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Natural Science Division

Computer Science

Background
Philosophy of the Curriculum
Program Learning Outcomes
Standard Sequence
Minor
Alumni Reviews
4 Year Schedule for CoSc/Math/Phys

This site presents the Computer Science/Mathematics curriculum. If you would like a printed copy of the curriculum, it is possible to print the pages from your Web browser. However, if you would like a higher quality printout you can download one Link to Adobe Acrobat document. that contains all the information at this site in an Adobe PDF format document. It can be read or printed with version 3.01 or later of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Background

Seaver College is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Pepperdine University. This document describes the curriculum for the major in Computer Science/Mathematics. The college does not offer a major in Computer Science apart from Mathematics. Nor does it offer an advanced degree in either discipline. Historically, Seaver College has emphasized quality teaching at the undergraduate level while encouraging scholarly activity by its faculty especially when it can have a positive impact on the undergraduate experience.

Philosophy of the Curriculum

The curriculum is based on three themes—abstraction, integration, and languages and paradigms.

Abstraction

Abstraction is based on the concept of layers in which the details of one layer of abstraction are hidden from layers at a higher level. A computer scientist uses abstraction as a thinking tool to understand a system, to model a problem, and to master complexity. The ability to abstract cannot be acquired in a single course, but must be developed over several years. Consequently, all courses in the curriculum emphasize the abstraction process, not only as a framework to understand the discipline but also as a tool to solve problems.

Integration

The curriculum focuses on how well the courses are integrated as opposed to how many courses it has to offer. There are two aspects of integration in the curriculum—integration between courses and the integration of theory and practice. Both aspects of integration are important. Without integration between courses the curriculum becomes simply a collection of unrelated facts with no unity based on fundamental principles. The integration of theory and practice not only serves to reinforce the students’ understanding of abstract concepts but also provides them with insight and appreciation of the practical solutions at hand.

Languages and Paradigms

Because of the continued evolution of programming languages and paradigms we would do our students a disservice by emphasizing only one programming language or paradigm throughout the curriculum. Students should be multilingual and should experience multiple paradigms in their undergraduate careers. Our curriculum seeks to strike the proper balance between breadth and depth. Too much breadth will not equip students with the detailed skills necessary to solve realistic problems. Too much depth in one language or paradigm will give students a narrow vision that makes it difficult to consider multiple approaches to a problem.

The curriculum emphasizes in-depth proficiency the first two years and more breadth the last two years. The balance is achieved by choosing one programming language for the first three semesters and another closely related language for the second semester of the second year. Courses in the third and fourth years introduce other programming paradigms based on different languages.

The language choice for the first two years is driven by both pedagogical and practical industry concerns. Pedagogical concerns are important during the first two years, because this is when students begin to form algorithmic thinking patterns and develop problem-solving skills. The criteria are that the programming environment should be simple to learn yet powerful enough to illustrate fundamental concepts of computing. Skill in a practical language is necessary for students to be well equipped for their post graduate careers. The languages for the third and fourth years are chosen for the variety of programming paradigms on which they are based.

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Program Learning Outcomes

A student who completes a Computer Science/Mathematics degree should be able to:

  • implement algorithms.

  • prove computational theorems.

  • analyze computational systems.

  • communicate technical results.

Course Requirements

Click on the Course ID for a detailed description.  Click on the Course Description for the description from the Course Catalog.

To enroll in any computer science or mathematics course that lists prerequisite courses, a student must earn a grade of “C-” or better in all of the prerequisites.

In addition to the general education requirements, the computer science/mathematics major must complete the following standard sequence of courses:

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Mathematics

Standard Sequence

The courses are divided into a first year core, a second year core, and an upper division curriculum. Following is a list of the courses that are taken in the normal sequence.

First Year

Course IDCourse NameUnits
COSC 220 Computer Science I 3
COSC 221 Computer Science II 3
MATH 150 Calculus I 4
MATH 220 Formal Methods 3
MATH 221 Discrete Structures 3

Second Year

Course IDCourse NameUnits
COSC 320 Data Structures 4
COSC 330 Computer Systems 3
MATH 151 Calculus II 4
MATH 250 Calculus III 4
PHYS 210 Physics I 5

Third Year

Course IDCourse NameUnits
MATH 260 Linear Algebra 4
MATH 365 Automata Theory 3
COSC 450 Programming Paradigms 4
COSC 465 Operating Systems, elective * 3

Fourth Year

Course IDCourse NameUnits
COSC 425 Computer Organization, elective * 3
COSC 475 Computer Networks 4
COSC 490 Senior Capstone 4
MATH 350 Mathematical Probability 4

*Note: Only one elective required

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The Computer Science Minor

The Computer Science minor is satisfied by completing a core of five courses plus one elective.

Minor Core

Course IDCourse NameUnits
COSC 220 Computer Science I 3
COSC 221 Computer Science II 3
COSC 320 Data Structures 4
MATH 220 Formal Methods 3
MATH 221 Discrete Structures 3

Minor Elective

Course IDCourse NameUnits
COSC 330 Computer Systems 3
COSC 450 Programming Paradigms 4
MATH 365 Automata Theory 3


The above program requirements are excerpted from the Seaver catalog. This Web page is not an official binding document. To view the actual catalog visit: http://seaver.pepperdine.edu/academics/catalog/

You may email your questions to the Seaver Natural Science Division Office Manager Link to e-mail address.

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