500X330 – computer photoTechnology permeates almost every activity in our lives, and arguably, this revolution has been propelled by advances in computing technologies. As Bjarne Stroustrup, the inventor of C++ states: “Our civilization runs on software.” From small sensors and smart phones to super computers and cloud technologies, at the core of this revolution are the advancements in software and hardware.

The UST Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program prepares students for careers in technology, equipping them with a vast skillset including:

  • Programming, data structures, and algorithms analysis
  • Software development and engineering
  • Computer architecture, IoT and, sensors
  • Networking and security
  • Operating Systems and cloud computing
  • Databases, distributed systems, and data science
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Research experiences
Student Opportunities

In addition to the B.S. in Computer Science, students may pursue a double major in Mathematics or minors in Applied Statistics, Data Analytics or Mathematics.  Students may also take the opportunity to explore the following topics:

  • Internet of Things
  • Sensors
  • Computer Engineering
  • Data Analytics/Visualization
  • Data Science
 

Computer Science students also have access to several UST activities and resources.

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500X330 – computer classThe University of St. Thomas Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree is based on an innovative pedagogy anchored in a situated learning and socio-technical frameworks.

Situated learning states that learning is a process that takes place within a community of practice. Our program highlights the importance of the context in which students learn and participate. Offering a holistic learning experience enriched by working with real cases, problems, and datasets, it sparks interest and curiosity in different sub-domains of computer science and deepens the understanding on how things work and why they work in certain ways. This approach creates a truly learning-by-doing and problem-based atmosphere, which inspires students about the beauty of computing within and outside the classroom. With an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, UST fosters a collaborative and community building environment that helps to develop a strong identity as computer scientists, which is essential for future success.

Socio-technical science states that all technologies are socially situated emphasizing the interconnections between people and technology. This perspective complements the situated learning framework and provides a solid connection between the theoretical foundations of computer science and its applicability to solve concrete problems. Profiting from UST strong liberal arts identity, current ethical implications of computing technologies such as algorithmic fairness, access to technology, and their societal impact are ingrained in our curriculum, broadening the students’ future professional careers.

Synergistic Collaborations
A major thrust of the UST computer science program is to engage faculty and students in collaborative projects. Presently, the following areas of collaboration exist:

In collaboration with Dr. Albert Ribes-Zamora and Dr. Maia Larios, Biology Department.

Protein Search Engine
This project builds from previous work identifying motifs of amino acids in protein domains. We want to link structural, evolutionary, and ontological information along with high-intensive computational analyses, including mining the genome to establish more functional and structurally driven protein domain definitions.

Characterizing Viral Communities Carried by Mosquitos in Houston
Mosquitos are known vectors for viral diseases. This project aims at learning more about the viral strains carried by mosquitos. Collected samples from locations in Houston are catalogued by species using morphological characteristics and DNA barcoding. Using metagenomics, a method that computationally analyzes entire sequenced genetic samples, viral sequences are identified.

Given the potential negative impacts of technology and machine learning in society, we leverage UST strong liberal arts and Catholic identities to address these issues. We have partnered with Dr. Elham Mousavidin (Business School) and Dr. Mirela Oliva (Department of Philosophy) to investigate, develop, and evaluate a framework for incorporating ethical principles such as transparency and fairness into algorithms used in analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Computational tools and methods are applied to disciplines such as art, literature, history, and philosophy. Digital humanities dates back to the 1940s with the pioneering work of Jesuit scholar Fr. Roberto Busa, who created the Index Thomisticus, a computer-generated concordance of St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae.

In collaboration with Dr. Andrew Hayes, Department of Theology, who works on ancient texts written in Syriac around the IV century, this project conducts meta-analysis of the corpus itself using natural language processing (NLP) and other computational linguistic methods.

In the realm of Medieval History, a project with Dr. Francesca Guerri, Department of History, aims at developing computational approaches along with visualization interfaces to explore and disseminate the life and works of Matilda of Tuscany (XI century). Written in Latin, Matilda’s letters illustrate critical historical events related to the Papacy and the role of women in politics and governance in the Middle Ages.

Other areas of significance and value is the application of technology to solve intractable social issues. Despite recent developments in information archival and sharing, driven by connected cell phones, IoT-enabled services, and sensors, their potential has yet to be fully leveraged for addressing social issues. Among areas of interest are quality of life improvement with a humanistic approach and modern integrated farms, for addressing food security, improve farming processes, reduce energy consumption and waste, and foster sustainability.