New Department of Computer Science And Engineering Created In Response to Growing Student Interest

Release Date: August 26, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. - In response to growing student interest in the field, the University at Buffalo has established a new Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

The new department will facilitate the development of new graduate and undergraduate degree programs in computer and software engineering, and allow undergraduate and graduate students better access to faculty and resources.

The university plans to expand the department by adding 14 new faculty members over the next five years, assuming continued growth of enrollment in the department.

The creation of the new department, integrating the university's resources in computer science and computer engineering, was recommended by Provost Thomas E. Headrick in 1997 as part of an academic planning document proposing changes designed to help the university achieve its goal of becoming the premier public research university in the Northeast.

Stuart Shapiro, Ph.D., chair of the new department and professor of computer science and engineering, said the move is, in part, a response to the explosion of new students entering the field, a phenomenon being observed at other institutions throughout the U.S.

"We're bursting at the seams with students," said Shapiro.

In 1997-98, the department had 650 actual and intended undergraduate majors, its all-time high.

This fall, the department is expecting 85 new graduate students, the largest entering graduate class it has ever had.

The new department consists of all faculty members in the former Department of Computer Science, as well as those in the computer engineering component of the former Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Department of Electrical Engineering has been formed from the remainder of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and will remain an independent department within the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

"The win here is that all the computer science and engineering faculty members are now together in one department," explained Shapiro.

This provides students with improved access to a broader range of courses, while streamlining course offerings in the discipline, he said.

The new department has a dual affiliation, maintaining ties to both the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Undergraduate students in the new department will be able to choose either a science-oriented or engineering-oriented program.

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