Computer Science Department

Over the course of three decades, the computer science department at Washington and Lee has built a curriculum that provides outstanding computer science education in a liberal arts setting.  We offer students courses in all of the major areas of computing, as well as opportunities to participate in several ongoing research programs sponsored by our faculty.

Beginning students take a two-semester introductory programming sequence course in the Python language, where they become proficient in problem solving and developing software using the latest and most advanced programming techniques.  They then take courses in software development with Java, computer organization (assembly language and C programming), programming language design, and algorithm analysis.  Electives in many areas are then available.  You can enter the honors program and write a senior thesis if you qualify.

Research areas included robotics, web applications, digital humanities, and genetic programming.  The department also has strong interdisciplinary ties to such areas as neuroscience, engineering, mathematics, business administration, and digital humanities.

Faculty sponsor student research with summer internships, and you can also find summer opportunities at other universities, in government, or in the private sector.  Some graduates have been admitted to some of the top graduate schools in the country.  Other graduates use our aggressive career office and strong alumni network to find permanent employment in government or the private sector.

Students have majored in computer science and also majored in almost any other subject here.  Many students have another science major, such as biology or physics; some have a second major in our commerce school, and a few have a second major in a subject like philosophy, classics, or theater.  Students can also have a minor in a subject that offers one, where you take approximately one half of the courses required for  a major.  In all cases, we encourage our majors to pursue a broad sampling of subjects in the liberal arts, which we believe is the best way to get a true education.

We have a collegial and fun-loving group of students in the program at any given time, and our record of attracting women and students of underrepresented groups to the major is unsurpassed.  Our majors, like other students, are involved outside the classroom in many extracurricular clubs, organizations, and athletic teams.

In short, if you want a first-rate computer science education at a first-rate liberal arts college, you should check out the computer science department at Washington and Lee.  Please feel free to contact the department chair, Professor Sara Sprenkle at sprenkles@wlu.edu, if you have any questions.

Computer Science Department Blog

Friday, July 8, 2022

Showcasing Joe Salerno ’22 Athletic Achievements!

Joe Salerno who graduated in May 2022 with a B.S.  in computer science,  set the season pin record for W&L wrestling .  Joe’s win means he had 21 pins on the season, breaking his own school record of 20 set during the 2019-20 season.  Joe has 59 career pins, –another school record!   This wrestling success …

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

2022 Computer Science Summer Research Scholars

The Summer Research Scholars (SRS) program supports students participating in collaborative research supervised by W&L faculty. The program aims to encourage the development of research techniques within a particular discipline, to promote the active acquisition of knowledge, and to stimulate student interest in inquiry. Here are the 2022  Computer Science Department’s SRS students,  their faculty supervisors …

Thursday, June 2, 2022

2022 Computer Science Degrees, Scholarships, Prizes and Awards

Congratulations to the Class of 2022 Computer Science Majors and Minors for their outstanding achievements!   Their accomplishments, along with the accomplishments of certain CS undergraduates  are listed here, as they appear in the Commencement Bulletin. 2022 Graduates: Luke Patrick Alli – Bachelor of Science Theodore C. Bentley – Bachelor of Science Samuel Thomas Bluestone – Bachelor of Science, …

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Spring Term ’22 – Professor Watson’s class takes a “Walk Through the Ages”

  CSCI 257-01: “A Walk Through the Ages: Using Artificial Intelligence to Understand the Evolution of Exercise,” .  in this S22 course, students monitor movements on exercise trackers and examine patterns of exercise, movement and health impacts while researching the evolution of human exercise. This course is co-taught by assistant professor of computer science Cody …

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