<h4>Studying computer science at Denison</h4>
Computer science is the study of processes, or algorithms. Computer scientists design algorithms to solve problems, realize them as computer programs, and mathematically analyze them to assess their correctness and efficiency. Our students use practical application to deepen their understanding of this fundamental core of ideas and skills, not as an end in itself. With their knowledge deeply rooted in this core, our students are able to apply their education to whatever new technology they face in the future.
The computer science faculty at Denison perform research and teach courses in artificial intelligence, robotics, software engineering, high performance computing, networking, operating systems, and algorithm analysis.
Computer Science is taught within the joint department of Mathematics and Computer Science, which offers degrees in both disciplines. For information about the mathematics major, please click here.
We offer many opportunities for computer science students to become actively involved in research and other activities. We host a chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the international honor society for the computing sciences. Our local computing club, the George Stibitz Computer Society, is named for Denison alumnus George Stibitz '26, one of the inventors of digital computing and a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame
We are located on the second floor of F. W. Olin Science Hall, a 46,000-square-foot facility with innovative laboratory and classroom space. We maintain three computer labs, one containing Macintosh computers running Mac OS X, one containing Linux workstations, and another "majors' lab" containing a mix of machines with non-standard software installed for student research projects. In addition, we maintain a 16 node Beowulf cluster, a closely coupled network of 16 high-end workstations running Linux. The cluster is used for designing and developing parallel programs using a message passing programming model.
These resources are connected to Denison's high speed intranet and the Internet. Denison also boasts a campus-wide wireless network.
The computer science major and minor
We offer both a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Computer Science. Both degrees share a core of eight common courses covering Calculus, programming, discrete mathematics, data structures, algorithm analysis, computer organization, and the theory of computation.
In addition to the core, the B.S. degree requires a course in operating systems, computer hardware, and three electives. We strongly encourage BS candidates to also take another semester of calculus and linear algebra, especially if they intend to apply to graduate school.
The B.A. degree requires the core and two additional electives.
A minor in computer science requires six courses from the core.
What do computer science majors do after Denison?
Computer Science majors pursue careers in software development, research, finance or teaching, or continue their studies in graduate school. In recent years, our graduates have attended Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Northeastern, William and Mary, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Penn State, Colorado State, DigiPen Institute of Technology, George Washington, and Michigan State to pursue graduate studies.
Here is what just a few of our recent graduates are doing now:
Pancham Gajjar (2006)
Treasury Associate, C-BASS
Nate Schmidt (2006)
Graduate Student, The College of William and Mary
Evan Lewis (2005)
Graduate Student, DigiPen Institute of Technology
Blaine Hoffman (2005)
Graduate Student, Pennsylvania State University
Stoyan Paunov (2004)
Graduate Student, Vanderbilt University
Harsh Chandriani (2004)
Business Analyst, UBS Investment Bank
Daria Antonova (2003)
Ph.D. candidate, Northeastern University
Steve Ayers (2003)
Network Administrator, University Hospitals Health System
Vessilin Dimitrov (2003)
M.S. in Computer Science, Stanford University
Software Engineer, Efficient Frontier
Sergey Kanareykin (2003)
Doctoral Student, University of Paris 1, La Sorbonne
Chief Technical Officer and Senior Researcher, Center for Advanced Defense Studies
Jason Roberts (2003)
M.S. in Computer Science, Rochester Institute of Technology
Software Design Engineer, Microsoft Corporation
Raoul Kamath (2002)
Web Applications Developer, Publishing Dynamics Corporation
David Michael (2001)
M.Eng. in Computer Science, Cornell University
Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories
Opportunities for student research
Computer science majors have numerous opportunities to engage in independent research projects with a faculty mentor. Independent research allows students to pursue topics that interest them in depth and is excellent preparation for graduate school. Anderson summer research fellowships pay students a stipend to work with a faculty mentor for 10 weeks in the summer. A student can also pursue a Senior Research Project or an Honors Thesis during his or her senior year. Here are a few of the research projects that computer science students have recently completed. For more, visit the department's research page.
