Degree: Associate in Science
HEGIS Code: 5101
Curriculum Code: 0532
Campus Location: North
Liberal Arts Division
Pre-Admission Recommendations: 3 years Math I, Math II, Math III, 1 year Science
Recommended High School Courses and/or Experiences: 1 year Math, 2 years Science (Physics)
Career Opportunities/Further Education: Transfer to Bachelor’s Degree Program, Computer Companies
Computer science is the study of the computing process and the fundamental algorithms, structures and languages that underlie that process. There is an increasing need for experimental work, and the application of computing science to other fields is unlimited. It is this blend of theory and practice that makes computer science so exciting.
Programming is an indispensable tool in engineering, technology and many other scientific and technical fields. However, programming is a means to explore the processes of reasoning that is found between and among several different programming languages. Computer science also concentrates on areas such as artificial intelligence, graphics, distributed systems, robotics, machine vision, numerical analysis and applications of computing in other fields.
The Computer Science Program at Erie Community College provides the coursework necessary for the first two years of a four-year degree in Computer Science. The primary goal of the Computer Science curriculum is to prepare students to transfer to four-year institutions as third-year students in a computer science program.
Computer science courses require a firm understanding of critical issues and concepts of computer science: problem analysis, data abstraction, algorithm development, program implementation, testing and validation, computer organization and basic system control. Other courses in the curriculum focus on skills needed for essential activities such as communicating, designing logical programs, working as a member of a project team and understanding potential areas of application. All computer science courses have both lecture and lab components. In computer labs, students analyze problems and then proceed to design, write and debug computer programs. The computer languages and methodology taught are those currently employed by practicing professionals. Studying computer science demands a substantial time commitment; therefore, students should be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time in the lab.
The Computer Science curriculum requires a strong math background. Three years of high school math (to include intermediate algebra and trigonometry) and one year of science are required for admission. A fourth year of math and a year of physics are strongly recommended. Students should also be proficient in English language usage.
Upon graduation with an Associate in Science degree in Computer Science, the graduate will be able to:
- identify all the steps of the software system life cycle and perform problem analysis, the top-down step-wise refinement design process, coding and testing;
- write, execute and debug programs in high-level languages, an assembly language and hybrid programs;
- explain the concept of an abstract data type and design such data types for use in programs;
- apply efficiency measures to algorithms and abstract data types and to interpret the results;
- describe and explain the main components of a computer, their organization and functionality, as well as system control concepts, computer memory organization and management, addressing modes, internal representation of programs and data, assemblers and compilers; and
- write technical documents with an emphasis on good composition and communication skills. This includes documentation that is internal to computer programs and external documentation such as user manuals and programmer manuals.
Total Degree Credits: 60.0