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The Balance between Community and Cutting Edge

Computer technology is becoming more important. This has led to an increase in the number of career options. Computer and Information Science (CIS), offers students the chance to learn this dynamic science. Students will learn about developing and managing business databases, computer networks, and web applications.

Students studying CIS may choose to specialize. Software engineering is a focus on software development and design. Networking is about the interconnection of individual computers. Cognitive science studies the interconnection between computers and psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience. Graduate school prepares students to pursue advanced degrees and conduct research.

Students can choose a specialization to help them focus, while also incorporating other subjects and interests. This kind of interdisciplinarity is particularly important as the field continues to evolve.

CIS hosts many social events where undergraduates can meet faculty members and graduate students in a casual setting. CIS offers undergraduates academic counseling, tutoring, job information, and assistance with internships. Women in Computer Science allows undergraduates and graduate students to meet up for discussions, guest speakers, and other social events.

The University of Oregon’s CIS balances cutting-edge research with support from a tight-knit community.

Points of interest

  • Undergraduates can participate in research on topics such as artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction.
  • The Programming Languages Summer School is an international gathering of students and professors from all over the world that meets every summer at UO to discuss the application of language theory methods.
  • Every year, the department participates in the International Collegiate Programming Contest. The Association for Computing Machinery sponsors the ICPC, which is a contest among student programmers to determine who can solve the most programming problems within the shortest time.

Here are some sample courses

  • Multimedia on the InternetThis course teaches the fundamentals of web communication, page function, and design. Learn how to use digital media such as animation, sound, and graphics.
  • Artificial Intelligence: IntroductionThis article explores the theory and provides examples of knowledge-based computer system designs.
  • Database SystemsThis course introduces database design and access. It focuses on database concepts, data modeling and normalization, query languages, and formulating complex queries.
  • CryptographyThis article explains coding theory and how to convert plain text into ciphertext.
  • Network SecurityThis article provides a general overview of network security and examines some of the most common security problems.
  • Programming LanguagesExplores syntax and semantics, with a focus upon scope rules, environments, and stores, denoted or expressed values, procedures, and parameters.
  • Data MiningThis book provides an overview of the fundamental issues, algorithms, results, and applications of data mining. It also includes a discussion of data management, feature selection, and statistical modeling.
  • See more courses offered by the Department of Computer and Information Science.

Hands-on Learning

UO offers many research possibilities. Undergraduates have many options, including the possibility of joining a research group, writing a thesis, or participating in summer research. It is important to get to know faculty members and learn about the research they do. The Undergraduate Introduction to Research colloquia provides an overview of the research projects of many faculty members. Make an appointment with the relevant faculty member once you have identified an area of interest.

Internships offer students practical work experience. They usually include credit and/or salary. There are many opportunities year-round in the local area, and there are also many summer internships that involve travel.

The Student Experience

Molly SuverShe came to the UO looking for an education that would give her opportunities for academic exploration and cross-fertilization. Because of its theoretical foundation, she loves the CIS program. It allows for interdisciplinary research. Molly advises that you don’t have to take classes not related to your major. Her collaboration with ProfessorSteve FickasMolly produces software and hardware to aid the cognitively impaired in speaking and improving normal motor skills. She has also worked with the Game Development Club on games for the Xbox 360. In a competition for undergraduate programming, she was awarded second place. Molly didn’t want a competitive environment in her education. That is what she gets on the field.FugueThe UO’s national-ranked women’s Ultimate Frisbee team is based in.

WhenJesse WakeleyWhen he first arrived at the UO, he was keen to pursue a music major. However, he decided to switch to computer and information sciences because he wanted to learn more about how computers impact our lives. Wakeley states, “And I wanted to challenge myself.” Wakeley says, “I got what I asked for.” Wakeley is the UO president for the Association for Computer Machinery. He organizes workshops and tours for members who want to see computer science in action. Wakeley is also a member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, an international CIS honor society. He also founded a social networking website for Eugeneans. Wakeley is still a music lover. Wakeley is currently in the Cocky Pedestrians, a rap group that he describes as “the only jaywalk-themed rap band in Eugene.”

WhenErik BrownAfter years in the software industry, Brown decided to return to school. He quickly found his niche in the CIS department. “You get to meet everyone.” Brown helped Anthony Hornof, associate professor at the UO, with his research on human-computer interfaces. Brown says, “We study search screens to help people use computers better.” Hornof and Brown are studying how people use computers by tracking their eye movements and how sound affects the human interface with computers. Brown said that it was a creative process because there are many ways to create any program. It’s great fun to come up with a creative solution to a problem.

Featured Faculty

ProfessorSarah DouglasHuman-computer interaction. She studies human behavior and user interfaces, as well as how to make computers respond more to users. This research could improve computer function by matching it better with the user.

Associate ProfessorMichal YoungHis work focuses on the integration of techniques for testing and analysis of software.

Assistant ProfessorJun LiHis research focuses on network security, distributed systems, and Internet protocols. He also conducts network simulation and performance analysis. His current research projects include distributed monitoring to detect and trace attacks against the BGP routing protocol, robust communication architecture for security monitoring systems and warning systems, and secure data sharing between data clients.

ProfessorKent StevensThe Dino-Morph Project is a 3-D skeletal visualization that shows the movement of dinosaurs. As a consultant for the British Broadcasting Corporation, he worked on a TV series calledWalkingg with Dinosaurs. The program features digitally rendered dinosaurs overlayed on live-action footage from places where the flora closely matches that of 100 million years ago.

Career Opportunities

A background in computer science and information science can prepare students for many careers. Students in this field are at the forefront of research, web design, and truly futuristic interactions between humans & machines.

Majoring in CIS will enable you to manage large-scale computer networks in large organizations. The skills and knowledge required to create complex computer graphics will be yours. The major can also be used to manage information systems and networks.


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