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Computer Science

Students design their own computer games during the annual Hour of Code, left. They also are involved in undergraduate research projects involving robots.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Computer science majors often work part-time following their first year on campus. John Deere & Co., with its headquarters in the Quad Cities, and other local businesses hire students, usually through an internship.

Students gain experience by working for Augustana's Information Technology Services or joining the college's student-run Web Guild.

A sampling of  graduates

Jacob Self '15 is an IT electronic data processor for John Deere. (See story)

Daniel Scannura ’12 is an IT specialist for radiation oncology at the University of Colorado Denver.

Zain Dada '12 is a technical specialist at Google Enterprise.

Rebecca Noffsinger '11 is a user experience designer at Fuzzy Math in Chicago.

Augustana College offers a major and a minor in computer science. Students have the opportunity to work with two faculty members with a PhD in computer science—a rare opportunity for undergraduates at a college of Augustana’s size. At the same time, with its strong liberal arts foundation, an Augustana education provides students in the hard sciences and pre-professional programs with a special depth of focus accompanied by a rich range of knowledge—a balance difficult to find at larger universities.

The computer science curriculum focuses on the representation, manipulation and storage of information in computer systems. Its range includes the study of programming languages, computer architecture, networks and the global internet, operating systems, data structures, algorithms and database management. Most computer science students take calculus and an introduction to computer science during their first year, followed by discrete mathematics in the first term of their second year. Discrete mathematics is a bridge between calculus and other math and computer science courses.

Facts & distinctions

All students complete Senior Inquiry, a focused, topical capstone project that draws from the student’s comprehensive learning experience and demonstrates benefit to a community. In computer science, seniors apply the software development process to specify, design, implement and test a major software project in teams. This capstone project also includes focus on social and ethical issues, a reflective written evaluation and an oral presentation.

Ben Fischer '13, computer science major, software engineer at

"Augie was a great fit for me. I loved my CS classes and I loved debating and I especially loved working with local businesses through the Augie Web Guild. My teachers always worked with me so that I could manage all three of those commitments, and I really appreciate that. I ended up landing a cool job in Chicago at as a software engineer where I have been able to continue learning and growing."

Benjamin K. Knapper '15, computer science and applied mathematics; IT consulting associate for McGladrey, Des Moines, Iowa

"I came to Augustana because of the people and relationships. I felt like I was at home when I visited the campus and knew I would find success here. I wanted college to be a time where I could develop academically, mature intellectually and become who
I wanted to be."

Andy Shearouse '15, computer science and business administeration majors, mathematics minor; Fellow in Augustana's EDGE (Entrepreneurial) Center

"I grew up in the Quad Cities and always wanted to go to Augustana. I was already familiar with the campus, and in many ways I was eager to follow in the footsteps of my two older brothers, who are both Augie grads. The Entrepreneurial Center also was a selling point, as no other college has a program exactly like it.

The biggest surprise was my growth as a presenter. When I began at Augustana, I dreaded giving presentations; nothing made me more nervous than
standing in front of a group of people and talking. Yet, by the end of my junior year, I had become part of the ADs presentation team and had become very comfortable making a presentation."

Ryan Brummet '13, computer science; Graduate student in computer science at the University of Iowa

"At Augustana I had the privilege of actually knowing my professors and them actually knowing me beyond the professional courtesy of knowing each other's names. Because of my close relationships with professors, I was able to augment my education in a way that is very rare."

Paige Cordle '13, computer science and mathematics; Oracle Applications analyst, Trinity Logistics Corporation, Davenport, Iowa

"I absolutely feel prepared for my future, whether it be continuing in the professional world or going back to school to get further education. The department enabled me to form not only academic relationships with my professors, but also personal relationships. This made it so easy to feel comfortable going in and asking for help.

Instead of learning a lot about one certain area of computer science, I was able to learn about many different areas. This is something I am very thankful for, as I feel comfortable speaking to IT professionals in all areas of the field (hardware and software), and not just the database part I am currently working in."

Testing the possibilities of artificial intelligence

As computers become more powerful, what does that mean? Are they intelligent? Are they a threat? Such questions guided the first artificial intelligence class at Augustana College, taught by Dr. Forrest Stonedahl.

Augustana participates in Hour of Code

Augustana students participated in the worldwide Hour of Code.This is a global campaign during Computer Science Education Week. Dr. Forrest Stonedahl invited all students to give coding a try for an hour, and several grade schools and junior high schools in the area did the same.

Merhi earns scholarship, will attend Nobel ceremonies

Abdul Rahman Merhi '15 will mingle with Nobel Laureates this December. He's the latest recipient of the Swedish Council of America's prestigious Seaborg Scholarship, which comes with a trip to the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar. Merhi is one of 25 young scientists from around the world to attend this year's seminar and Nobel ceremonies.

Benjamin Knapper '15: intellectual maturation

Benjamin is an applied mathematics and computer science major who plans to work as an IT consulting associate now that he's graduated. "I wanted college to be a time where I could develop academically, mature intellectually and become who I wanted to be. Augustana has far exceeded my expectations, and I will be glad to call Augie my alma mater!"

Hoffmann '15 wins Fifty for the Future award

Augustana senior Mark Hoffmann has been selected as a winner of the Fifty for the Future award by the Illinois Technology Foundation. He is a native of Lansing, Ill., majoring in pre-medicine and engineering physics and minoring in mathematics and computer science. Fifty for the Future encourages education and industry to support students who aspire to achievement in technology.
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