PATHS THROUGH THE MAJOR
Below are various paths some of our students have taken through the major. We asked them to list the order in which they took their computer science classes, and also what classes outside the major they thought were good choices for the future. We also asked them about junior year abroad experiences, and whether they had taken 5-college courses.
This collection of paths is meant to show that there are many different ways to get a major in computer science, and what some of our students have done after graduation.
Veronica, '02Veronica was an Ada Comstock scholar and graduated in 2002 with 17 other students, one of our largest senior classes. She took Computational Geometry (CSC274), Algorithms (CSC252), Parallel & Distributed Systems (CSC352), Advanced Programming Techniques (CSC220), Computer Graphics (CSC240), worked on a Special Studies on Topics in Databases (CSC400), and toped it all with the Operating Systems course (CSC262).
Asked about which classes outside her major were important, she says "All of them were important. Their combination yielded an in-depth knowledge of computing and software, which in my day to day job enables me to quickly understand new technologies and integrate them into my work. Everything stems from all of these courses, (Read more)
Vicky, '02Vicky graduated in 2002 and took the following Computer Science courses besides the core courses: Algorithms (CSC252), Computer Networks (CSC350), Operating Systems (CSC262), the seminar in Parallel and Distributed Systems (CSC352), and the Introduction to Aritificial Intelligence (CSC290). She complemented this selection with the following math courses: Calculus II (MTH112), Discrete (MTH153), Linear Algebra (MTH211), and the introduction to Statistics (MTH245).
Vicky describes the classes she felt were important complements to her computer science major as follows: "I took Animal Physiology (BIO200) and Neurophysiology (BIO300) with Prof. Margaret Anderson. She used to require a "just in time email" where you had to email her before lecture with a question about the reading for that week. (Read more)
Christie, '03Christie graduated in 2003 with a double major in French Language and Literature, and in Computer Science. She was back at Smith recently for her tenth reunion. "I dug up my transcript" Chritie says: "I took the core courses, Calculus I (MTH111), Operating Systems (CSC262), Linear Algebra (MTH211), and the seminar on Computer Networks (CSC350). During my senior year I took Translators & compiler design (CSC394) and Circuits & Systems (CSC270)."
Christie spent her junior year at the Smith College center in Geneva (2001-02) and says "I took a year long computer science course: Analysis of Natural Languages; (Read more)
Tessa, '08Tessa graduated in 2008, and, after a few carreer moves, is now working at the New York Times, in New York City. Tessa took the core cources in CS: CSC111 was taught in C, then, and 112 in C++. She also took Advanced Programming Techniques, CSC 240 (Computer Graphics), CSC 270 (Digital Circuits and Systems), CSC 353 (Seminar in Robotics), CSC 364 (Computer Architecture), CSC 400 (Special Studies in Machine Learning: Handwriting Analysis), and for math, MTH 114 (Calculus: Effective Comp/Power Series), MTH 153 (Intro Discrete Math), and MTH 211 (Linear Algebra). (Read more)
Jordan, '08Jordan graduated in 2008 with 12 other seniors. Jordan took the following courses: 111 in Python CSC112 in Java, Networks, Microprocessors and Assembly, Foundations of CS, Advanced Programming techniques, Operating Systems, Graphics, Seminar in Computer Vision, Computing and the Arts. Jordan also took a good collection of Math courses: Calc I/II (MTH 114), Calc III, Discrete Math, Real Analysis, Number Theory, Modern Algebra, Special Topics: Fourier Analysis, and topped it all with a Special Studies course on Point Set Topology. When asked about classes that were particularly important, Jordan says "my honors thesis in Math was one of my most influential academic experiences. I worked with Prof. Ruth Haas on testing the limits of a recently proven result in game theory, and through that process fell in love with research and decided to pursue my graduate degree." About a possible junior year abroad, Jordan shares "I didn’t go abroad; (Read more)
Diana, '10Diana graduated in 2010 with 9 other seniors. "I skipped some courses and took: Microprocessors and Assembly language (CSC231), Digital circuits & comp systems (CSC270), the Seminar in robotics (CSC353), Operating Systems (CSC262), the seminar on topics in Computational Biology (CSC334), Combinatorics and Graph Theory (CSC575U), Algorithms (CSC252), the seminar on Parallel Programming (CSC352), and worked on an Honors Thesis with Prof. Ileana Streinu (CSC430D). As far as Mathematics courses, I took Infinite Dimensional Linear Algebra (MTH221), Introduction to Analysis (MTH243), Calculus III (MTH212), Introduction to Modern Algebra (MTH233), (Read more)
Lei, '10Lei graduated in 2010 with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. She took in sequence How the Internet Works (CSC102), the core courses, Algorithms (CSC252), Programming Techniques for the Interactive Arts (CSC260), Circuits and Systems (CSC270), Computational Biology (CSC334), and did an independent study with Joe O'Rourke (CSC400). Her math classes include Calculus I (MTH111), Discrete (MTH153), Calculus II (MTH112), Linear Algebra (MTH211), Calculus III (MTH212), Number Theory (MTH238), Probability (MTH245), Combinatorics (MTH254), Analysis (MTH243), and Topology (MTH342).
