Last fall, SWE Program Director Mohan Shah made a decision to transition Cogswell’s ‘Software Engineering Department’ (SWE) to ‘Computer Science’ (CS) .
‘Computer Science’ covers a bigger category of subjects. This title reflects the growing concentrations of the program such as web and mobile programming, software engineering, and data science. As changes happen in the industry, the CS program allows Cogswell to offer new courses that reflect current trends. The new CS degree is also more employable—there are many more companies seeking computer scientists than those from the narrow field of software engineering. A meeting was held with students in the spring of 2017 to collect their input, followed by an announcement to SWE students to inform them of the upcoming change.
“‘Computer Science’ is much more recognized as something (and indeed many things) to do with computers than ‘Software Engineering,’” says Program Director Mohan Shah.
Students in the old SWE degree plan will have the title change to CS starting next spring. This change will not impact their classes or graduation date. The old SWE degree plan will be phased out of Cogswell’s list of concentrations. Should current students decide they wish to change their major to ‘Computer Science’, Dean Jerome Solomon encourages them to speak to their Academic Advisors to make sure they are not losing classes and time as they transition. Current SWE majors were also expected to speak to Academic Advisor Crystal Murguia or Academic Support Specialist Leonard Crosby to sign the Acknowledgement of Renaming Academic Major form and discuss important information. Those who did not or have not signed the form will have a hold on their registration.
“I’m excited for the change to Computer Science, primarily because of the new Data Science Concentration,” says Crosby. He adds that there is a potential for the concentration to get big data from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and purchase high-performance computers to analyze them with. “This will make for some fascinating classes,” Crosby says, “and give Cogswell students insights into a growing part of the industry.”
This November, Cogswell will participate in ACM’s International Collegiate Programming Contest, the ‘oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.’ The event is a “a multi-tier, team-based, programming competition operating under the auspices of ACM’ and will be held at Baylor University. It will involve a global network of universities hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the ACM-ICPC World Finals.
Karina Ramirez, a current SWE student being affected by the transition, says that she will miss the status that ‘Software Engineering’ carries. “It was great bragging about it,” she says, “[but] ultimately, I feel like ‘Computer Science’ is the standard in Silicon Valley and is what is required for most engineering jobs. I think the title change will only expand my career possibilities.”