Jul 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Computer and Information Sciences

Telephone: (302) 831-2712
E-mail: cis-ugradprgm@udel.edu
Website: http://www.cis.udel.edu
Faculty Listing: http://www.cis.udel.edu/people



The Department of Computer and Information Sciences offers four-year undergraduate programs leading to one of three degrees. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science is intended for students who want the breadth of a liberal arts education with a major in computer science. The Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science provides a strong technical education in computer systems, software development, computational applications, and theory of computation. The Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems is designed for students who want to apply expertise in computer science to the solution of business problems. In conjunction with the University Honors Program, the Department also offers a program of study leading to an Honors BA or an Honors BS. Honors students are strongly encouraged to become involved in faculty research projects. The BA degree requires a minimum grade of C- in every CISC course used toward the major.


All BS Computer Science programs are built around the common CS core.  The core includes the comprehensive introductory computer science sequence - which provides all students with the fundamentals in systems and application programming, data structures, machine organization, software engineering, theory, written communication, and ethics - as well as a two-semester capstone sequence.  Each concentration program extends the core with a “deep dive” into a specific field.  All of the programs provide an excellent foundation for further study at the graduate level, as well as for exciting careers in a variety of positions in industry and research institutes. Descriptions of the concentrations follow and further information is available on the Computer and Information Science website.



The Educational Objectives of the department are:

  • To provide students with a solid core of educational opportunities in computer systems, software development, computational applications, and theory of computation along with a breadth of advanced, specialized computer science topic areas.
  • To maintain an environment that enables students to identify and pursue their personal and professional goals within an innovative educational program that is rigorous and challenging as well as flexible and supportive while addressing students as individuals.
  • To educate graduates who will be able to apply their knowledge of Computer Science, including their problem-solving, analytical, design, life-long learning, and communication skills, in the private or public sectors and/or in the pursuit of more advanced degrees.
  • To cultivate graduates who will function ethically and responsibly by recognizing the context and broader impacts of technology and consider ethical, cultural, legal, political, economic, and environmental issues related to computing.




Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

How do automatic translation apps work?  How do driverless cars “see” the road?  What has been behind the recent streak of computer programs beating human world champions at all kinds of games?  The AI and Robotics concentration is concerned with understanding the building blocks of cognition, as well as applying them to the development of systems that are able to perform tasks traditionally associated with human brainpower, dexterity, and/or mobility.  Courses in this concentration will cover abstract notions of intelligence, including logical reasoning, knowledge representation, language, and planning; a spectrum of methods for pattern analysis and learning-by-example, including deep learning and neural networks; and skills for embodied agents, such as perception (via visual and other sensors), navigation, and interaction.



Bioinformatics lies at the intersection of computational science and biology.  The field is gaining impact in recent years as biology becomes increasingly data-centric and quantitative.  There is a growing need for individuals with training in biology, chemistry, and computer science. This concentration combines background in life sciences with expertise in computational methods to fill this need.  Students successfully completing this concentration will be well-prepared for graduate studies in computer science or bioinformatics and for a variety of interdisciplinary careers in industry and in health and research institutes.



Backdoor vulnerabilities.  Denial of service attacks. Viruses, worms, and cyberintrusions.  Massive security breaches at major corporations, government facilities, and other institutions are announced on a regular basis.  Is it any surprise that cybersecurity experts are among the most in-demand computer science professionals?  Students in this concentration study the whole spectrum of vulnerabilities as well as countermeasures to defend against them.  Learn how to design secure software/hardware systems and networks; explore intrusion detection, cryptographic protocols, firewalls, and access control, among other topics.


Data Science

Data is everywhere.  Large and diverse datasets representing every aspect of modern life are now available.  These data come in a variety of forms that can be either structured or unstructured.  Data science is concerned with translating these disparate data sources into useful knowledge, through application of techniques drawn from computer science, mathematics, and statistics.  The data science concentration provides the core background necessary for representing, analyzing, managing and putting these datasets to use in real-world applications.  This concentration combines courses in advanced mathematics, statistics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data mining, preparing students to make contributions in this highly interdisciplinary field.


High Performance Computing

High Performance Computing researchers and engineers are applying the world’s most powerful computers to a wide array of scientific and engineering challenges, including climate modeling, weather prediction, the design of aircraft, skyscrapers, and automobiles, the development of new pharmaceuticals and medical treatments, modeling of the human brain, galactic interaction, and the nature of matter. The HPC concentration delves into all aspects of these advanced computing systems, from the hardware level to the programming languages, parallel algorithms, mathematical underpinnings, and applications.  The concentration also offers a choice between a data track which focuses on data analysis and statistics, and an applied mathematics track which focuses on the mathematical tools used to model real-world phenomena.


Systems and Networks

Are you interested in implementing a new programming language or a virtual machine for a new computer or network architecture?  Contributing to the next operating system or Internet of everything?  Improving the security of software and networks?  Then the Systems and Networks concentration is for you.  Through a range of courses covering operating systems, compilers, architecture, networks, and cybersecurity, students learn how modern computational systems function from the application layer all the way down to the hardware-software interface.


Theory and Computation

The Theory and Computation concentration bridges the mathematics-computer science interface.  Applications flow in both directions: mathematical concepts, such as formal logic, automata, and models of computation, form the theoretical foundation of computer science, while computational methods are widely used in many areas of mathematics, including linear algebra, graph theory, differential equations, algebra, theorem proving, and algorithmic analysis.  The concentration offers a broad spectrum of courses in these and other subjects in mathematics and computer science.  Students in the concentration have a choice between a “discrete” and a “continuous” track.


Computer Science

Don’t see a concentration that appeals to you?  The “traditional” BS in Computer Science extends the Computer Science core with additional science, mathematics, and advanced computer science courses.  This program includes a 12-credit “focus area” which students can tailor to their individual interests, in consultation with their advisors.



The Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems is designed for students who want to apply expertise in computer science to the solution of business problems. To earn a BS in Information Systems, students must complete at least 124 credits and meet specific requirements, as outlined in the University catalog at requirements for BS Degree in Information Systems. The core curriculum in this major consists of required courses in both computer science and in business, with concentrations in business and in information systems. The computer science courses provide the student with expertise in programming, networks, system development, and software engineering. The business courses provide the student with expertise in management and financial matters and in technology deployment issues.




The Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science offers more flexibility in coursework. This degree is often selected by students who choose a double major or double degree. This degree requires a minimum grade of C- in all CISC courses. See other degree requirements.



Because CS majors already include many courses in computer science, students in the above majors are not permitted to minor in CS. Note that the College of Engineering requires a grade of C- or better in all courses counted towards a minor.


Designed for students with significant Biology coursework, this minor requires a C- or better in all coursework and a six-credit Senior Thesis project with advisors from both Computer Science and Life Sciences. See other degree requirements. For information about the Bioinformatics Minor, please contact the department at (302) 831-2712 or cis-ugradprgm@udel.edu.


Computer Science

Students who have earned a grade of B- or better in CISC 106  or CISC 108 or CISC 181 may apply for the CS minor. The minor consists of four required courses and six additional credits of CISC at the 200-level or above, excluding CISC 355 and CISC 356. See other degree requirements. For information about the Computer Science Minor, please contact the department at (302) 831-2712 or cis-ugradprgm@udel.edu.



The Department has rigorous standards for admission into the courses in the Department. These standards have evolved over time and are intended to promote success in the sequential development of the material. Please read the course descriptions for the specific prerequisites and corequisites.


For admission to computer science majors, please see Restricted Majors.


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