When asked which classes were important and have made an impact on her current work, (Read more)
Elizabeth, '11Elizabeth graduated in 2011 with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science, and took the following courses in addtion to the four core courses: Programming Techniques for the Interactive Arts (CSC260), Graphics (CSC240), Advanced Programming Techniques (CSC220), the seminar on Robotics (CSC353), Circuits and Systems (CSC270), and caped it all with an Honors Thesis (CSC430). Elizabeth took more math courses than the average students, with Discrete (MTH153), Statistics (MTH245), Calc III (MTH212), Linear Algebra (MTH211), Topics in Number Theory (MTH238), Probability (MTH246), and Topics in Mathematical Analysis (MTH343). (Read more)
Kate, '11Kate graduated in 2011. Kate says "I took all the core courses, along with CSC105 (Web Design), Graphics (CSC240), Advanced Programming Techniques (CSC220), and the Digital Music seminar (CSC354). Sports Economics ECO 231) was the class that really made me want to work for ESPN. I was always interested in economics and that helped me step back from CS and focus on other things, which was valuable when I was stuck on an assignment. I think that it was good having a major/minor not directly related to CS for that reason. I didn't go on a junior year abroad because there were secific classes (Read more)
Millicent, '11Millie graduated in 2011, and writes that she took the core classes, but took the equivalent of the assembly language class at the University of Minnesota, Advanced Programming Techniques (CS220), Programming Techniques for the Interactive Arts (CS260), Graphics (CS240), Circuits and Systems (CS270), and the Digital Music seminar (CS354). She also took several math courses, including Computation and Power Series (MTH114), Discrete (MTH153), and Linear Algebra (MTH211).
When asked about courses outside the major, she says "Nothing comes to mind as something that directly relates to my current job. I would say that generally, all my course work contributed to making me a more critical thinker and a well rounded person (Read more)
Aigerim, '12Aigerim graduated in 2012, and says "[she] took all the core CS requirements, along with some math courses (MTH114, MTH211, and MTH153), Programming Techniques for the Interactive Arts (CSC260), Advanced Programming Techniques (CSC220), CSC311 (Intro to Algorithms at UMass), CSC 320 (Intro to Software Engineering, also at UMass), and worked on two special studies, one on geo-tracking cell phones, and one on molecular modeling."
She continues: "As far as classes I am glad I also took at Smith are Logic 100 - it taught me logical argument formation and writing, which came very important for having proper communication skills, both written and verbal, as well (Read more)
Tiffany, '12Tiffany double majored in Computer Science and Engineering. She took the following classes for her CS major: Intro to Computing and the Arts (CSC106), the four core courses, Introduction to Logic (LOG100), Discrete Math (MTH153), Calc III (MTH212). Discrete and Computational Geometry (CSC274), Circuits (CSC270), and a special study on FPGA and VHDL, and the seminar in robotics (CSC353).
When asked what other classes she thinks were great addition to her major she lists her Honors Thesis (CSC430), Math Methods of Physical Science & Engineering I (PHY210), Probability and Statistics for Engineers (MTH 241), Signals and Systems (EGR320), Techniques for Modeling Engineering Processes (EGR389), Dynamic Systems and Intro to Control Theory (EGR326), and the (Read more)
Kristina, '13Kristina graduated in 2013 and double-majored in computer science and astronomy. She took Computer Science 1 (CSC111), Computer Graphics (CSC240), How Computers Work (CSC103), How the Internet Works (CSC102), Programming with Data Structures (CSC212), Hands-On Introduction to Unix (CSC197U at Umass), Micro and Assembly Language (CSC231), Computer Networks (CSC249), Modeling in the Sciences (CSC205), Foundations (CSC250, and the seminar Digital Sound and Music Processing (CSC354). She also worked on two independent studies, Advanced Programming the iPhone, and Using Kinect in Java Applications. On the math side, Kristina took Calc 1 (Read more)