Frequently Asked Questions From Prospective Students
What is Computer Science?
Computer Science has many aspects, but in essence it studies what problems can be solved by a computer, and how to solve them. To do this, we design algorithms (step-by-step procedures) and write programs using languages that can be understood by a computer. The ability to communicate effectively with a computer allows us to perform many different tasks, which are only limited by the imagination of computer scientists.
What is Software Engineering?
Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined approach to the design, development, operation and maintenance of software. It is the study and practice of how to effectively design software and solutions that solve a practical problem. Software Engineers do not simply write programs, they build software.
How is Computer Science different from Software Engineering?
Although they sound very similar, there are a few distinct differences between Computer Science and Software Engineering. Computer Scientists deal with more theoretical problems, such as optimizing a mathematical procedure or developing a better search function, whereas Software Engineers deal with more practical problems, like developing applications that large corporations will use to manage their business. In essence, Computer Scientists design the algorithms and procedures, and Software Engineers use that technology to build software that real people will use.
Why should I choose Florida Tech for my education in the computer sciences?
- Most students report that their reason was the Program of Study. We have a dedicated faculty who teach almost all undergraduate computer science courses. The Vast majority of the members of the faculty have earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science or closely related field.
- About 10% of undergraduates are provided financial support through research grants directed by computer science faculty. We also hire many undergraduates as system administrators, to assist in our open labs, and to mentor beginning students in teaching labs. There is ample opportunity to work closely with the department's faculty.
- The department has a full-time student coordinator to help students with maneuvering through the maze of academia.
- The number of students is small (250 undergraduates) with a 20-to-1 student-faculty ratio.
- Most classes are small: 25 or fewer students. You can really interact with your professors in a classroom environment
- We offer a well thought out curriculum in computer science, information systems, and software engineering. There is a stable core and many electives for specialization.
- We encourage student participation in cooperative education programs.
- We rely on graduate students to improve undergraduate education, not to just deliver it.
- Faculty research in reflected in the undergraduate curriculum.
- Florida Tech is ranked as a Doctoral Research Intensive University by the Carnegie Foundation.
- Florida Tech is just one of two Florida universities listed by Peterson's Top Colleges for Science.
- Florida Tech is just one of six Florida universities selected by Barron's Best Buys in College Education.
- Florida Tech is rated a Tier 3 National University by U.S. News & World Reports.
- Florida Tech is the youngest private university among the top 171 National Universities ranked Tier 3 or higher.
What are the career opportunities in the computer sciences?
- See the employment opportunities page under the General Information link, in particular the paper on career opportunities in information technology.
- Companies that hire Florida Tech Computer Sciences students
- Florida Tech' Career Services office
- The Bureau of Labor Statistic's Occupational Outlook Handbook
- Occupational Outlook Handbook [Computer Science]
- Occupational Outlook Handbook [Computer Programmer]
What computing facilities does the school have?
- An overview of the university's lab can be found from the university's homepage under Information Technology.
- The College of Engineering supports four teaching laboratories with 60 PCs, and two Unix teaching labs (one with 14 Sun workstations and one with 14 Silicon Graphics workstations)
- The Department of Computer Sciences and Cybersecurity supports several open student computing labs.
- The department also has five research labs, available to undergraduates working on research.
Do I need to have my own computer?
We do not require students to have their own computers, but we strongly recommend that they do have one. A recommended configuration can be found at the IT website for recommended computer specs.
Where can I learn more about the Department of Computer Sciences and Cybersecurity and Florida Tech?
- See the department's web pages.
- See the university's web pages.
- Speak with the department head or other faculty.
Questions for You
- What do you think computer science is all about and what do computer scientists do?
- Are your quantitative (mathematical, reasoning, logic) skills good?
- Are your communication (written and verbal) skills good?
- What experience (tool user, game player, programmer, web developer) do you have using a computer?