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Scientific Computing

In a world powered by automation, algorithms and digital simulations, programmers with a background in scientific computing are increasingly sought for developing progressive, complex and dynamic software systems. In the Scientific Computing emphasis, you’ll learn how to integrate programming languages and computer systems with mathematical modeling to become an adept and effective data analyst who understands how to apply computer science to a variety of fields.

Program Overview

Analyze complex data with math and computer science.

The Scientific Computing Emphasis combines applied mathematics with the tools of computer science to create a versatile emphasis for students who envision themselves developing advanced modeling simulations. This program is designed to accommodate Western Colorado University-University of Colorado-Boulder Computer Science partnership students for their first two years by giving them a major to declare when they come to Western, in addition to providing an efficient Western major if students do not choose to transfer to the University of Colorado. This emphasis places an in-depth focus on the intersection of computer programming and mathematics, all of which will enhance students’ comprehension of and practical skills in data analytics and critical thinking from a scientific perspective.

A mathematical perspective

The Scientific Computing Emphasis examines the link between numerical calculations and computer architecture to enhance your understanding of digital simulations so you can create advanced virtual reality software programs.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

A minimum of 62 credits is required, including the 30-credit Computer Science Core:

Computer Science Core
CS 190Computer Science I3
CS 191Computer Science II3
CS 195Database Management Systems3
CS 250Web Applications Development I3
CS 280Data Structures3
CS 330Operating Systems and Architecture3
CS 370Systems Programming in C3
CS 412Software Engineering3
CS 470Algorithms3
CS 495Senior Project3
Total Credits30

And the following additional courses:

CS 303Machine Learning3
MATH 151Calculus I (GT-MA1)4
MATH 200Discrete Mathematics3
MATH 213Probability and Statistics3
MATH 251Calculus II4
MATH 260Applied Linear Algebra3
MATH 314Applied Probability3
And three of the following:9
CS 235
Computers Networks
CS 310
Programming Projects with X
CS 320
Programming Languages
CS 340
Computer Graphics
CS 360
System Security
CS 380
The Internet of Things
CS 390
Software Entrepreneurship
CS 415
Software Engineering II
CS 435
Mobile Development
CS 450
Ethical Hacking and Malware
CS 460
Network Security
CS 499
Internship or Field Experience in Computer Science
ENG 302
Technical Writing
MATH 252
Calculus III
MATH 275
Scientific Programming, Modeling, and Simulation
MATH 300
Introduction to Mathematical Modeling
MATH 313
Statistical Modeling and Simulation
MATH 358
Introduction to Differential Equations and Linear Algebra
MATH 360
Linear Algebra
MATH 380
Introduction to Cryptography
Total Credits32

Capstone Course Requirement

The following course fulfills the capstone course requirement in the Computer Science Major: CS 495 SENIOR PROJECT.

Graduation Requirements

Undergraduate programs require a minimum of 120 semester credits for graduation.  Of those 120 credits, 40 credits must be in upper-division courses (those marked 300 and above).  Fifteen of these 40 upper-division credits must be earned in courses that are part of the standard or comprehensive major program being pursued. 

Students are expected to review all graduation requirements, which can be found in the Western Undergraduate Catalog: Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

Undergraduate programs require a minimum of 120 semester credits for graduation.  Of those 120 credits, 40 credits must be in upper-division courses (those marked 300 and above).  Fifteen of these 40 upper-division credits must be earned in courses that are part of the standard or comprehensive major program being pursued. 

Students are expected to review all graduation requirements, which can be found in the Western Undergraduate Catalog: Graduation Requirements

