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Scientific Computing

Bachelor of Science

Degree Type

Emphasis

Department

Math & Computer Science Department

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

Scientific Computing

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 33-credit Computer Science Core:

Course List
Code Title Credits
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
MATH 200Discrete Mathematics3
Total Credits33

And the following additional courses:

Course List
Code Title Credits
CS 303Machine Learning3
MATH 151Calculus I (GT-MA1)4
MATH 213Probability and Statistics (GT-MA1)3
MATH 251Calculus II4
MATH 260Applied Linear Algebra3
MATH 314Applied Probability I3
AND9
At least 3 upper division CS courses (including CS 235 and excluding any core courses included in the scientific computing emphasis) or math course from MATH 252, MATH 275, MATH 300, MATH 313, MATH 358, MATH 360 and MATH 380
Total Credits29

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 Writing and Rhetoric I (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 151 Calculus I (GT-MA1) 4
Elective H & SS lower-division or Foreign Language course 3
PHYS 170
or PHYS 190
Principles of Physics I (GT-SC2)
or General Physics I (GT-SC2)
3
PHYS 185 Laboratory Physics I (GT-SC1) 1
 Credits18
Spring
CS 191 Computer Science II 3
ENG 103 Writing and Rhetoric II (GT-CO2) 3
MATH 251 Calculus II 4
PHIL 200 Symbolic Logic 3
PHYS 171
or PHYS 191
Principles of Physics II (GT-SC2)
or General Physics II (GT-SC2)
3
PHYS 186 Laboratory Physics II (GT-SC1) 1
 Credits17
Year Two
Fall
CS 280 Data Structures 3
CS 330 Operating Systems and Architecture 3
MATH 314 Applied Probability I 3
Elective H & SS lower-division or Foreign Language course 6
Elective Natural Science 3
ENG 103 Writing and Rhetoric II (GT-CO2) 3
 Credits21
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 (GT-MA1) 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
Elective Elective or minor course 3
 Credits15
Spring
CS 470 Algorithms 3
CS 495 Senior Project 3
CS Elective CS elective course 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
 Credits12
 Total Credits128

Careers


Top Skills

  • Algorithmic Thinking
  • Computational Modeling
  • Data Analysis
  • Problem-Solving
  • Programming Language Proficiency
  • Statistical Analysis



Career Pathways

  • Bioinformatics Scientist
  • Computational Physicist
  • Data Scientist
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Research Scientist
  • Software Engineer

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development 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 and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

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

Find your scholarships!

Eligibility

  • Accepted to Western by April 15
  • Declared major in the Computer Science or Mechanical Engineering partnership programs by April 15

Award Amount Tiers based on High School GPA

  • 3.50-3.749
    • $3,500 In-State
    • $9,000 Out-of-State
  • 3.75-3.999
    • $5,000 In State
    • $10,500 Out-of-State
  • 4.0
    • $6,500 In-State
    • $12,000 Out-of-State

Renewal Criteria

  • Remain in the partnership program
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Complete MATH 151 Calculus 1 with grade of C or better prior to the start of second fall semester (to be evaluated at the end of first spring semester).

Description

The Rady Merit Scholarship is awarded for 4 semesters (maximum of 6 semesters upon successful appeal), 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.

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

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 30 for 2024. 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.

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

Western University Fostering Academic Excellence in a classroom with a happy instructor

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.
  • Lambda Learning Center (LLC): The LLC exists to provide academic support for math, computer science, and engineering, as well as to facilitate student learning beyond the classroom. Students, tutors, and professors get together and create a culture centered not only around understanding and mastering STEM-related coursework, but also exploring new ideas in STEM and building community.
  • Tutoring Jobs: Available to students interested in teaching others and mastering basic principles.
  • Seminars: Faculty at Western provide a variety of different seminars series: industry experts in the Gunnison/Crested Butte valley come to discuss their companies and experience with the students, faculty present what they have been working on, students present their research projects, and faculty provide professionalism topics to help students update and increase their professional brand.

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

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Department Information

Math & Computer Science Department

Department Chairperson

Jeremy Muskat, Ph.D.

Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science, Professor of Mathematics

Rady Building Administrative Assistant

Kelley Jones

Administrative Assistant III

Campus Location

Rady Building 272

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