College of Science and Health
Department Chair: Steve Senger
221 Wing Technology Center
Professors: Headington, Periyasamy, Riley, Senger;
Gendreau, Hunt, Zheng;
Assistant Professor: Allen;
Lecturers: Burand, Inglett
Students taking CS 220 and earning a “B” or better, will be given retroactive credit for CS 120 provided that the student’s transcript shows no record of prior or concurrent enrollment in CS 120 or CS 220.
Computer Science Major
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 40 credits – (53 total credits including MTH) CS 120, 220, 270, 340, 341, 370, 421, 441, and 442. The 40 credits must include no less than 27 credits of 300-level and 400-level courses. PHY 335, MTH 317 and/or MTH 371 may be used as part of the 40 credit major. In addition to the 40 credits, MTH 207, 208 and 225 must be taken.
Computer Science Major: Computer Engineering Technology Emphasis
(Students must have completed Associate in Applied Science Degree requirements for Electrical Engineering Technology Western Technical College with a grade point average of 3.0 or above) — 37 credits – (50 credits including MTH) CS 120 or Java I(WTC-107 153), CS 220 or Java II (WTC-107 181), CS 340, 341, 370, 441, 455, 471. The 37 credits must include no less than 27 credits of 300-level and 400-level courses. PHY 335, MTH 317 and/or 371 may be used as part of the 37 credit major. Visual Basic I(WTC-107-190) may be completed at WTC in place of CS 224, MTH 207, 208, and 225 must be taken in addition to 37 credits in major; the MTH 207 and 208 requirements are fulfilled by completing Calculus I (WTC-804180) and Calculus II (WTC-804-181). No more than four credits of internship (CEI) course work can be counted toward this program. Students completing this program are not subject to the College of Science and Health requirement for an academic minor or 18 credits of course work at the 300/400 level in courses outside the major.
(Teacher Certification programs) — 38 credits – (51 total credits including MTH) Major Core: CS 120, 220, 270, 340, 341, 370, 421 or 441 and MTH 421. The 38 credits must include no less than 21 credits of 300-level and 400-level courses (excluding MTH 421). PHY 335, MTH 317 and/or 371 may be used as part of the 38 credit major. In addition to the 38 credits, MTH 207, 208, and 225 are required (13 credits).
Click here for additional teacher certification requirements.
Computer Science Minor
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 19 credits – CS 120, 220, 340, and MTH 225. The 19 credits must include no less than six credits of elective 300/400 level computer science courses. PHY 335, MTH 317, and MTH 371 may be used as alternatives to computer science electives.
(Teacher Certification programs) — 19 credits – CS 120, 220, 340, 341, and MTH 225. The 19 credits must include three credits of elective 300/400 level computer science courses. PHY 335, MTH 317 and 371 may be used as alternatives to computer science electives.
Early Adolescence-Adolescence teacher certification candidates must also complete MTH 421 (four credits).
The computer science department incorporates a significant amount of writing through the required courses instead of identifying particular courses as writing emphasis courses. Students who complete the computer science major will fulfill the university writing emphasis requirement.
Dual Degree Program in Computer Science and Engineering
Students with a computer science major who also are interested in engineering are able to receive both a Bachelor of Science degree (computer science major) from UW-La Crosse and a Bachelor of Science degree (engineering major) from UW-Madison. At UW-La Crosse, students must complete a minimum of 85 credits, including the General Education requirements and specific math and science courses in preparation for the engineering program. Students are recommended to include the following courses in their work at UW-La Crosse: CHM 103; CS 120, 220, 224, 270, 340, 341, 370, 421, 441, 442; ECO 110, 120, 336; MTH 207, 208, 225, 309, 341, 371; PHY 203, 204, 250. Students should consult with the computer science department chair for specific course and sequence advising for this agreement.
Students who express interest in the dual degree program will be selected for entrance into the UW-Madison portion of the program based on their GPA in all course work; their GPA in the chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics course work required by the program; and the positive recommendation of the UW-La Crosse computer science department chair (or designee). Qualified UW-La Crosse applicants are assured admission in the College of Engineering at UW-Madison.
In order to receive the B.S. degree from UW-La Crosse, students must also complete credits (to total a minimum of 120 credits) in engineering at UW-Madison and transfer these credits to UW-La Crosse. For the typical student, the remaining credits must include at least eight credits at the 300-level or above. This transfer of credits and awarding of the B.S. degree by UW-L can take place as soon as the student earns the necessary credits.
