The Centre Advantage

The Centre Advantage2018-06-05T18:36:24-04:00

Valuable Skills

Computer science is an ever-evolving discipline, born in the mid-20th century with roots in mathematics, logic, and engineering. Regardless of what computer science seems to be at the beginning of a four-year course of study, both the discipline itself and the student’s understanding of it will have changed substantially by the end. However, certain themes (listed below) endure. A Centre education provides students with skills in analysis, critical thinking, and in oral and written communication that enable them to succeed in life after graduation.

Computer science deals with problems: identifying those that are solvable in a computing environment, developing and applying appropriate algorithms for their solution, and dealing computationally with their complexity. Frequently these problems appear in the midst of incomplete, contradictory, and changing information. Indeed, much of computer science is devoted to creating software solutions to problems. Software development and computing in general rely on theory, formalism, abstraction, and on principles from engineering, but require more.
Computer scientists must be able to apply their own knowledge and understanding of how to solve problems computationally to situations involving both diverse people and subject matters. Software is used in human systems and must be built for humans, and so computer scientists must learn how to accomplish this. Powerful computational tools are as subject to abuse and social side effects as are physical tools and computer scientists must understand the broader role and implications of their work.

One of the benefits of gaining this technical competence in a liberal arts setting is the opportunity to develop sound communication skills. And while a strong classroom foundation in the fundamentals is essential, the rewards of internships, summer jobs, and independent projects can also be profound. Upon graduation most majors have entered professional positions where they have been very successful, while others have first pursued graduate study in computing or other disciplines.