DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
North Carolina A&T State University
ANNUAL REPORT 1993-1994
I. SUMMARY STATEMENT
The Department of Computer Science completed its second academic year as a separate department within the College of Engineering. Operating the Department in a time of growth has presented many challenges. The major challenges were to:
|Host the visit and review by the Computer Science Accreditation Board|
|Implement the Master of Science degree in Computer Science|
|Commence funded research activities|
|Advise over 350 undergraduate and 50 graduate students|
|Develop a coherent management and planning system|
The Department successfully hosted a visiting review team from the Computer Science Accreditation Board. The visitors commented favorably on the program. Feedback provided after the visit provides the expectation that a favorable recommendation will be received during summer, 1994.
The Department received authorization to implement the MS CS degree from general administration in October, 1993. Over 30 students had been admitted under the GEEN designation pending authorization to grant, following the program of study approved by University of North Carolina General Administration. A system of Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants was put in place, complete with review and evaluation processes, along with the formation of a departmental graduate committee. Dr. David Bellin was appointed Director of Graduate Studies in the department.
To advise students, the Department refined its mentoring strategy. Students were divided among the faculty members, and a weekly colloquium meeting was initiated to share information relative to university information, job opportunities, research progress, and computer and professional skill enhancement. In addition, students make private appointments with their faculty mentors for the purpose of discussing personal challenges.
During the summer of 1993, the Department employed Dr. David Goldstein, Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Arlington.
A coherent management and planning structure was implemented. A weekly meeting of senior department personnel is held, consisting of Dr. Joseph Monroe, Dr. David Bellin, and Prof. Rodney Harrigan. Long range financial planning, departmental goals, student mentoring, and faculty development are major focus topics.
The Department made excellent progress in the acquisition of funded research projects during the year. Research awards totaled $ 800,000. Prospects for next year are positive, with over $ 5,000,000 in outstanding proposals.
A. COMPUTER SCIENCE
1. Enrollment totals, trends, and geographic spread:
Table 1 contains the enrollment data on the Computer Science Program for the past seven years. Two trends may be noted at the undergraduate level: first, an increased retention rate as students progress through the program; and second, a large decrease in freshman enrollments. The first trend is attributed to the effectiveness of the department’s mentoring program. The second trend is attributed to the higher requirements of the College of Engineering as compared to the Liberal Arts and Sciences, and to the rigor of a accreditation compliant program. The department intends to make efforts under the direction of the undergraduate director to reverse the decrease in freshman enrollment.
Table 1: CS Enrollment & Degree Data
2. Identification and solution to instructional problems:
The Department identified implementation of the new Undergraduate Colloquium as an instructional problem, and spent the Spring semester identifying potential solutions to enhance the mentoring aspects of the colloquium. Next year, we will implement solutions.
3. Innovations in teaching:
The Department has made a concerted effort to actively involve the students in the learning process. We have the students do more discussing, presenting, and writing in all of our courses. Students made presentations in the Undergraduate Colloquium. Students led several graduate colloquium meetings, including presentations on two CASE tools donated to the University, internet resources, and computer purchasing and maintenance.
Student project teams play a central role to several courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs, particularly in the Software Engineering concentration.
4. Significant changes in the curricula or new programs approved:
As stated earlier, the most significant change was the approval of the MS CS by the system-wide Board of Governors in October, 1993. This approval has added significant intellectual depth to the department, and has resulted in graduate Teaching Assistants working closely with entering freshmen taking our first year sequence of COMP 160 and COMP 165.
Part of the change begun last year in the introductory courses was a shift in our primary programming language from Pascal to C and C++. Along with this change, we increased the number of credits to 4 and added a recitation section to the first year courses. The recitation and labs are typically led by a graduate Teaching Assistant. Workshop and teaching materials were developed for these graduate students to use.
The department had added a requirement of third semester Calculus last year to enhance the theoretical foundations and mathematical background of our students. Due to changes in content, this year we replaced that course with Differential Equations (Math 331), after discussion with the Math department.
6. Efforts to improve academic advising:
We have adopted and strengthened our mentoring program. Each student is assigned a faculty “mentor” upon declaring Computer Science as a major. A peer advisor, paid by the department, is associated with each mentor to assist in providing informal advice at least once each month. These relationships foster a rich social, ethical, professional, and personal environment.
To emphasize the importance we put on the mentoring effort, the department formed a “Student/Faculty Mentoring Council” in the Spring. Students elected three undergraduate and one graduate representative. Staff and faculty representation is also included. The Council held one meeting and is expected to contribute to the further direction and development of our academic advisory efforts next year.
The success of our mentoring efforts are reflected in an increasing retention rate of undergraduate students, and larger number of students who intend to pursue graduate studies.
7. Recruitment efforts:
Letter and phone contact with admitted students declaring the CS major is made by the department chair. The chair and faculty speak to student and professional organizations off campus about A&T and Computer Science. CS Department Graduate Handbooks are mailed with a general data sheet to all students who inquire about the MS program. Finally, a publicity effort has commenced to increase the profile of our department both locally, regionally, and nationally.
