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University Catalog|Office of the Registrar

Department of Computer Science

James Caldwell, Department Head
4083 Engineering Building
Phone: (307) 766-5190, FAX: (307) 766-4036
Website: http://www.cs.uwyo.edu/

Professors

THOMAS A. BAILEY, JR., B.S. Alma College 1964; M.S. University of Colorado 1969; Ph.D. Michigan State University 1978;  Professor of Computer Science 1998, 1980.
JOHN R. COWLES, B.A. University of Wyoming 1968; M.A. University of Nebraska 1970; Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University 1975; Professor of Computer Science 1992, 1978.
JEFFREY VAN BAALEN, B.S. University of Wyoming 1977; M.S. 1980; Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1988; Professor of Computer Science 2002, 1991.

Associate Professors

JAMES L. CALDWELL, B.S. State University of New York at Albany 1984; M.S. 1988; M.S. Cornell University 1995; Ph.D. 1998; Associate Professor of Computer Science 2004, 1998.
RUBEN GAMBOA, B.S. Angelo State University 1984; M.S. Texas A&M University 1986; Ph.D. The University of Texas 1999; Associate Professor of Computer Science 2007, 2002.
JOHN M. HITCHCOCK, B.S. Iowa State University 1999; M.S. 2001; Ph.D. 2003; Associate Professor of Computer Science 2009, 2003.
LIQIANG WANG, B.S. Hebei Normal University 1995; M.Eng. Sichjan University 1998; M.S. SUNY Stony Brook 2003; Ph.D. 2006; Associate Professor of Computer Science 2012, 2006.

Assistant Professors

AMY BANIC, B.S. Duquesne University 2003; M.S. University of North Carolina 2005; Ph.D. 2008; Assistant Professor of Computer Science 2012, 2010.
JEFF CLUNE, B.A. University of Michigan 1999; M.A. Michigan State University 2005; Ph.D. Michigan State University 2010; Assistant Professor of Computer Science 2013.

Senior Lecturer

ALLYSON A. ANDERSON, B.S. University of Wyoming 1991; M.S. 1994; Senior Lecturer of Computer Science 2008, 1994.
JAMES S. WARD, B.S. University of Wyoming 1993; M.S. 1997; Senior Lecturer of Computer Science 2011, 2000.

Assistant Lecturer

KIM BUCKNER, B.S. Chapman University 1993; M.S. University of Tennessee, Knoxville 1998; Ph.D. 2003; Assistant Lecturer of Computer Science 2012, 2008.

Professor Emeritus

Henry R. Bauer III
John Rowland

Lecturer Emeritus

Jeri R. Hanly

Computer Science

Over the past 50 years computers have developed from a novelty with a few technical numerical applications to a ubiquitous tool, essential to science and technology, to business and finance, to government, to communications, and even to entertainment. Computer Science has grown from a specialization in mathematics or business or electrical engineering to an independent, broadly based area of study covering all aspects of the use and understanding of computers and the computation process.

Computer Science education concentrates on the creation and understanding of computer software. The curriculum focuses first on programming and then on the central processes that support programming: operating systems, programming languages, and computational theory. The program of study culminates with a senior design project that produces a working program for a real world problem.

Computers and Business Concentration

An understanding of business fundamentals is essential for students planning a career in applied computer science in a business environment. This program of study provides a foundation in computer science, business and information management. It includes courses in accounting, management, marketing, database fundamentals, and design and implementation of software systems. The curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree. It is highly recommended that students declare a Business minor, since they will meet all the requirements without any additional courses.

International Engineering Concentration

Computer Science is a global profession, and today's computer scientists must be able to work and interact in a variety of diverse cultural and technical environments. The international engineering concentration gives computer science students an opportunity to study culture and foreign language at the same time as they pursue their computer science degrees.

The concentration includes at least one semester of study abroad with courses taken in a foreign language.  In addition, students may participate in a four-to-five month international internship. Foreign language skills can be earned through a variety of means, including formal university coursework, intensive summer language programs, and previous education.

Foreign language education and the study-abroad experience satisfy the cultural context requirements of the University Studies Program. The curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree.

Program Objectives

The following are the measurable objectives for graduated computer science students (Standard I-1):

  • OB1: Have successfully applied the fundamentals of computer science to solve software-oriented computing problems.
  • OB2: Have effectively communicated within and outside the discipline and work effectively with others.
  • OB3: Have extended their knowledge by independent learning and continuing education.
  • OB4: Appreciate the role of computer science in the societal context and appreciate the importance of ethics in the practice of the profession.

