Computer Science

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Dr. Scott Dexter talks with students during a class meeting.

Computing is both technical and social—to study it is to gain knowledge, skills, and insight into one of the fundamental forces shaping contemporary life.

Graduates are well prepared both for advanced study and for a wide range of professional positions including software development, computational science, website and database administration, information systems consulting and computer system administration.

The mission of the Alma College Computer Science program is to provide Alma College students access to the knowledge and skills they need to work effectively with and think critically about computation and data in the 21st century.

We strive to become:

  • a key contributor to addressing local and regional problems;
  • a champion of computer science as integral to the liberal arts in the 21st century; and
  • an exemplar of, and hub for, interdisciplinary inquiry on campus and beyond.

The program’s curriculum, pedagogy, and extracurricular activities are guided by the following core beliefs:

  • The only requirements for being a successful computer scientist are curiosity and the willingness to follow where that curiosity leads.
  • The next technological innovations could come from anyone, including those who historically have been undervalued or excluded by technologists and their historians.
  • The questions and challenges of the 21st century will be successfully addressed by skilled individuals working in close collaboration across disciplines, identities, and borders.
  • Building digital systems is playful work, deeply satisfying and frequently joyful.
Department Resources

The Computer Science program maintains a dedicated Macintosh teaching laboratory, as well as an advanced computing lab with high-end PCs, Macs, and Linux machines for student and faculty research.

Program Learning Outcomes

Our students will be able to develop effective applications using at least two contemporary programming idioms, such as object-oriented programming, functional programming, and declarative programming.

Our students will understand the fundamental physical (hardware) organization of modern computing systems.

Our students will understand the hardware and software undergirding the Internet and other networking technologies, and be able to write software that takes advantage of networked resources.

Our students will be able to use industry-standard tools that support collaborative software development.

Our students will learn how to learn independently, to be able to keep abreast of technological innovation throughout their careers.

Our graduates are well prepared both for advanced study and for a wide range of professional positions including software development, computational science, website and database administration, information systems consulting and computer system administration.