What an exciting time it is to be a computer scientist! Now as before, the computing field is driving technological advancement, fueling economic growth, connecting communities and cultures in transformative ways, and revolutionizing nearly every human enterprise. Our field not only provides the tools and technology that enhance, speed up, and in many cases make possible the scientific and technological advancement and breakthroughs, but also shapes much of the thinking and methodologies that the students, practitioners, and experts employ in many fields. And as deep and lasting as the computing & Internet impact has been, future impact will be greater, for the creative ways of using the Internet and Web technologies will profoundly influence world cultures and politics in the 21st century!
The students and faculty in the Department of Computer Science at GW are involved in many activities in this great digital revolution. Here is but a sample of what they do:
- They help Olympic athletes swim better and win gold medals.
- They help improve surgical outcomes.
- They work on methods that contribute to designing vaccines to prevent diseases.
- They make virtual creatures come alive.
- They develop tools to make your home "smart".
- They create software to defend against malicious cyber-attacks.
- They invent algorithms for making communication networks more effective.
- They develop new search engines not only for text and images but also math and science data.
- They use machine intelligence to enhance national security.
In our department, we teach fundamentals, design methods, tools, and applications. We prepare students for some exciting and rewarding careers in medicine, films, business, government, engineering, and of course IT. You can check out what some of our alumni are doing here.
In addition to the excellent learning opportunities within the Department and University, students have access to unique experiences in our nation's capital where we are located. The Washington, DC area has one of the highest concentrations of high-tech companies in the country, and the highest concentration of science and technology facilities within a 25-mile radius from GW. Students have ample opportunities for paid internships in local high-tech companies or in one of the area's many federal laboratories, such as the National Institutes of Health, NASA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Naval Research Laboratory. The nation's capital offers a unique environment rich in vibrant and diverse culture with the charm of a moderate-size city.
Our undergraduate program offers a BS degree and a BA degree, with or without options, and a combined BS/MS program for earning both degrees in 5 years. The options currently offered are in biomedical computing and bioinformatics, computer security and information assurance, and digital media. The bachelor of science (BS) provides a strong computer science background, as well as in-depth exposure to various applications. The bachelor of arts (BA) allows a broader educational experience with the possibility to pursue dual majors in related fields such as health sciences, biology, management, law, political science, economics, and criminal justice.
In our graduate program, a student can earn a Master's or a Ph.D. degree. There is also a certificate program in Computer Security and Information Assurance for practicing professionals who want a competitive edge. Our faculty members are conducting cutting-edge research in Bioinformatics and Biomedical Computing, Computer Security and Information Assurance, Digital Media, Networking and Mobile Computing, Pervasive Computing and Embedded Systems, Advanced Search, Data Mining, and Algorithms and Theory. We have received funding from NSA, NASA, NIH, NIST, NSF, DARPA, and AOL. We place a great deal of emphasis on creative interdisciplinary solutions to real-world problems.
Ours is a mid-size department of 17 full-time faculty members, 125 undergraduate students, 240 MS students, and 70 PhD students. The class sizes are small, averaging at 18 students per class. Our current research expenditure is over $3 million per year.
Most importantly, we value our students the most. Of course we solve problems, create new technologies, and advance knowledge, but it is through our students that we have the maximum impact. They are our agents of progress. Through them we achieve our exponential growth. And with them we strive for the betterment of human life.
Bhagirath Narahari, Ph.D.