8. Major public service and/or off-campus activities:
Faculty presented papers at national and regional professional meetings
Faculty served as editors of professional publications
Faculty presented tutorials at national professional conferences
Faculty engaged in exchanges with industry regionally
9. Grants and awards received:
A. $ 375,000 – Department of Defense
B. $ 200,000 – International Business Machines, Software Solutions – Cary Laboratory
C. $ 125,000 – National Security Agency
D. $ 145,000 – Department of the Army
10. Other developments and/or indications of progress:
The visit of the Computer Science Accreditation Board and the continuing demand for our graduates are our best indicators of progress.
1. Honors received by majors and graduates:
All the GEM fellowships received at A&T this year where awarded to students in the Computer Science department.
2. Scholarships and fellowships received by graduates:
A. Travis Hayes: NASA Summer Research Fellowship
B. Rolanda Clay: NASA Summer Research Fellowship
C. Torrez Harris: McNair Research Award
D. Ronald Leak: Champion Inc. Summer Internship
E. Adam Hudson: Champion Inc. Summer Internship
F. Angela Gooding (MS student): Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA, Summer Research Fellowship
G. Siddiq Abdullah (MS student): NASA Space Graduate Research Fellowship
H. Hope Harley (MS student): GEM Doctoral Study Fellowship
I. Kelsaw Link: GEM Graduate Study Fellowship
J. Audra Foster GEM Graduate Study Fellowship
3. Number of honor graduates:
The department had 72 honor students (undergraduate) and 42 graduating seniors. Of the 42 graduates, 12 graduated with honors.
4. Activities of organized student groups including civic and social work:
The UPE computer science honor society was established this year. 29 students, and all faculty, were inducted as members.
5. Other activities and accomplishments:
A. Department Programming Contest, Spring semester
C. Follow-up Study of Graduates
1. Number of majors: 317
2. Names of graduates receiving job offers:
Christopher Cobb, Shena Coley, Vincent Fleming, Vernon Garland, Leonard Griffin, Laura Harrison, Kirkland Hicks, Andre Hopkins, Keith Scott.
3. Names of companies and agencies making offers:
Data General, BNR, Freddie Mac, IBM, TI, US Air Force, E Systems, Hughes, AT & T, US Army.
Dr. David Bellin, Associate Professor 1993-1994
Examples of Professional Growth:
Attended Association for Computing Machinery, Computer Science Conference, Phoenix AZ.
Attended Conference on Software Engineering Education, San Antonio TX.
Attended Conference on Object Oriented Systems, Programming and Languages, Washington DC
Contributing Editor, Computer Science Syllabus magazine.
Consulting Editor, Higher Education Product Companion.
Steering Committee, National Science Foundation Project-Impact, Computer Science Ethics Curriculum project.
Expert Reviewer Database, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Chair, Public Policy Task Force, ACM SIG Computers and Society
Invited Testimony, federal National Telecommunications Information Agency, re: National Information Infrastructure.
Attended “Smalltalk Programming” course at Knowledge Systems Corporation under Title III funding
Presented at “Graduate Workshop on Object Oriented Analysis”, NC A& T State University, December 1993
Proposals prepared and funded:
International Business Machines, Object Oriented Software Engineering research, $ 200,000
NSA, Smalltalk Tutorial, $ 47,000
DoD, “A Study of DoD Usage of On-line Information Services”, $ 60,000 (equipment)
Research Projects started and/or completed:
Object Oriented Programming in Smalltalk, working with graduate students, Kellogg Research Initiation grant.
A Smalltalk Programming Tutorial, National Security Agency
Source Code Metrics for Smalltalk, IBM Software Solutions, Cary Laboratory
Generic Object Oriented Software Engineering (GOOSE) Lab, IBM Software Solutions, Cary Laboratory
Triad Industry Survey of Information Systems Directors
NC A&T Computer Science Alumni Survey
Creative activities started and/or completed:
“The Economic Value of Information”, Knowledge: Creation, Dissemination, Diffusion, December 1993
“CompSci In The Light”, CS Department Newsletter
Formed ACM Triad Chapter (elected President)
Presented pre-conference tutorial “An Introduction to Object Oriented Analysis” to Association for Computing Machinery Computer Science Conference
Selected Local Co-Chair for Participatory Design Conference, Chapel Hill NC
Submitted 5 proposals for tutorials at upcoming professional conferences
Newspaper articles in Greensboro News & Record, Prism, Computer Science Syllabus, Higher Education Product Companion
Special honors received:
Researcher of the Year, Department of Computer Science
Inducted into UPE honor society
Graduate Studies Director, CS Department
Chair, CS Department Graduate Committee
Chair, CS Department Ph.D. Planning Committee
Co-chair, CS Department Curriculum Committee
Member, CS Department Faculty Search Committee
Member, CS Department Management Committee
Member, EE Department Chair Search Committee
Member, College of Engineering Graduate Committee
Member, College of Engineering CRPT Policy Committee
Coordinator of Graduate Colloquium series
Evaluated and mentored CS Department Teaching Assistants
CS Department representative to University Graduate Council, Graduate School
Obtained approval for CS curriculum implementation, conversion from GEEN courses
Press releases and CS Department publicity
Meetings with corporate university relations directors
Consulted for Public Interest Research Group, San Antonio TX
Consulted for Black Workers for Justice, Rocky Mount NC
David Bellin, Ph.D. Chapel Hill, NC, USA (main base) Welcome!