About Computer Science

What is Computer Science?

[from Wikipedia] Computer science is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications. It is the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical processes (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to information, whether such information is encoded in bits and bytes in a computer memory or transcribed engines and protein structures in a human cell. A computer scientist specializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems. As a discipline, computer science spans a range of topics from theoretical studies of algorithms and the limits of computation to the practical issues of implementing computing systems in hardware and software. CSAB, formerly called Computing Sciences Accreditation Board – which is made up of representatives of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) – identifies four areas that it considers crucial to the discipline of computer science: theory of computation, algorithms and data structures, programming methodology and languages, and computer elements and architecture.In addition to these four areas, CSAB also identifies fields such as software engineering, artificial intelligence, computer networking and communication, database systems, parallel computation, distributed computation, computer-human interaction, computer graphics, operating systems, and numerical and symbolic computation as being important areas of computer science. Read more ...

Is Computer Science the right major for me?

If you are enthusiastic about programming and software development, then the answer is generally YES. Of course, you need solid background on logic, data structures, algorithms, automata theory. We are confident that you will enjoy a rewarding experience at CSCI.

Why software is so important and popular nowadays?

Well, Now Every Company is A Software Company (Forbes 11/30/2011). The demand for computerization requires all companies to implement very complicated systems (e.g., financial institutions like CitiGroup and Chase and retailers like Walmart and Amazon). During the past five years, the growth of software companies far exceeded other companies. In US, more and more majors require students to study software even programming skills in order to make them competitive in the job market.

What are the differences between CSCI and Computer Engineering?

To make a complicated topic simple, it's fair to say that computer science focuses on all aspects of software systems, from programming languages, visualization/graphics, communications/networking, gaming, artificial intelligence, data mining/analysis, as well as hardware system. Actually, at Fresno State CSCI, we offer multiple courses such as 112, 113, 144, 146, 148, and 176 to enhance student background on hardware/software systems and teach them skills in building system level software. In comparison, computer engineering is a combination of CSCI and EE, with a focus on the hardware side, though several CSCI courses are required for students. Please note that hardware systems are also important areas. Therefore, please make sure to compare the curriculum of CSCI and CE at Fresno State for the best choice.

What are the differences between CSCI and Computer Information System?

Computer Information System major focuses more on the BUSINESS applications of information systems, especially at user side. In comparison, CSCI focuses on how to implement all kinds of software systems, especially the server and system side. Please note that business information systems are also important areas. Therefore, please make sure to compare the curriculum of CSCI and CIS at Fresno State for the best choice.

What will Computer Science graduates do?

Graduates from Department of Computer Science has been successful in various areas in computing, such as software development, web programming, system development, mobile app development, networks, etc. Some students entered graduate school in prestigious universities in US.

Who are the potential employers?

Graduates from Department of Computer Science has been successful in many large, national companies such as Apple, Boeing, Cisco, Google, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, VMWare, as well as Fresno/Clovis based companies such as Pelco by Schneider Electric, Decipher, Famous Software, Barracuda Networks, and PG&E. Some of them work in Startup companies in Sillicon Valley and Central Valley. In addition, The projected number of computer and math related jobs in 2020 in Fresno County will be over 3000.

What is the salary expectation of a Bachelor in Computer Science?

Although the actual salary and compensation vary for different individuals, companies, and locations, Computer Science has been consistently ranked among the top degrees with highest starting salary. According to various sources such as Forbes, the national average starting salary for a Bachelor in Computer Science is about 60k-70K, with a mid-career salary of 100K. In Fresno County, 2012 median hourly wage is $30 for computer related occupations and $43 for computer managers.

Career Watch: Computer science enrollment on rise (ComputerWorld, 4/22/2013)

The number of bachelor's degrees awarded to computer science majors by Ph.D.-granting universities in the U.S. increased by 19.8% in 2012 compared with a year earlier. It was the third year in a row that the percentage increase was in the double digits, reflecting an uptick in the fortunes of the cyclical IT jobs market. According to Peter Harsha, the director of government affairs at the Computing Research Association, CRA members have said that the recent upward trend is due at least in part to the fact that "students are much more aware of the importance of computational thinking in just about every other field of science and technology." Read more ...