Majors and Minors /
In this section..
Majors: Computer Science • Mathematics • Integrated Mathematics • Mathematics: Engineering • Computer Science: Engineering
Computing technology seems to change at the speed of light, and creative new applications of computers are continually being discovered. That's why we prepare computer science students to be flexible, adaptable and creative. It's why we instill the value of lifelong learning — because the technology will change, but your ability to learn it will keep pace.
Our professors stress the theoretical aspects of computer science that form the foundation of in-depth understanding and creativity. Theoretical work is supplemented by extensive hands-on experience with state-of-the-art hardware and software in the department’s multiple laboratories.
As a computer science major, your courses will address a broad range of topics to expose you to the important issues in both software and hardware. You'll begin your studies with two introductory courses focusing on algorithm design, basic software engineering fundamentals and elementary data structures. These courses are the foundation for more advanced studies in such areas as digital logic, computer architecture, operating systems, parallel computing, database and computer graphics. Many majors elect additional courses in such areas as advanced computer graphics, various languages and high performance scientific computing.
During their junior and senior years, majors participate in a departmental seminar that features student research and presentations. Explore course descriptions in our online course bulletin.
Capital's location in the thriving capital city of Columbus allows many computer science majors to take advantage of the city’s business, research and technological opportunities through internships and part-time employment.
Our students have participated in cooperative programs with leading companies like Chemical Abstracts, Sterling Commerce, Battelle, Nationwide and the Defense Supply Center Columbus. Capital students also serve as laboratory supervisors and Information Technology assistants on campus.
Our computer science graduates have been very successful, whether entered the workforce right after graduation, or decided to go to graduate school. Today, you may be a computer science major at Capital. Tomorrow, you could be a systems analyst, quality control, industrial engineer, researcher, programmer, network and information systems administrator.
Our professors bring out the best in you. We won't lie. They can be tough. But they're also your counselors, your mentors, and your biggest advocates. Meet a few below, or view our department directory.
See all Faculty in the Directory
The Code Warrior: Meet the Cloud Evangelist
Microsoft evangelist Brian Prince (’95) says future programmers are everywhere. And he’s helping create fertile ground for app development – and more – at Capital.
“Who prefers Star Trek over Star Wars?” asked the 40-something guy with blue-rimmed glasses and spiky purple hair. More than 200 music technology majors laughed knowingly at Prince’s opening line at a Recital Hour talk, and several shouted out responses. “Unfortunately, you’re all wrong,” Prince replied, cutting them off. “Doctor Who is best.” Brian Prince captivated the audience for nearly an hour as he shared his journey as a software developer since his graduation from Capital in 1995, offering career advice and hard-earned wisdom, and confessing it’s sometimes hard for him to talk to ordinary people. Or, as he would say, “non-nerds.” “I swear I’m part Vulcan,” he often jokes, referring to the famously analytical race of characters on “Star Trek.” “In science, everything’s black and white. With humans, there are shades of gray. So I struggle with that.” It’s a surprising and self-deprecating statement, given his infectious enthusiasm for his current, high-profile job as Chief Cloud Evangelist for Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. It’s hard to imagine Prince having any trouble communicating. He likes to say he embodies the stereotypical computer nerd: he still loves to write code, keeps up with the latest user groups, and harbors an addiction to Xbox video games.
But over the years he’s also mastered one art that many tech pros don’t: social dexterity. He’s transitioned from hard-core developer to very public promoter of digital technology. And he’s making himself available to Capital, through AppLabs, speaking engagement and office hours of campus, so the university community and beyond can benefit from his passion and expertise.Outreach, of course, is part of Prince’s job as Chief Evangelist for Azure, an online- (or “cloud”) based platform Microsoft launched last year to serve information technology professionals and software developers. It’s a bold initiative for the tech giant, and a cross-platform play as appealing to Mac professionals as it is to those using Windows. So the question arises: why engage students and other non-professionals? “You can’t trust that only super-educated people with 50 years of experience are going to write the best stuff,” says Prince. “It’s the ideas that matter. It’s the act of creation that matters. And anyone can do that.” He believes the world is experiencing “Renaissance version 2.0,” in which the tools of creation are more accessible than ever.The explosive popularity of mobile technology is driving demand, says Prince, and app development is becoming as common as recording an album or editing a film on your own computer. And a lot more lucrative. “What I love about working with young people,” Prince says, “is that they haven’t learned boundaries yet, so they are much more fearless when it comes to trying something new or building an idea.”
Prince’s first exposure to computers was in the fifth grade at his small elementary school in Farmington, Maine. The school had one computer, an Apple II, and it was in his classroom.
He often skipped recess to play with it, poring over an accompanying brochure to learn the 30 programming commands available. By the eighth grade, Prince had written a word processor program from scratch. Back then, he recalls, “I didn’t even know you could have a career in computer science, because it was so early in the technology age.” He did, however, continue to read computer manuals, often while waiting for his dad to pick him up from high school. It was the back of a Microsoft-DOS manual that gave him an epiphany. “I remember reading that Microsoft was located in Bellevue, Washington, wherever that was. And I thought it would be great to work for [them]. That’s when it first dawned on me that you could have a company that built technology.” After being admitted to several colleges, Prince chose Capital because of its smaller size, flexible curriculum and growing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs within a liberal arts college. As a computer science major and physics minor, Prince quickly became the go-to guy for trading computer parts and playing computer games. Between the coding, tinkering, and gaming, Prince found time to serve as president of the music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha – despite his not being a musician. Prince had been an active Boy Scout and was confident he could organize and lead. “It was my way of helping the group,” he says. “I just felt really comfortable with them. There was no real computer science club. They offered service aspects and music, and were just a really good group of people. I think that’s what I liked about it.”
Using technology to make connections and create value has been a recurring theme throughout Prince’s career. After graduation, his leadership skills and a budding entrepreneurial drive were a perfect fit for several successful tech start-ups. His teams created software and web-based solutions for the real estate and pharmaceutical fields, to name a few. But it was his position at Columbus-based Quick Solutions, a contract development firm, that introduced him to one of his most meaningful projects: building the Missing Children’s Clearinghouse and Amber Alert system for the Ohio Attorney General. “It’s probably the most important project I’ve worked on,” Prince says. “Most of the applications I’ve worked on were about saving a company money or giving them a strategic advantage. The Amber Alert system was the only project where someone’s life was truly in danger. We talked about that on our team. Almost everyone had children, so that really motivated us. And we worked really closely with the IT department of the Attorney General to build it the way they wanted it, the way they needed it.”After five years with Quick, Prince began seeking a career change. A Capital course in public speaking served him well. As a leader of the Columbus .NET user group, he began speaking regionally about technology, and he regularly interacted with local Microsoft contacts. In 2008, an evangelist position with the software giant opened up, and he’s been promoting the possibilities of new software ever since.“It was the perfect job for me,” Prince beams. “Talking to people and sharing and teaching.” For the past two years he’s filled his passport traveling around the world driving “passion and adoption” of cloud technology. “I’ll talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time,” he says.Prince never imagined he would be part of a sales and marketing team. “Today, I don’t really build things,” he says. “I talk to people who build things. There is no better feeling than to have people come up after a talk all fired up and ready to try something new.”
From AppLabs to weekly on-campus office hours that were open to the public to talk one-on-one about any technology-related topic, including career questions and video game development, Prince’s presence has inspired collaboration. He’s consulted with Capital’s IT department, providing unusually fast responses to their technical questions. And Microsoft gave Capital a grant for both Azure and DreamSpark Premium, which gives students access to all Microsoft software. “I will do as many labs as they will let me,” Prince grins.