Computer Science Electives

Because the Department of Computer and Information Sciences has two majors, you have an extraordinarily rich set of computer electives from which to choose.  We challenge you to find another liberal arts college with such a wide array of elective courses.

If you do not find a course you wish to take, see a professor and arrande an individual directed or independent study, as many of our students have done in the past.

CISC 215 - PC Systems

Although this class is more commonly called the "Build your own computer" class, it is really a whole lot more.  The class provides students the opportunity to take computers apart and learn about all of the components and how they operate together.  At the end of the semester, the students in the class get to build the new servers that will be used in the CISC Clubhouse.  Students in other CISC classes as well as students working on their thesis projects use these servers when more powerful computers are needed.  The topics include the technologies of the motherboard, processor, RAM, hard drive, and video sub-systems. 

Just like the Networks course, this course also offers students the opportunity to take a CompTIA certification exam.  The A+ certification is an industry standard exam designed to signify that the certified individual possesses the knowledge and skills essential for a successful entry-level computer service technician, as defined by experts from companies across the industry.


CISC 305 - Artificial Intelligence

An introduction to machine intelligence. Topics include search techniques, game playing, automating reasoning, problem solving, natural language understanding, knowledge representation, expert systems, pattern recognition, computer vision, robotics, machine learning, and neural networks.

CISC 310 - Systems Analysis and Design

Learn how to professionally create electronic solutions to organizational problems.  Is there a manual system that could be computerized?  Is there an older "legacy" system that needs to be upgraded?  Are there several systems that don't integrate well?  This is the class that teaches you how to solve these problems and implement your solutions.

CISC 330 - Computer Networks

We all love to surf the Internet, but did you ever wonder how that wireless network card in your laptop actually works?  How about the Internet itself?  Well these are the types of things that are discussed in the Networks course.  Dealing with issues of connectivity, protocols, standards, WAN, LAN, and Security, the class covers the full spectrum of network technologies. 

In addition to the standard lecture material, the course will also prepare students to take the CompTIA Network+ certification exam.  CompTIA Network+ validates the knowledge and skills of networking professionals.  It is an international, vendor-neutral certification that recognizes a technician's ability to describe the features and functions of networking components and to install, configure and troubleshoot basic networking hardware, protocols and services.  The demand for skilled network support professionals continues to grow, and CompTIA Network+ is a valuable credential to help start or enhance a networking career.

CISC 345 - Computer Security

A comprehensive introduction to computer security. Topics covered include network reconnaissance, network scanning, application attacks, operating system attacks, network attacks, denial-of-service attacks, Trojan Horses, backdoor programs, rootkits, computer viruses. Students will learn how vulnerabilities are exploited, and how to prevent, detect, and respond to an attack.

CISC 371 - Numerical Analysis

The development of numerical methods and their associated error analysis. Nonlinear equations, systems of linear equations, interpolation, numerical differentiation and integration. Programming of appropriate algorithms with emphasis on accuracy and efficiency.

CISC 375 - Optimization Techniques

A survey of the methods used to obtain optimal solutions to linear problems. Emphasis on linear programming, simplex algorithm, duality transportation and assignment problems, shortest route and maximum flow problems, game theory decision trees. Additional topics may include integer programming, dynamic programming, PERT-CPM, graph theory, and queuing theory.

CISC 380 - Web Development

Have you ever wondered how e-commerce sites work?  In this class you will utilize your programming and database background while you learn how to use professional tools to create interactive web sites.   Students program in ASP.NET using SQL Server to learn how to develop and write dynamic web applications.  Each student produces an e-commerce final project.

CISC 460 - Systems Design and Implementation

This course is the follow-up course to CISC 310 Systems Analysis and Design.  Having created the designs for several new electronic systems teams will work together to write, test and debug the programs, create user manuals and system documentation.  You will use all of your accumulated skills (programming, database management, web development) to create a professional system of interrelated functions designed to solve a particular set of organizational needs.