Program Learning Outcomes

The program of study in Computer Science enables students to achieve, by the time of graduation:

  • (a) An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline;
  • (b) An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution;
  • (c) An ability to design, implement and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs;
  • (d) An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal;
  • (e) An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security, and social issues and responsibilities;
  • (f) An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  • (g) An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations and society;
  • (h) Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, continuing professional development;
  • (i) An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practices.
  • (j) An ability to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices;
  • (k) An ability to apply design and development principles in the construction of software systems of varying complexity.

Computer Science Undergraduate Major

The computer science requirements are subject to minor program changes. The published curricula are general guides. Students should consult the department Web pages (www.cs.uwyo.edu) for current information.

Students must complete ENGL 1010, 4010; COSC 1010, 1030, 2030, 2150, 2300, 3011, 3015, 3020, 3050, 4950, 4955, theory course: 4100 or 4200, operating systems course: 4740, programming language course: 4780 or 4785, system course: 4820 or 4760; and 12 semester hours of COSC courses at the 3000+ level that are not fulfilling another requirement. Three hours can be from the Computer Engineering [CPEN] electives.

The science requirement consists first of two tightly related lab sciences chosen from the following pairs: PHYS 1210 and 1220, or 1310 and 1320, or LIFE 1010 and 2022 or 2023, or CHEM 1020 and 1030 or CHEM 1050 and CHEM 1060; two additional courses from among ASTR 2310, EE 2390, and any four-credit lab science, for the science major, which meets the USP S, SB, SP, or SE requirement excluding LIFE 1002 and CHEM 1000.

The mathematics requirement is MATH 2200, 2205, Stat Course: STAT 4220 or MATH/STAT 4255 or MATH/STAT 4265, and six semester hours selected from among MATH 2210, or higher numbered courses, COSC 4340 or STAT 3000- or 4000-level courses, except for MATH 2350, 2355, 4000 and variable-credit courses.

The foreign language requirement is two semesters of a single foreign language (or one semester at the 2nd or 3rd-semester level), or satisfactory score on one of the following; Departmental Examination, College Level Examination Program, Advanced Placement Examination. Refer to the languages department sections in this bulletin for detailed information.

In addition to the required courses listed above, students must choose courses that complete satisfaction of the following University Studies Program requirements: Writing 1 (WA), Writing 2 (WB), Writing 3 (WC), three cultural context courses (CH, CS, CA), oral communications (O), U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions requirement (V), Global Awareness (G), Information Literacy (L), U.S. Diversity (D), Intellectual Community (I) and Physical Activity (P).

Additional requirements: 6 upper-division hours in non COSC courses (UDNC). All COSC, MATH, and STAT courses must have a grade of C or better. The student's program must fulfill the university requirement of 48 semester credit hours in upper division (junior/senior or graduate-level) courses.

Suggested B.S. Program in Computer Science

Course Sequence of Major Requirements

Students are free to satisfy program requirements in any order that complies with course prerequisites.

Freshman Year: Fall

Hours

ES 1000

1

COSC 1010

4

MATH 2200

4

ENGL 1010

3

Science I

4

Freshman Year: Spring

Hours

COSC 1030

4

MATH 2205

4

Science II

4

COJO 1010

3

PEAC 1001

1

Sophomore Year: Fall

Hours

COSC 2030

4

COSC 2150

3

COSC 2300

3

Foreign Language I

4

USP Cultural Context

3

Sophomore Year: Spring

Hours

COSC 3011

3

COSC 3020

4

Math Elective

3

Foreign Language II

4

USP Cultural Context

3

Junior Year: Fall

Hours

COSC 3015

3

Operating Systems Course

4

COSC Elective

3

Science Elective

4

USP V Course

3

Junior Year: Spring

Hours

COSC Elective

3

COSC 3050

1

Science Elective

4

Math Elective

3

USP Cultural Context

3

Senior Year: Fall

Hours

COSC 4950

1

Systems Course

3

STAT Course

3

Theory Course

3

ENGL 4010

3

Upper Division non-COSC (UDNC)

3

Senior Year: Spring

Hours

COSC 4955

2

COSC Electives

6

Programming Language Course

3

UDNC

3


Computer Science Computers and Business Concentration Undergraduate Major

The computers and business concentration requirements are subject to minor program changes. The published curricula are general guides. Students should consult the department Web pages (http://www.cs.uwyo.edu/) for current information.

Students must complete ENGL 1010, 4010; COSC 1010, 1030, 2030, 2150, 2300, 3011, 3020, 3050, 4210, 4220, 4820, 4950, 4955, one operating systems course: 3750, 4740 or 4750; and 6 semester hours of COSC courses at 3000+ level that are not fulfilling another requirement.