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CS 190 Computer Science I 3
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 151 Calculus I (GT-MA1) 4
PHYS 200 General Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
Elective H & SS lower-division or Foreign Language course 3
 Credits18
Spring
CS 191 Computer Science II 3
MATH 251 Calculus II 4
PHIL 200 Symbolic Logic 3
PHYS 201 General Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
Elective H & SS lower-division or Foreign Language course 3
 Credits17
Year Two
Fall
CS 280 Data Structures 3
CS 330 Operating Systems and Architecture 3
MATH 314 Applied Probability 3
Elective H & SS lower-division or Foreign Language course 3
Elective Natural Science 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
 Credits18
Spring
CS 370 Systems Programming in C 3
CS 412 Software Engineering 3
MATH 200 Discrete Mathematics 3
PHIL 135 Introduction to Ethics 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
CS 250 Web Applications Development I 3
CS Elective Upper Division CS elective course 3
MATH 260 Applied Linear Algebra 3
Elective H & SS elective course 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
 Credits15
Spring
CS 195 Database Management Systems 3
CS Elective Upper Division CS elective course 3
Elective Upper Division H & SS elective course 3
Elective Upper Division elective or minor course 3
MATH 213 Probability and Statistics 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
CS 303 Machine Learning 3
CS Elective Upper Division CS elective course 3
Elective Upper Division elective or minor course 3
Elective Upper Division H &SS elective course 3
 Credits12
Spring
CS 470 Algorithms 3
CS 495 Senior Project 3
CS Elective CS elective course 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
 Credits12
 Total Credits122

Careers

Take the first steps toward your dream career.

Career preparation is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling role in hundreds of professional fields after graduation.

Ready to apply or learn more about Western today?

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Find Your Career

The data is automatically collected by Lightcast, a firm that sources job market data. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

Scholarships

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works is Western’s tool for searching for, applying for and managing over 300 scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through BAM Academic Works, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic programs, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

BAM Scholarship Applications Opens Dec. 5 and close April 1

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions

Find your scholarships!

Eligibility

GPA Award amount per year (In-State) Award amount per year (Out-of-State)
3.50-3.749 $3,500 $9,000
3.75-3.999 $5,000 $10,500
4.0 $6,500 $12,000
  • Accepted to Western by January 31, 2023
  • Declared major in the Computer Science or Mechanical Engineering partnership programs by March 31, 2023
  • Eligible for MATH 151-Calculus 1 (via ACT math score of 27 or above, SAT math score of 630 or above, ALEKS test score of 76 or above, or applicable AP/IB/Concurrent Enrollment credit) by July 1, 2023

Renewal Criteria

  • Remain in the partnership program
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Earn grades of “B-” or higher in a two-course, college-level sequence in calculus (MATH 151, MATH 251, MATH 252)
  • Earn grades of “B-” or higher in one college-level physical science course (PHYS 200, PHYS 201, CHEM 111+112, CHEM 121)

Description

The Rady Merit Scholarship can be awarded for a maximum of 6 semesters, while the student is considered a full-time Western student (enrolled in 12 credits or more) and Western is processing the student’s financial aid. The number of scholarships awarded is based on fund availability.

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works is Western’s tool for searching for, applying for and managing scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through BAM Academic Works, students may identify institutional scholarship opportunities that all Western students may apply for regardless of academic program or department, academic standing, campus involvement, and more. Students may click below to learn more about applying for these campus-wide opportunities.

BAM Scholarship Applications Opens Dec. 5 and close April 1

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Description

The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Make your education a life-changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Independent Projects: Students have worked on projects in a variety of areas including machine learning, mobile applications, wireless embedded systems, web applications, gaming and cybersecurity. Example projects include computer vision for facial recognition and object identification, a “pet finder” app with wireless GPS collar, an autonomous turret (water gun) for home security, a COVID tracker web app, a Mega Man reboot, and a computer-vision based ski boot sizing app.
  • Information Technology Services: Many computer science students work for the Western IT Department, keeping student and university computers and networks running smoothly.
  • Internships: Students have landed internships with Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Raytheon, Dell, Northrop Grumman, Intel and other companies large and small. Computer science internships pay well and often lead directly to a permanent job.

Put your knowledge into practice

Our knowledgeable and connected faculty can aid you in further developing your scientific computing skills by helping you land internships or prepare for further study as a graduate student.

News & Research

Rady is Ready Inside Building

Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering Opens Doors

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Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering

Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering Building Construction Timelapse

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School of Computer Science & Engineering

Explore the New, Cutting-Edge Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering

Read More about Explore the New, Cutting-Edge Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering

Program Director

Jenifer Blacklock, Ph.D.

Director of the Western-CU Boulder Partnership Program

Department Chair

Jeremy Muskat, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Contact Information

970.943.2400

radyschool@western.edu

Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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