordinarily begins with an undergraduate degree in a computing-related discipline.

Hopefully you will experience a sense of the excitement and motivation computing careers can give you.

Academic Programs

The Computer Sciences department offers two degrees:

1. Computer Science (CS)
2. Computer Information Science (CIS)

Academically, students pursue a rigorous course of study that includes an in-depth core of courses in either the CS or CIS areas. Both programs are designed to supply the theoretical as well as real-world practical skills necessary to meet the diverse and ever-changing challenges of a computer-oriented society.

For a complete explanation of the two programs please see below.

What is Computer Science?

This is a common question of perspective Computer Sciences majors. It is helpful to begin to answer this question by discussing what Computer Science is NOT:

  • Computer Science IS NOT trouble shooting and fixing computers,
  • Computer Science IS NOT building PCs and networks,
  • Computer Science IS NOT running a help desk,
  • Computer Science IS NOT just programming -- it IS much more.

If these things are what you want to do, then Computer Science IS NOT for you.

Computer Science IS:

  • First and foremost Computer Science is problem solving. Computers are built and programmed to solve many types of problems, from scientific to business applications. This is why you must take courses in mathematics -- to develop your problem solving and critical thinking skills,
  • Much more than just programming, although programming is a large part of it,
  • Analyzing and designing new and improved systems, including everything from operating systems to business systems,
  • The study of how things work inside the computer as in the study of computer architectures and assembly languages,
  • Data communications and networks from an engineering point of view, including the design and building of the World Wide Web,
  • The study of artificial intelligence in order to make computers smarter and to go places we humans cannot go, as in robotics,
  • The study of how computers have impacted society in the past and will most likely do so in the future.

If all this sounds pretty exciting, the Computer Science IS for you.  

What is Computer Information Science?

  • Computer Information Science IS NOT trouble shooting and fixing computers,
  • Computer Information Science IS NOT building PCs and networks although they are frequently involved in the planning of them,
  • Computer Information Science IS NOT running a help desk although they are frequently involved in the planning of the software to do so,
  • Computer Information Science IS NOT just programming -- it IS much more.

If this is what you want to do, then Computer Information Science IS NOT for you.

Computer Information Science IS:

  • First and foremost problem solving for strategic business systems. This is why you must take courses in business -- to develop your problem solving and critical thinking skills with an understanding of business issues,
  • Much more than just programming, although programming is a large part of it. You cannot work with technology and business clients unless you understand both worlds,
  • The study of how computers have impacted society in the past and will most likely do so in the future.

Students with a degree in Computer Information Science graduate with an understanding of and the ability to leverage technology for competitive advantage in a global economy. Typical jobs would include Systems Analysts, Programmer Analysts, Business Systems Analysts, Web Site Designer, Database Administrator, etc.

If all this sounds pretty exciting, the Computer Information Science IS for you.

Faculty

Mr. Jim Buchan   
Associate Professor of Computer Science
buchan@cofo.edu   

Mr. Caleb Berkstresser
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
cberkstresser@cofo.edu
 

Departmental Activities and News

The Computer Sciences department featured six seniors during the May, 2013 Senior Project poster board session. Five industry professional developers judged the projects and provided the seniors the opportunity to present their projects to professionals within their field.

November 2013 - The competitive programming class took three programming teams to the International Programming Competition sponsed by IBM and ACM.

April 2014 - The competitive programming class took four teams to Fulton, MO (Westminster University) to compete during the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC), Central Plains Region conference.


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