Computer Science at St. Olaf
A St. Olaf computer science major does more than learn to program. A programming language might be obsolote soon after the student enters the workforce. Instead, students focus on theory, abstract thinking and system design — foundations that remain relevant over generations of technological change.
"The same principles that govern your desktop or mainframe computer also run the chips embedded in your car," says Associate Professor Richard Brown, director of the St. Olaf computer science program. "By getting a good grounding in the principles first, you have the savvy to go in all kinds of directions. You can get a lot from a particular technology, but it takes insight to see connections between the mainframe and the car computer. We teach the insight."
FACT: St. Olaf is one of few liberal arts colleges to offer a computer science major that spans the national standards established by two major professional societies: the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society.
"In high school, you are given assignments and you do them," observes computer science and art double major Chris Mueller. At St. Olaf, he says, "you are one of the people coming up with ideas. We learn how to solve problems that haven't been solved before."
Visit the computer science department website.