Computer Science Advising GuideThe Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics Department offers majors in mathematics, mathematics education, computer science, and statistics. This document is designed as a resource for those navigating through the requirements of the computer science major and minor.
- Computer Science
- The Major
- Honors program
- The Minor
Computer scientists are constantly constructing and using abstractions - generalizations that capture the essence of entire families of specific phenomena. In this regard, computer scientists resemble mathematicians. However, computer science differs in that abstraction is used as a technique for designing concrete artifacts. In short, computer science is a discipline of concrete abstractions.
Computer scientists do many things. Outsiders frequently think that computer scientists write programs. They do, but they also:
- prove that programs perform correctly
- compare the efficiency of alternative strategies for solving a problem
- prove that certain problems are intrinsically hard, i.e. have no efficient strategy for their solution
- prove that other problems can't be solved at all
- design the organizational structure of computers
- devise ways to efficiently allocate and schedule computational resources
- develop design methodologies and notations that allow efficient and correct systems to be cost-effectively developed
- study how computer systems are actually used by humans and organizations
- apply computational models to other areas, such as cognition
Gustavus computer science graduates are prepared for both postgraduate study and employment, and every year some choose each of these options. Among those entering the workforce, the three largest categories of employers are information systems consulting firms, insurance companies, and software developers.