If you think that Computer Science is about staring at code in a dark corner alone, then let’s get a fresh perspective. Computer Science is actually a very broad field with many exciting opportunities that go beyond looking at a computer screen; it deals with people, business departments, and specializations. The Taylor University Computer Science Department is unique in that students not only learn core computer science concepts, but can also “specialize” in different branches of computer science: scientific computing, graphics, intelligent systems, software, and business computing. Note: these are NOT majors; they are tracks within the Computer Science degree.
If you’re thinking about what major you’d like to have and are torn between a computer science degree and a math degree then the Scientific Computing track will give you the best of both worlds. Scientific Computing is about taking a deeper look into mathematical capabilities of both humans and technology. You’ll take the core computer science classes, but as a scientific computing student you’ll add classes like Calculus II, Calculus III, Differential equations and more. If you’re especially excited about math, it is not difficult to double major in computer science and math with this track. The Scientific Computing track generally leads into grad school.
Graduate ’09 Jeremy Erickson says,
“Scientific Computing was very helpful for me in getting into the computer science graduate program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The scientific computing track provides courses in the most relevant fields of math to computation and practical applications. As the title of the track implies, this major would thus be helpful for anyone interested in scientific computing. In particular, Mathematical Modeling with Numerical Analysis provides chances to learn about a variety of numerical techniques. This track is lighter in projects than others, because it focuses more on mathematics, but there are some coding partner projects in Dr. Case’s classes. If you do choose a scientific computing track, you will also have plenty of chances to connect with Taylor’s excellent and friendly mathematics department as well. In fact, in combination with the BS degree (without Systems), I was able to meet all my basic course requirements before starting the program, which is fairly rare.
This degree will work well for any computer science career that requires a mathematically rigorous education – from working on programming for scientists or engineers to graduate study.”
If you find that animations and graphics are more your style, then Computer Graphics just might be the track for you. On the syllabus are the core computer science classes but as a computer graphics student you’ll add classes like Surfaces and Modeling, Animation, and Computer Graphics. Not only will you be able to create computer graphics, but you will gain an understanding of how technology handles and operates in a visual-centric society. These classes prepare you to potentially have a job as an animator, a technical director, and other related occupations.
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If you were the one to play with Lego robots as a kid or dreamed of programming something that interacts with humans then the Intelligent Systems track will suit you. This track is designed to teach you how to design software that can ‘think’ intelligently (of course the topic of whether or not machines can think, or even exactly what being intelligent means is hotly debated to the point where many books have been written!). In this track you will also write programs that are capable of making complex decisions and learning from stimuli. The majority of students that take this AI track say that even though they do not explicity use anything that they learned from the track in the business environment, but the problems they solve and programs they write have been much improved by their experience in building intelligent systems.
Click here to view a project from Computer Vision: Rock Band Robit by David Colgan, Chadd, Schaffer, and Sean Knutson. They built a machine that could play Guitar Hero.
If the idea of designing practical programs interests you, then the newly developed Software Studio track is what you’re looking for. In the software studio track, students work on real projects for real clients. Students gain vital experience that gives them a step up on their peers and prepares them for the professional world. Designed for the strong problem solver, this track will prepare you to become a professional software engineer with long-term, real-world application projects and software development.
Business Information Systems
Corporations and other organizations seeking to hire computer science professionals require candidates with a clear understanding of business systems basics and business operations. They will be hard pressed to find candidates better prepared for business IT than computer science graduates specializing in the Business Information Systems track. The track combines a full computer science major with the Taylor Systems emphasis with a strong focus on systems analysis, design and system implementation. Requiring at least 70 credit hours within the major, the BIS track is demanding, but will reward the graduate with preparation that prepares them for being productive in a broad range of organizational IT professions.