Computer Science Transitions From Elective to Requirement
U.S. News & World Report
(04/03/12) Kelsey Sheehy
Although many universities offer computer science as an option to satisfy science or math requirements, some schools are now making it a required course in order to graduate. For example, each of the nearly 2,000 freshmen entering the Georgia Institute of Technology each year must take a computer science course regardless of their major, says college of computing associate dean Charles Isbell. In addition, every student at Montclair State University must complete a computer science course in order to graduate. Most Montclair students take "Introduction to Computer Applications: Being Fluent with Information Technology," which is designed to teach students majoring in nontechnical fields about network security, artificial intelligence, databases, and e-commerce, says computer science department chairman Michael Oudshoorn. "It's not aimed at making them experts; it's aimed at making them aware," Oudshoorn says. "They do live in a digital age ... they have an obligation to know something about the technology." University of California, Irvine professor Geoffrey Bowker says more schools should make computer science a requirement. "All aspects of our personal lives and our work lives are affected by computers," he says. "We need to know about the tools that we're working with."
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