Mission, Goals, and Learning Outcomes

Mission

The Computer Science program at Loyola Marymount University seeks to be a recognized venue for excellent baccalaureate education in computing through a solid curricular foundation in computational thinking, integration of interdisciplinary studies, emphasis in communication skills, collaboration with industry, and service to professional societies and the community.

Goals

Upon completion of the Computer Science major, students will

  1. be prepared for a successful industry career, through
    • a curriculum based on the principles and values of the open source culture, which emphasizes the rights and integrity of authors and users of software;
    • exposure to a wide variety of programming languages and computing platforms (including robots, mobile devices, and game consoles);
    • the completion of apprenticeship and capstone based courses;
    • a practice-before-theory approach that better instills an understanding of how computation theory directly applies to real-world systems demanding correctness, efficiency, reliability, and maintainability;
    • an understanding of the importance of computing as a natural science and as a foundation for a wide variety of careers reaching far beyond traditional software industry;
  2. be prepared for graduate study, through
    • a broad exposure to the core computer science curriculum;
    • opportunities to do undergraduate research;
    • a development of mathematical maturity obtained not only from supporting courses in mathematics but in several computing courses as well;
    • oral presentations in capstone courses;
    • completion of self-directed projects, demanding a significant level of upstream requirements analysis, constructing, testing, and documentation; and
  3. have acquired a foundation for future learning and service in line with the overall mission of the University, through
    • the development of teamwork and communication skills gained from frequent participation in collaborative projects in which ideas are freely shared and multiple talents are respected;
    • opportunities for undergraduate research and the dissemination of this research through poster and paper presentations at both university-sponsored events and academic and professional conferences;
    • the strong university core curriculum which augments the division's technical education with course in the arts, humanities, and communication;
    • discussions of the ethical implications that arise from the collaborative nature of the computing disciplines, and their impact on society, in fostering an attitude of service in any future endeavors; being encouraged to become involved in local and national professional technical societies.

Learning Outcomes

The LMU Computer Science graduate will be able to

  1. present ideas at multiple levels of abstraction and from multiple perspectives
  2. communicate, both orally and in narrative form, the functional purpose and technical details of software systems
  3. design, implement, test, and evaluate software components and systems meeting given requirements
  4. work effectively as a team member
  5. develop software in an ethical manner, in which the rights of software authors and users are respected, attribution is given when deriving work, and no persons or groups are locked out of participation unless required by applicable civil laws
  6. choose the right language or tool for a given task
  7. demonstrate proficiency in at least three popular programming languages
  8. recognize, and write small components in, approximately ten programming languages
  9. demonstrate knowledge of both algorithmic complexity and software performance
  10. apply usability and accessibility guidelines in software design and construction