Selected honors theses and senior research projects
Kernel Methods for Image Processing
Dan Bucatanschi (2006) Honors Thesis
Statistical Monitoring On The Court: J-Ball, An NBA Basketball Simulator In Java
Kevin Connor (2004) Senior Research Project
A Content Addressable Storage Provider in Linux
Vesselin Dimitrov (2003) Honors Thesis
A Mobile Room Condition Inventory System
Rohit Bansal (2003) Honors Thesis
Selected summer research projects
Hand Manipulation of Deformable Objects
Andy Hoffman (2005)
Online Algorithms for Packet Routing on Rings
Mete Tuzcu (2005)
The Ant Colony System for the Freeze Tag Problem
Dan Bucatanschi (2004)
Genetic Algorithms Applied to the Freeze Tag Problem
Blaine Hoffman (2004)
Online Packet Routing on Ring Networks
Pancham Gajjar (2004)
Open Content Addressable Storage Expanded to Include Peer to Peer Networks
Nathan Schmidt (2004)
Interfaces for Content Addressable Storage Providers and Clients
Stoyan Paunov (2003)
Who are our professors?
There are ten full-time faculty in the combined Mathematics and Computer Science department, four of whom primarily teach computer science. Altogether, we teach roughly 25 distinct courses annually, with an average class size of 25 to 30 in the introductory classes and 5 to 15 in the advanced classes.
The following faculty primarily teach computer science. See the mathematics page for information on the mathematics program and faculty.
Associate Professor Thomas Bressoud joined the Denison faculty in 2002. He earned a B.S. at Muskingum College, an M.S. at Boston University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. at Cornell University. He has research interests in fault tolerance and interdomain routing/internet topology.
Department Chair and Associate Professor Jessen T. Havilljoined the Denison faculty in 1998. He earned a B.A. at Bucknell University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. at The College of William and Mary. Dr. Havill studies efficient approximation and online algorithms for resource allocation problems such as process scheduling and network routing.
Associate Professor R. Matthew Kretchmar joined the Denison faculty in 1999. He earned a B.S. at Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. at Colorado State University. His research interests include artificial intelligence, discrete mathematics, machine learning, reinforcement learning, evolutionary computation, games and game theory and combinatorics.
Professor Joan Krone holds the Benjamin Barney Chair of Mathematics. She joined the Denison faculty in 1990. Krone earned a B.S. at West Liberty State College, two master's degrees and a Ph.D. at Ohio State University. Her research interests include discrete math for beginning computer science students, formal methods, reusable software, non-standard logic, Maple analysis of computer algorithms, software engineering, programming languages and theory of computation.
Assistant Professor Thomas Wexler joined the faculty in 2007. He earned his B.A. at Amherst College and both his M.S. and Ph.D. at Cornell University. He teaches Introduction to Computer Science and Elementary Graph Theory courses. His research interests include algorithmic game theory, social and computer networks, and graph theory and combinatorics.
Selected Faculty Research Publications
The Denison faculty believe that continued scholarship is instrumental to excellent teaching. Therefore, the computer science faculty are active members of the research community. Here are a few recent research publications:
Essential Mathematics for Computer Science
Todd Feil and Joan Krone, Prentice Hall, 2003.
Pushing the Virtual Envelope: Internet Suspend/Resume over HTTP(S)
T. C. Bressoud, M. Kozuch, and P. Nath. Proceedings of IASTED WTAS, 2005.
Seamless Mobile Computing on Fixed Infrastructure
M. Kozuch, M. Satyanarayanan, T. C. Bressoud, C. Helfrich, and S. Sinnamohideen. IEEE Computer, 2004.
Improved Automatic Discovery of Subgoals for Options in Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning
T. Feil, R.M. Kretchmar, and Rohit Bansal '03. Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2003.
Tree traversals and Permutations
T. Feil, K. Hutson, and R. M. Kretchmar. Congressus Numerantium, 2005.
Competitive Online Scheduling of Perfectly Malleable Jobs with Setup Times
J.T. Havill and W. Mao. European Journal of Operational Research, 2006.
Improved Parallel Job Scheduling with Overhead
J.T. Havill, W. Mao and Vesselin Dimitrov '03. Proceedings of JCIS, 2003.
Robust Reinforcement Learning for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Control of Buildings
C.W. Anderson, D. Hittle, R.M. Kretchmar, and P. Young. chapter in Handbook of Learning and Approximate Dynamic Programming, IEEE Press, 2004.
Software Verification is not Dead, but it needs a new way to Express Mathematics
J. Krone and W.F. Ogden. Proceedings of RESOLVE, 2006.
For more information about the department and curriculum, go to the:
Jessen Havill, Chair
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
F.W. Olin Science Hall, Room 208
Granville, Ohio 43023
Phone: (740) 587-6582
Fax: (740) 587-5749