STONEHILL COLLEGE

COMPUTER SCIENCE


 
  
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  Stonehill College
   320 Washington Street
  
North Easton, MA 02357
  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

I really like computers, but I'm not quite sure about computer science. What kind of things will I learn in computer science?
That's a pretty complicated question which deserves more than a brief response. Nonetheless, here's a condensed view of computer science at Stonehill.
Computer science courses fall roughly into four (overlapping) categories : theory, architecture, systems software, and applications.

 In one particular theory course ( Theory of Computation ) you may discuss the limits of computation ("What problems cannot be solved on a computer?") while in the Algorithms course you may write a program to find the shortest route between, say, New York and Los Angeles and then prove that you your solution is correct. In the Compiler Design course you will even learn how to design and implement your own homemade programming language. 

In the architecture sequence you will explore the computer "under the hood." In Computer Logic and Organization, you will design a small computer on paper and, later, in Microcomputer Electronics build your computer in the lab where you will see your logic come to life. 

The systems software group includes courses like Operating Systems where you'll learn how an operating system like Windows or UNIX  is constructed. Rounding out the curriculum is a number of applications courses like Artificial Intelligence where you will understand how a computer can play chess and even write a few games of your own or Data Structures where you may design a computer simulation to determine how many runways should be built for a community airport. 

Of course, you will first learn how to write computer programs. To this end, all freshmen currently learn the programming language Java in their first year at Stonehill. In addition to formal courses, most students do internship work in their junior or senior years.

The professional organization of computer scientists, The ACM can give you more detailed information about computer science and the many career opportunities fo computer scientists.

What kind of background do I need to major in computer science?
You need a strong analytical background including mathematics through intermediate algebra and trigonometry as well as the ability to think logically.  

I've had no computer programming in high school, will that be a problem?
No, the introductory programming sequence starts from square one. No particular background is assumed.

What programming languages will I learn?
In your freshman year you will study Java. In upper level courses you will learn a variety of other languages such as C++, Scheme, and Perl.

I've heard that computer science is a very difficult and time consuming major. Is that true?
Definitely, but the rewards are worth the effort.

If I major in computer science, is it necessary that I buy a computer before I come to college?
Not at all. You may use any of the lab  computers at the college.

If I wish to get a new computer, what should I get?
Stonehill College has partnered with CampusHP to create this program so that Stonehill College students can have a HP laptop that offers a standardized computing environment at very reasonable academic discount pricing. You can read about this program here.  However, the department makes no specific recommendations.  In fact, if you do not own a computer, you can use any of the machines in the public labs.

If I major in computer science, can I do an internship in my junior or senior year?
Qualified upper classmen often do internships for credit. In fact, in recent years most students have done internship work. Typically, a student will work 10-12 hours per week on his/her internship and earn three semester hours of course credit.  Many of our students do internships at local companies such as General Dynamics, which is an easy  commute to Stonehill. 

What are some of the companies where Stonehill alumni work?
Stonehill alumni have done very well on the job market. CS graduates have found jobs at Facebook, Microsoft, General Dynamics, IBM, EMC, RSA, Digital Research Group,  Intersystems, Fidelity, Northrup-Grumman, Abacus Software, Staples, and Putnam Investments to name a few.

Do many of your graduates attend graduate school?
Many of our students opt to attend graduate school directly after receiving a degree from Stonehill. Some of the schools which our graduates have attended are Brown, Duke, Dartmouth,  University of Virginia,  University of Maryland, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts, Boston University, The University of Texas,  and University of Connecticut

How big are the classes in computer science at Stonehill?
The introductory classes have about 25 students. The upper level classes may have 10-20 students but may be as small as 4 or 5.

Will I have access to the internet and e-mail at Stonehill?
All students have accounts with e-mail and wireless access to the Internet. 

Well, you have answered some of my questions , but I'd still like to know................

For questions about the programs in computer science or computer engineering contact:
                            Prof. Ralph Bravaco : ralph@stonehill.edu
We will get back to you.