ChooseWhy Choose This Program?

Why Study Computer Science at Goucher?


The computer is at the center of our lives. In addition to regular coursework, independent or small group projects with faculty members give the freedom to explore a number of complex topics, such as computer security, networking, and more. Our students build programs that can learn how to play a video game, robots that can play music, and networked vending machines. You will also be able to design and create a computer from scratch, from the hardware logic to coding a game in a programming language you created. You'll be prepared for excellent professional opportunities and premier graduate programs. Recent alums have gone on to work at places like HP, Microsoft, and Redhat.

LearnWhat Will You Learn?

What Will You Learn?


The program provides students with a solid foundation in analytic thinking, proficiency in the subjects, as well as a spirit of creativity, enterprise, and ethical responsibility. Mastery of fundamental computing principles is essential as we step into the increasingly virtual future. Courses in this department foster a spirit of creativity, enterprise, and ethical responsibility. In the liberal arts and sciences tradition, the program emphasizes breadth of knowledge and flexibility. Majors in the department may prepare for graduate work in computer science or for careers in business, industry, or government.

DoWhat Will You Do?

What Will You Do?


Students may pursue interests in various ways, such as research with a faculty member, a senior thesis, and/or independent study. Projects may be interdisciplinary. Internships are encouraged for all as an opportunity to sample careers in mathematics and computer science. Students have worked as interns in government, business, healthcare, and education both in Baltimore and in other parts of the country.

The program also has access to excellent computing facilities, linked by a campus-wide network. Extensive software use is integrated into both the computer science and mathematics curricula.

Faculty

Program Contact
Computer Science program contact: Jill Zimmerman

Full-Time & Half-Time Faculty
Justin Brody, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: model theory, mathematical logic, artificial intelligence

Joseph Cutrone, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: abstract algebra

Rachel Grotheer, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: medical imaging, inverse problems, applied analysis

Thomas Kelliher, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: computer architecture

Phong Le, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: number theory, coding theory

Bernadette Tutinas, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: abstract algebra, discrete dynamical systems

Micah Webster, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: stochastic evolution equations, nonlinear diffusions, applied analysis

Jill Zimmerman, James M. Beall Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: robotics, programming languages

Professor Emeritus or Emerita or Emeriti
Robert Lewand, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: cryptology

Affiliate Faculty
Dara Freidman-Wheeler, Tom Ghiradelli, Mileah Kromer, Jen McCabe, Gina Shamshak

Study Abroad

By studying abroad, choosing 3-week intensive courses led by Goucher faculty or semester programs suited to their academic plans, Goucher computer science students gain a global perspective that enhances their course of study. Visit the Office of International Studies for more information.

Opportunities & Internships

Internship Program


Internships are a very important facet of the curriculum at Goucher College. As such, the mathematics and computer science faculty members consider well-structured internships to be essential to a student's education. The variety of internships that have been completed under the supervision of this department is evidence of the flexible and creative applicability of degrees in both mathematics and computer science. Students find internship opportunities through the Career Development Office, through faculty and staff members, or on their own.

A detailed description of the off-campus experience is published by the Career Development Office each year and fully describes the guidelines and timetable for internships. Students interested in arranging an internship in mathematics or computer science should contact their individual academic advisors.

The following are descriptions of some recent internships in mathematics and computer science:

  • Two students participated in the University of Maryland's Research Internship in Science and Engineering. One of them designed a web-based tool for collecting data on pedestrian activity, while the other worked with an interdisciplinary group in meteorology.
  • A mathematics and computer science double major worked at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in the Combat Systems Evaluation Lab, programming a GUI window as part of an interface with a large tactical display system being developed for the U.S. Navy and Joint Forces.
  • A 3-2 engineering major worked on improving current text-to-speech and speech recognition techniques using a rules-based approach as opposed to strict combinations of statistical and corpus analysis. His duties included developing a model of the Human Vocal Production system and devising data structures for the learning and active phases of the model.
  • A mathematics major and a mathematics and computer science double major worked with a Goucher College physicist to write software to test thermal calculations of high-temperature superconductors.
  • A computer science major worked on the SPARTA (Simulation of Physics on A Real Time Architecture) project at the Pennsylvania State University. The goal of the project was to develop specialized hardware that would greatly accelerate physical modeling.
  • A mathematics and computer science double major worked as a summer intern at the University of Utah, doing research in text classification, an area of artificial intelligence.


Student Clubs


The Mathematics and Computer Science Club

Membership in the Mathematics and Computer Science Club is open to all departmental majors, as well as other interested students. The club provides an opportunity for students to share their common interests in an informal way.

The most traditional of the club's activities is the annual Torrey Dinner, which is held each April to honor graduating mathematics and computer science majors. The officers and advisor organize the dinner. One highlight of the evening is a talk, usually about her/his work or research, given by an alumna/us. Another source of excitement is the announcement of the winners of the Torrey, Ekin, Leavitt, and Writing Prizes.

The fall semester traditionally starts with a departmental pizza party, at which majors share their summer internship, research, and international experiences with fellow students and faculty. Further club activities include field trips to Baltimore and Washington, DC, museums, films, guest lecturers about mathematics or computer science, fund-raising events, a year-end picnic, and more.