The science requirement consists first of two tightly related lab sciences chosen from the following pairs: PHYS 1210 and 1220, or 1310 and 1320, or LIFE 1010 and 2022 or 2023, or CHEM 1020 and 1030 or CHEM 1050 and 1060; two additional courses from among ASTR 2310, EE 2390, and any four-credit lab science, for the science major, which meets the USP S, SB, SP, or SE requirement, excluding LIFE 1002 and CHEM 1000.

The mathematics requirement is MATH 2200 or 2350 and 2205 or 2355, STAT 2010, 2050, or 2070.

The business requirement is ACCT 1010, ACCT 1020, MGT 1040, MGT 3110, MGT 3210, MKT 3210, FIN 3250 and three semester hours of business courses at the 3000+ level that are not fulfilling another requirement.

In addition to the required courses listed above, students must choose courses that complete satisfaction of the following University Studies Program requirements: Writing 1 (WA), Writing 2 (WB), Writing 3 (WC), three cultural context courses (CH, CS, CA), oral communications (O), U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions requirement (V), Global Awareness (G), Information Literacy (L), U.S. Diversity (D), Intellectual Community (I) and Physical Activity (P).

Additional requirements: 3 upper-division semester hours in a non COSC course (UDNC). All COSC, MATH, Business and STAT courses must have a grade of C or better. The student's program must fulfill the university requirement of 48 semester credit hours in upper division (junior/senior) or graduate-level courses.

It is highly recommended that students declare a Business minor, since they will meet all the requirements without any additional courses.  If you are planning on attending graduate school, then you should take COSC 4740 for the operating systems course and COSC 4100 and COSC 4780 for the two computer science electives.


Suggested B.S. Program in Computer Science Computers and Business Concentration

Course Sequence of Major Requirements

Students are free to satisfy program requirements in any order that complies with course prerequisites.

Freshman Year: Fall

Hours

ES 1000

1

COSC 1010

4

MATH 2200

4

Science I

4

ENGL 1010

3

Freshman Year: Spring

Hours

COSC 1030

4

MATH 2205

4

Science II

4

COJO 1010

3

PEAC 1001

1

Sophomore Year: Fall

Hours

COSC 2030

4

COSC 2150

3

ACCT 1010

3

COSC 2300

3

USP Cultural Context

3

Sophomore Year: Spring

Hours

COSC 3011

3

MGT 1040

3

USP Cultural Context

3

ACCT 1020

3

COSC 3020

4

Junior Year: Fall

Hours

MGT 2110

3

STAT 2050

4

Science Elective

4

USP V Course

3

COSC Operating Systems Course

3-4

Junior Year: Spring

Hours

FIN 3250

3

Science Elective

4

COSC 4820

3

COSC 3050

1

MGT 3210

3

Senior Year: Fall

Hours

COSC 4950

1

COSC 4210

3

COSC Elective

3

Business Elective

3

ENGL 4010

3

MKT 3210

3

Senior Year: Spring

Hours

COSC 4955

2

COSC 4220

3

USP Cultural Context 3
COSC Elective

3

UDNC

3

Computer Science International Engineering Concentration

Computer science international engineering concentration requirements are subject to minor program changes. The published curricula are general guides. Students should consult the department office Web pages (http://www.cs.uwyo.edu/) for current information.

Students must complete ENGL 1010, 4010; COSC 1010, 1030, 2030, 2150, 2300, 3011, 3015, 3020, 3050, 4950, 4955, theory course: 4100 or 4200, operating system course: 4740, programming language course: 4780 or 4785, system course: 4820 or 4760; and 12 semester hours of COSC courses at 3000+ level and not fulfilling another requirement. Three hours can be from the Computer Engineering [CPEN] electives.

The science requirement consists first of two tightly related lab sciences, chosen from the following pairs: PHYS 1210 and 1220, or 1310 and 1320, or LIFE 1010 and 2022 or 2023, or CHEM 1020 and 1030 or CHEM 1050 and 1060; two additional courses from among ASTR 2310, EE 2390, and any four-credit lab science, for the science major, which meets the USP S, SB, SP, or SE requirement excluding LIFE 1002 and CHEM 1000.

The mathematics requirement is MATH 2200, 2205, Stat Course: STAT 4220 or MATH/STAT 4255 or MATH/STAT 4265, and six semester hours selected from among MATH 2210, or higher numbered courses, COSC 4340 or STAT 3000- or 4000-level courses, except for MATH 2350, 2355, 4000 and variable-credit courses. Recommend: MATH 2250 and 3500.

