Greetings from the Department of Computer Science!
Planning for a new Computer Science Building is well underway. We plan for the CS Department to move into the new building before the start of the Fall 2008 semester!
The building will be located on the plaza across from the Lory Student Center and Morgan Library; it will be west of Natural Resources, north of the Clark building, and south of the Glover building. The building will be 4 stories and will have approximately 28K square feet of assignable space, which is a bit more (and better!) space than we have now. The ground floor of the building will house 3 large computer facilities; offices and smaller labs will be located on the top 3 floors.
Moving Computer Science to the heart of the campus will be a big change. For more than two decades we have been located off campus, which sometimes seemed like the end of the earth. The new location will greatly increase the visibility of Computer Science on the CSU campus.
We hired another faculty member this year, bringing our total number of faculty to 19. Christos Papadopoulos comes to CSU from the University of Southern California, and brings with him funding, including an NSF CAREER award. His research is in Networks and Security, which reinforces our commitment to this area of research as one of the four core specializations of the CS Department.
Growing our scholarships for undergraduates and graduates continues to be a priority for the department. Elaine Regelson and James Sites created an endowment to support undergraduate research in Computer Science and Physics; the endowment will support two or more research scholarships per year. Elaine officially became the Director of Mentoring and Retention for CS this year, and Jim is a former Chair of Physics who now serves as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Natural Sciences. Their gift carries two messages: that investing in students by providing them with new opportunities is important, and that many of the us have the ability to make a difference.
My wife Beth and I currently donate money each year to a graduate scholarship; this year we also made a planned contribution that will endow an undergraduate scholarship. The scholarship will be named after Beth's brother, David C. Thurston, who was a CSU student in the mid-1980s. If you received a scholarship while at CSU, think about how important that was to you. Scholarships are just as important to our students today.
We graduated approximately 70 seniors in May, with by far the highest employment rate and salaries in the College of Natural Sciences. This is down a bit from the 90 seniors a year that graduated between 2001 and 2006. However, we have only 33 new freshmen. Total majors are down 50 percent at CSU, which is the same as the overall national average. The “myth” that there are no CS jobs continues to scare people away from the major--which means that “actual” demand is on the rise.
If you are in the area, we would love to see you. And email is always welcome.