photo of Dr. Whitley

Welcome to the Spring/Summer 2005 Ram Bytes newsletter. The newsletter has a new format that permits greater content flexibility and color graphics. We hope you enjoy it!

We are revising our curriculum to accommodate a broader range of student needs. Our new Applied Computing Technology degree comes online this fall, and a brief description is in this newsletter. We are updating the undergraduate curriculum and plan to integrate more mathematical and theoretical foundations into the programming and data structure classes. We created a special section of the Introduction to Computer Science class that will serve as both an Honors Class and an accelerated class for students needing a faster paced introduction to computer science. The number of students enrolling in this class is up 50 percent over last year.

We have had some changes in instructors and faculty. We are pleased to announce the addition of two new faculty members, Dr. Asa Ben-Hur and Dr. Michelle Strout. These new hires will allow us to offer new classes in compilers, high performance computing, and bioinformatics. We also added a new class in Unix and C that is now required by at least two other majors on campus.

The Department is actively addressing diversity and recruiting issues. Currently, Department diversity activities are interrelated with general recruiting activities. We joined the National Center for Women in Information Technology this year, a center aimed a increasing the representation of women in Computer Science, but also generally promoting diversity. The number of freshmen women majoring in CS, while still low, is up compared to a year ago.

We hired Elaine Regelson as our Director of Mentoring and Retention. Elaine is leading the Department efforts to increase student diversity and to support a wide range of students with special needs and concerns. We have created special opportunities for underrepresented students to interact in more small group situations. To promote diversity and recruitment, I also met with high school counselors in Jefferson, Larimer, and Boulder counties this spring. There is now a new Robot Club that we expect to be helpful in recruiting, and Elaine has taken the robots to visit high schools in Loveland.

While the number of CS majors is currently down, indicators of student quality are up: we are still getting the brightest and best students. I look forward to an exciting 2005 academic year and welcome your involvement.