 The foreign language requirement is four semesters of a single foreign language and one semester of study abroad. Foreign language skills can be earned through a variety of means, including formal university coursework, intensive summer language programs, and previous education.

In addition to the courses listed above, students must choose courses that complete satisfaction of the following University Studies Program requirements: Writing 1 (WA), Writing 2 (WB), Writing 3 (WC), oral communications (O), U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions requirement (V), Information Literacy (L), Intellectual Community (I) and Physical Activity (P).

Additional requirements: six upper-division hours in non COSC courses (UDNC). All COSC, MATH, and STAT courses must have a grade of C or better. The student's program must fulfill the university requirement of 48 semester credit hours in upper division (junior/senior) or graduate-level courses.

Suggested B.S. Program in Computer Science International Engineering Concentration

Course Sequence of Major Requirements

Students are free to satisfy program requirements in any order that complies with course prerequisites.

Freshman Year; Fall

Hours

ES 1000

1

COSC 1010

4

MATH 2200

4

Foreign Language I

4

ENGL 1010

3

Freshman Year: Spring

Hours

COSC 1030

4

MATH 2205

4

Foreign Language II

4

COJO 1010

3

PEAC 1001

1

Sophomore Year: Fall

Hours

COSC 2150

3

COSC 2030

4

COSC 2300

3

Foreign Language III

4

Science I

3

Sophomore Year: Spring

Hours

COSC 3011

3

COSC 3020

4

MATH Elective

3

Foreign Language IV

3

Science II

4

Junior Year: Fall

Hours

COSC 3015

3

Operating Systems Course

4

COSC Elective

4

USP V Course

3

Junior Year: Spring (Study Abroad)

Hours

COSC Elective

4

Science Elective

4

MATH Elective

3

UDNC

3

Senior Year: Fall

Hours

COSC 4950

1

System Course

3

Stat Course

3

Theory Course

3

ENGL 4010

3

UDNC

3

Senior Year: Spring

Hours

COSC 4955

2

COSC 3050

3

COSC Electives

6

Programming Language Course

3

Computer Science Minor Requirements

Requirements for a minor in Computer Science are as follows:

  • A total of 18 credits of computer science courses of which 9 credits must be upper-division.
  • All 18 credits must have a grade of C or better.
  • At least 12 of the credits must not be counted simultaneously for a major.

Graduate Study

The Department of Computer Science offers graduate work leading to the master of science degree in computer science and the doctor of philosophy in computer science.

Program Specific Admission Requirement

Applicants must meet the minimum standards of the university.

Acceptance will be based on the student's academic records.

High performing undergraduates in computer science can elect for Quick Start admission to the graduate program, allowing the sharing of up to six credit hours of 5000-level coursework toward the completion of both the B.S. and the graduate degree programs.

For the master's degree and the Ph.D. program, the following courses or their equivalent are considered preparatory for graduate work in computer science: COSC 3020, COSC 4100 or 4200, COSC 4740, and COSC 4780 or 4785. Students admitted to the program must show proficiency in these courses.

An applicant whose previous studies are in a field significantly removed from computer science may be admitted to the regular master's degree or the Ph.D. program on the condition that he or she take additional courses to remove deficiencies in his or her computer science background.

Admission to the master's degree program or the conferring of a master's degree will not constitute a de facto admission to the Ph.D. program.

The curriculum is divided into four areas of study. These areas represent current areas of interest and expertise on the part of the faculty and are subject to change.

Computer Theory includes the theoretical and structural study of algorithms, automata, computability, computational complexity, information, formal languages, models, mathematical logic, recursive functions and sequential machines.

Parallel Computing and Systems includes the design, development and evaluation of computing machines, computing languages, language processors, operating systems and special purpose systems. It is further concerned with the analysis of complex problems into subparts that can be handled by multiple processors located at one or more sites and coordinated so as to produce a complete solution.

Mathematical Computation and Modeling includes numerical solution of algebraic equations and systems of equations, numerical differentiation and integration, interpolation, optimization and linear programming, matrix computation, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, numerical solution of differential equations and approximation theory.

Machine Intelligence is concerned with endowing machines with such manifestations of human intelligence as vision, spoken language recognition, knowledge representation, task planning, the application of search procedures to problem solving, question answering, inference, and the dispensing of expert knowledge and advice.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

All students must complete COSC 5050 (Research Writing for Computer Science).

At least 15 hours applied to the degree program must be in courses offered by the computer science department, not including the 14 hours of courses considered preparatory and not including seminars, individual projects, COSC 5050 or reading courses. Courses cross listed with computer science department courses will be considered computer science department courses.