The first club meeting of each academic year is announced in mathematics and computer science classes, as well as by e-mail.

Pi Mu Epsilon

In 2005, Goucher College was awarded a chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national Honorary Society for Mathematics. The mission of the society is to encourage scholarship and scholarly activities among undergraduate mathematics students. Students, who by virtue of their academic promise and achievement are invited to join the society, meet on a monthly basis to support each other in their professional development. Activities include guest speakers, problem-solving sessions, book or film discussions and practice sessions for upcoming mathematical presentations. The chapter holds induction ceremonies at the Torrey dinner in the spring.


Academic Competitions


During the academic year, there are a number of opportunities for mathematics and computer science students to participate in academic competitions, as individuals and in teams.

Each fall semester, the Association for Computing Machinery sponsors a mid-Atlantic region programming competition whose winners participate in national finals. Each participating college or university fields teams (possibly including graduate students), which strive to solve the most programming problems in the shortest time. Although the competition is quite challenging, Goucher teams have placed as high as fourth place in the region.

Goucher mathematics students also have the opportunity to compete as a team. The annual Mathematical Competition in Modeling takes place early in the second semester. Each three-person team chooses one of two open-ended applied mathematics problems and then researches and writes a solution paper over the course of a single weekend. Goucher teams have received awards a number of times, competing against several hundred teams from other colleges and universities.

As a result of the problem of the month sponsored by our chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, we can send one student per year to participate in the U.S. National Collegiate Mathematics Competition. We have performed well in this competition.

In addition, our mathematics students have participated as individuals numerous times in the annual Putnam Competition and the Virginia Tech Mathematics Contest


Special Prizes and Awards


The Marian M. Torrey Prize
The Marian M. Torrey Prize is awarded to senior majors in mathematics who are selected by the department for their excellent records, firm grasp of subject matter, creative imagination, incisive thinking, and ability to present ideas clearly.

The Mary Katherine Boone Ekin Prize
The Mary Katherine Boone Ekin Prize is awarded to a senior majoring in computer science who is considered to have an excellent grasp of both theoretical and applied aspects of the subject. The criteria for the award include high achievement in course work and the ability to interpret the concepts of computer science in creative and imaginative ways.

The Mathematics Writing Prize
The Mathematics Writing Prize is awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the exposition of classical mathematics. The winner is determined by a contest which is open to majors and non-majors.

The Pearl Davis Leavitt Prize
The Pearl Davis Leavitt Prize is awarded to a mathematics major other than a graduating senior who has exhibited meritorious achievement in mathematics courses beyond the freshman level and is judged to have outstanding potential for further high achievement in the discipline.

Internships


Internships help students explore possibilities, apply classroom learning, and gain experience. Explore internships and credit options.

Student Employment


Student employment connects students to both on and off-campus opportunities. The Career Development Office provides resources and support to students with or without Federal Work Study to find jobs, submit applications, and learn more about the job search process. Students have access to Goucher Recruit — an online site for job postings and job fair events.

Major & Career Exploration


Exploring career options, choosing a major, and making career decisions is a multi-step process in which all students are encouraged to engage early and often. Goucher students have a variety of resources available through the Majors and Career page to assist them in this process.

Job Search


A Goucher education prepares students for today’s job market and beyond. Students can explore job opportunities and access job search resources through the CDO Job Search page.

Graduate & Professional School


Students access resources for searching and applying to graduate and professional school through the CDO Graduate and Professional School page, through faculty and staff members, or utilizing their own resources, network and tools.

Student Projects

  • Play Video

    Senior Capstone Project. Alex Melendez-Hoffman built a digital music player for his Senior Capstone project. The “heart” of the project is an ARM microprocessor on an mbed development board. Music files are stored on external Flash memory storage and the current song’s title is shown on a 16×2 character LCD display. The mbed board’s analog output provides an audio signal to powered speakers. The user can pause songs, skip to the next song, and control volume.

  • Play Video

    Mobile Robot. Students Phil Seidel, Alex Doccolo, and Sam Levin have been working in the robotics lab on a mobile robot, getting it to map the room and avoid obstacles.

  • Play Video

    Vending Machine Project. Students Ari Bornstein, Phil Seidel, and Aron Riesenfeld completed the vending machine project which turned an old vending machine into a networked appliance.

  • Computational Cognition Project. Students Seth Hoesman and Brandon Bakhshai have begun an investigation into the impact of self-awareness on a deep neural network's learned features in video game environments. The work continues with several students expanding on their initial investigation.

  • Machine Learning Project. Ari Bornstein’s senior project involved a machine learning system which learned to classify PubMed articles into categories so that scientists doing work in genetics could manage the rapid influx of data in their field.

  • Robotic Arm Project. Avery Erwin-McGuire won the 2013 Phi Beta Kappa Nancy Engelhardt Memorial Prize in the Sciences for her independent study work “Robotic Tic-Tac-Toe: Teaching an Industrial Robot Arm to Play Intelligently”.