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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Computer Science?

Computer science is all about solving problems. Computer scientists seek to understand the nature of problems and search for creative techniques to efficiently automate their solutions. Like the field of medicine, computer science cannot be identified with, nor limited to, a single specialty. From games to artificial brains, from businesses to labs, from networks to databases, and from conceptual tools to hardware, computer scientists devise ways to represent, process, and produce knowledge for every discipline imaginable. Methods include considerations of hardware, software, the theory of computation, and alternative computing strategies.

Computer Science is, therefore,a special window through which to view and understand the world. It allows us to observe our surroundings as a collection of computational mechanisms operating on common underlying principles which can be understood in terms of the encoding, storage, communication, and processing of information.

What do computer scientists do?

There is no way to identify all of the areas with which Computer Scientists are involved, but the list below provides a glimpse of the scope of their activities:

  • Generating graphics for movies
  • Controlling artificial limbs
  • Analyzing the human genome
  • Supporting autonomous vehicle navigation
  • Creating navagation software for exploring Mars
  • Calculating spacecraft trajectories
  • Developing real-time interactive games
  • Predicting the weather
  • Modeling climate change
  • Computing molecular bindings
  • Forecasting economic trends
  • Producing art
  • Creating humanoid robots
  • Visualizing the brain

The following table identifies some application areas in computer science:

Alternative computational paradigms Internet computing Analysis of algorithms Knowledge engineering
Artificial intelligence Machine learning Automata theory Networking and data communications
Autonomous business processing Neural networks Bioinformatics Neuroinformatics
Biometrics Operating systems Cellular automata Parallel programming/processing
Cognitive prosthetics Programming languages Cognitive science Quantum computing
Communications Real-time systems Compiler design Reconfigurable systems and algorithms
Computer architecture and hardware Robotics CComputer graphics Scientific and numerical computing
Computer vision Security Data mining Simulation and modeling
Databases Software development Digital forensics Software engineering
E-commerce Supercomputing Embedded systems Virtual reality
Genetic algorithms Visualization Graph theory VLSI
Human-computer interaction Web services Image processing Wireless networks

What kind of person should consider computer science?

Computer science provides a terrific opportunity to express one's creative instincts. If you are the type of person who is excited by discovery, challenged by unsolved problems, and looking for a flexible career path, computer science might be right for you. The Computer Science program at Samford cultivates students who are resourceful, imaginative, inquisitive, analytical, and motivated.

Why consider a degree in computer science?

A computer science degree can open doors to a vast array of career opportunities in both traditional and innovative domains. Fascinating prospects for computer science majors exist in fields as diverse as science, engineering, medicine, law, academics, and business. Computer science can also supplement a variety of other majors including premed, math, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, geographic information systems, and business. Regardless of your ultimate career plans, courses in computer science enable understanding, foster logical thinking, and provide a unique perspective on the ever-increasing role of technology in our society.

Why should I get my degree from Samford University?

The Computer Science program at Samford is intended to prepare students for graduate study or to become productive members of the working world. The aim is to provide a solid foundation in the fundamentals of computer science that will equip students to pursue a variety of career options. The Computer Science program at Samford offers quality instruction with an excellent student to faculty ratio and actively supports research opportunities for undergraduates.

What kinds of scholarships are available?

A variety of scholarship and loan opportunities are available for qualified students. Scholarships generally fall into one of the following categories: (1) academic and merit-based, (2) need-based, and (3) departmental. Students seeking academic and merit-based scholarships are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions. Students interested in need-based scholarships should contact the Financial Aid Office.