Dec 08, 2022  
Graduate Catalog 2012-13 
    
Graduate Catalog 2012-13 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Computer Science


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B-237 Parkview Campus

The master’s program in computer science emphasizes both computer software development and the theoretical foundations of computer science.  It is designed to prepare students for professional positions in business, industry, and government and to provide preparation for graduate work at the doctoral level.

Areas of faculty specialization include algorithmic complexity theory; artificial intelligence; cloud computing; computational geometry; computer architecture; computer game development; computer graphics; computer networking; data warehousing and mining; distributed and mobile data bases; embedded systems; expert systems; formal specifications; human-computer interaction and visualization; high-performance computing; knowledge-based systems; language and automata theory; mathematical and computer modeling; multimedia databases and systems; neural networks; parallel, distributed and sequential algorithms; pattern recognition and image processing; scientific computing and numerical analysis; simulation; software engineering and web applications.  The program also permits student to acquire expertise in closely related fields such as computer engineering and mathematics.

The master’s program is designed to allow a full-time student entering with a strong undergraduate background in computer science to complete all degree requirements within 16 months; however, it is not uncommon for a student to take somewhat longer.

Admission Requirements

A successful applicant to the master’s program in computer science must satisfy:

  1. All of the general admission criteria identified in the Graduate Catalog.
  2. Submission of transcripts of prior education.  Applicant should have earned or expect to earn an undergraduate degree in a program with significant computer science and mathematics content: 

    a. In computer science:  computer assembly language, computer organization, data structures, design and analysis of algorithms, file structures, formal languages and automata, logic design, object-oriented and structured programming, and operating systems. 
    b. In mathematics:  calculus (2 semesters), linear algebra, and discrete structures.

    The department welcomes applications to the master’s program from strong students who do not have a computer science undergraduate degree but have completed at least two calculus courses and two programming courses at the university level prior to applying.

    An applicant may be given conditional admission and asked to complete designated undergraduate courses with a grade of “B” or better from the following list:
         CS 1110 Computer Science I
         CS 1120 Computer Science II
         CS 2230 Computer Organization and Assembly Language
         CS 2240 Systems Programming Concepts
         CS 3310 Data and File Structures 
         CS 4310 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
         CS 4540 Operating Systems
         CS 4800 Theory of Computation I: Automata
         ECE 2500 Digital Logic I
         MATH 1220 Calculus I
         MATH 1230 Calculus II
         MATH 1450 Discrete Mathematical Structures
         MATH 2300 Elementary Linear Algebra

    Due to the sequential order in which some of the prerequisite courses must be taken, students admitted on a conditional basis might not initially be able to take a full-time course load in only computer science courses.
  3. While Graduate Record Examination scores are not required for admission to the master’s program, applicants are encouraged to submit them.
  4. The TOEFL examination result is required for international students.

 

Financial Assistance


Students accepted into the master’s program may apply for one of the department’s graduate teaching or research assistantships. Graduate internship opportunities with local industries are also available. Applications for teaching and research assistantships should be sent directly to the Department of Computer Science. The forms and instructions for applying for financial assistance can be obtained from the department. Information about non-departmental assistantships and fellowships, tuition remission, special assistance for minority graduate students, general research funds, and tuition grants is available from the Graduate College. Information about student loans and other federal, state, and university need-based financial aid programs is available from the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Program Requirements


A successful candidate for master’s in Computer Science is responsible for all the general requirements for a master’s degree as stated in the Graduate Catalog. The remainder of this section restates some of the general requirements and includes additional requirements specific to the master’s program in Computer Science.

At least 50 percent of the course credits counted toward the master’s degree must be at the 6000-level or higher and be taken in computer science (CS) at Western Michigan University. Prerequisite courses must be taken in proper sequence. Once a 6000-level course, which is to be counted in the program of study, has been successfully completed, any prerequisite of that course taken later cannot be included in the program of study.

Prerequisite Admission Requirement


A student having prerequisite requirements as a condition of admission must complete all designated prerequisites:

a.  before registering for any 6000-level computer science courses, and
b.  before being considered to have entered the master’s program.

Students who feel they have the background in a listed prerequisite should contact the Director of Graduate Programs and provide documentation. With adequate documentation a prerequisite can be waived.

Options


There are three options for completing the master’s degree in Computer Science. Each option allows a maximum of three credit hours of CS 7120: Professional Field Experience to be counted toward the master’s program. NOTE: CS 7120 requires prior approval of the department, and credit will not be given for past experience. Each option also requires one course chosen from each of the groups listed in the Group Requirement section. All courses in the program of study must be approved by an advisor and the department chair or Graduate Program Director.

Thesis Option (30 hours)


The program of study will include:

  1. A total of 30 approved credit hours, at least 15 of which are at the 6000 or higher level.
  2. Six hours of CS 7000: Master’s Thesis.
  3. No more than six hours of any independent study course such as CS 5990, CS 7100, or CS 7350.
  4. No more than six hours of classes taken outside of the Computer Science Department. Such credit requires prior approval by the advisor and the Graduate Committee.
  5. One course from each of the groups specified below.

In the thesis option, a master’s thesis, which is the culmination of a guided research or design effort by the student, must be completed and publicly defended.

Thesis study is done under the supervision of a thesis director and thesis committee. A thesis director will be appointed by the department upon petition by the student. A master’s thesis committee is approved by the Graduate College based on the petition of the student, the agreement of the proposed committee members, and the appointment and recommendation of the department chair. The master’s thesis committee is comprised of the thesis director and at least two other members of the graduate faculty in computer science.

Committee members facilitate and guide the student’s academic and research development.

Before a student is awarded the master’s degree, each member of the master’s thesis committee must approve the thesis. The completed thesis is presented by the student at a public seminar and oral defense.

 

Project Option (30 hours)


The program of study will include:

  1. A total of 30 approved credit hours, at least 15 of which are at the 6000 or higher level.
  2. Three hours of CS 6970: Master’s Project.
  3. No more than three hours of any independent study course such as CS 5990, CS 7100, or CS 7350.
  4. No more than six hours of classes taken outside of the Computer Science Department. Such credit requires prior approval by the advisor and the Graduate Committee.
  5. One course from each of the groups specified below.

In the project option a master’s project, which is the culmination of a guided research or design effort by the student, must be completed, documented in a technical report and publicly defended.

Project study is done under the supervision of a project director.

Before a student is awarded the master’s degree, the project director and the department chair must approve the technical report. The completed project is presented by the student as a public seminar and oral defense.

Course-Only Option (33 hours)


The program of study will include:

  1. A total of 33 approved credit hours, at least 17 of which are at the 6000 or higher level.
  2. No more than three hours of any independent study course such as CS 5990, CS 7100, or CS 7350.
  3. No more than six hours of classes taken outside of the Computer Science Department. Such credit requires prior approval by the advisor and the graduate committee.
  4. One course from each of the groups specified below.

Group Requirement


In all options students will fulfill a breadth/depth requirement by completing at least one course, at WMU, in each of the following groups with a grade of “B” or better.

Group II - Applications: Select at least one of the following:


Group III - Theory: Select at least one of the following:


Note:

Contact the graduate program director for classification of recently offered 6000-level CS courses not listed above.

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