No more than 6 hours from the 4000 level preparatory coursework may be counted toward the total credit requirement. At most 2 hours from the 4000 level preparatory coursework may be counted toward an area requirement. All required preparatory coursework will be listed on the program of study with the corresponding increase in total hours required.

The student must complete at least one 5000-level computer science course, not including seminars, individual projects or reading courses, offered by the computer science department in the following areas: a) Computer Theory and b) Parallel Computing and Systems.

The student must complete at least 6 hours of courses in each of two areas of study. These two areas will be called major areas. The 6 credit hours in each of two areas of study must be completed from the current list of courses designated to satisfy the area of study requirements. "Current list" is defined to mean the list in effect when the student enters the graduate program or any succeeding list.

Master's Program

Each Master's student will have a supervising committee of at least three members appointed. The committee will consist of at least two members of the computer science faculty and at least one non-COSC faculty member. In reviewing the student's program of study, the committee should ensure that at least 15 hours are applied at the 5000-level, not including seminars, COSC 5050 and Independent Study or Research.

Both Plan A and Plan B students are required to formally defend their papers before their graduate committees.

Plan A (thesis)

The student must complete a minimum of 29 hours of courses, including at least two COSC 5000 seminars.

The student must complete a minimum of 4 hours of 5960, Thesis Research.

At least two-thirds of the coursework (20 hours) must consist of computer science department courses.

The students must give a public colloquium on their research prior to their formal defense. All defenses must be open and announced three weeks in advance.

Plan B (non-thesis)

The student must complete a minimum of 33 hours of courses, including at least two COSC 5000 seminars, and present a paper as described in the general requirements for Plan B.

At least two-thirds of the coursework (22 hours) must consist of Computer Science Department courses.

The graduate examination, which serves as the Ph.D. qualifying examination, will also be administered to Plan B master's students, who will be required to pass two areas in order to receive their degrees. Passing criteria will be determined by the student's graduate committee. 

Doctoral Program

Each doctoral student will have a supervising committee of at least five members appointed. The primary functions of this committee are to suggest coursework, to administer the preliminary and final examinations, and to oversee and evaluate the research of the candidate. The committee will consist of at least three members of the computer science department faculty and at least one non-COSC faculty member. The standards that this committee should consider when recommending programs of study are outlined in the following sections.

A total of at least 72 credit hours must be completed. A minimum of 42 of these credit hours must be taken as coursework. At least 21 hours must be taken at the 5000 level (COSC 5050 and seminars may not be applied to this requirement). Each doctoral student must participate in at least four graduate seminars. A minimum of 12 hours of dissertation research must be taken.

A program of original and innovative research will be undertaken by the candidate. At the end of this program, the candidate will document this research in a dissertation. The dissertation will present the details and results of the candidate's research in addition to providing a critical comparison with related published works.

Each successful doctoral student must pass three examinations. These include a qualifying examination, a preliminary examination, and a final (dissertation) defense.

The departmental graduate examination will serve as the Ph.D. qualifying examination. This examination will be given once each year during the spring semester, and should be taken no later than the fifth semester of graduate study. The graduate examination will test knowledge and reasoning skills based on the upper-division preparatory courses as well as on graduate courses in the core areas. Ph.D. students will be required to answer questions from the undergraduate core courses but will be given greater flexibility to select questions from the graduate courses.

A preliminary examination will consist of a presentation and defense of the proposed dissertation research. This examination is intended to motivate the candidate to review relevant literature extensively prior to pursuing the original and innovative portions of the research. If the nature of the proposed research and methodology are deemed to be both appropriate and significant by the supervisory committee, then the committee will approve the research direction after having administered this examination.

The final examination (dissertation defense) will consist of an oral presentation by the candidate of his/her research and the results that were derived. At this examination, the candidate is expected to defend the research as being original and contributory to the discipline of computer science.

All Ph.D. candidates must satisfactorily complete COSC 5050 (Research Writing for Computer Science).

Information concerning timeline and deadlines for meeting doctoral degree requirements is available from the department office.

Academic Dishonesty

For cases in which a graduate student has admitted to an act of academic dishonesty or has been found culpable through university procedures according to University Regulation 6-802, the graduate committee will meet with the student and faculty member(s) involved to assess the severity of the act. Both the faculty member(s) and the student will be afforded the opportunity to present views and information relevant to the act. The graduate committee may then take action by recommending that the student be terminated from graduate study in the department (for flagrant violations) or that a letter of reprimand be sent to the student with a copy sent to the Office of the Registrar.

Computer Science (COSC) Courses

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