Dual Degree Program in Computer Science and Master of Software Engineering
The dual degree program in CS and Master of Software Engineering enables a UW-L student to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree with a computer science major and a Master of Software Engineering (MSE) degree in five years. Students in this dual degree program should complete CS 120, 220, 270, 340, 370, 421, 441, 442, MTH 207, 208, 225, and nine credits of 300 or 400 level CS electives (excluding CS 341) by the end of their junior year. During the senior year students should complete CS 546, 741, 743, 742, and three or six graduate level MSE elective credits. In the fifth year students should complete CS 744, three or six graduate level MSE electives, and the capstone project. CS 546 and CS 741 will count toward the 40 credit hours of computer science required for the B.S. degree. CS 742, 743, 744, 12 credits of 798 (capstone project), and nine credits of MSE electives will fulfill the MSE requirements.
Students may be accepted into the dual degree program anytime before they have completed 75 undergraduate credits hours. Applicants for undergraduate admission to UW-L may request admission into the dual degree program. In order to remain in the program students must maintain a 3.00 GPA. Award of the BS degree will occur upon completion of 120 credits, the CS major requirements, the SAH college core requirements, and the general university requirements. Students will have graduate student status graduate credits. (normally in the second semester of their senior year.) Award of the M.S.E. degree will occur after the completion of the B.S. and M.S.E. requirements.
Contact the Computer Science Department for application information. See the online graduate catalog for more information about the MSE program.
Note: Courses offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels can only be taken for credit at one level.
Students majoring in computer science who wish to enroll in CEI 450 or CEI 475, University Internships, must have completed 15 credits of computer science course work, including CS 220, and must have a minimum GPA of 2.50 in computer science courses to be eligible for departmental approval and supervision. Credits earned in internships do not apply to major or minor requirements.
+ above a course number indicates a
General Education course.
Computational Thinking (CT)
CT 100 Cr. 3
Introduction to Computational Thinking
Computational thinking represents a universally applicable collection of concepts and techniques borrowed from computer scientists. This course is designed to teach how to think algorithmically; to examine the ways that the world's information is encoded and how this impacts our lives; to explore the capabilities and limitations of computers from the past, the present and the future; to apply software design diagrammatic techniques to model real-world systems; to learn how the rules of logic apply to computation, reasoning and discourse; to examine how computers both enhance and constrain our lives; to explore many of the problem solving strategies used by software developers and how they are useful to you. Offered Fall and Spring.
Computer Science (CS)
CS 101 Cr. 4
Introduction to Computing
Computers and computer software are an integral part of modern society. This course explores this relationship. Students will examine the computer as a problem-solving tool through the use of database, spreadsheets and small scale programming. Students will examine the computer as a communication tool through the use of word processing and the Internet. Other topics include the history and future of computer technology, computer hardware basics, man/machine relationships, applications of computers in various disciplines, and social/ethical issues. Credits earned in CS 101 cannot be applied to the CS major or minor. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
CS 102 Cr. 3
Web Development and the Internet
An introduction to the Internet and the fundamentals of Web page design including history and technical structure of the Internet, markup languages and Web page programming. Technical issues include client/server interfaces and network protocols. Other topics include societal issues such as privacy, security, accessibility, intellectual property, and censorship. Credits earned in CS 102 not applicable to the CS major or minor. Prerequisite: CS 101 or 120. Offered occasionally.
CS 103 Cr. 1
Elementary Database Principles and Design
An introduction to the design and implementation of relational databases. Design concepts will include entity-relationship modeling, relational table structure, keys, foreign keys, referential integrity, and data quality. Implementation concepts will emphasize extracting information through queries, reports, and forms. Course not open to those who have completed CS 101. Seven-week course. Offered Fall, Winter.
CS 104 Cr. 1
Elementary Spreadsheet Principles and Design
An introduction to the design and implementation of spreadsheets. Design principles will include cell content, use of functions and formulas, relative and absolute addressing, and formatting. Modern spreadsheet software will be used to implement the spreadsheets, with an emphasis on presenting numeric data in an organized manner. Course not open to those who have completed CS 101. Seven-week course. Offered Fall, Winter.
CS 120 Cr. 4
Software Design I
An introduction to the fundamentals of software development; including software classes, objects, inheritance, polymorphism, logic, selection control, repetition control, subprograms, parameter passage, and rudimentary software engineering techniques. Students complete numerous programming projects using a modern programming language. Prerequisite: MTH 151 or 175 or math placement test scores at or above MTH 151. Offered Fall, Spring.
CS 202 Cr. 3
Introduction to Web Design
This course is an introduction to Web page design and website management. Students will be introduced to browser/server interaction, Web page design, techniques for creating media rich graphical interfaces, and ethical considerations regarding intellectual property rights and security. Students will receive hands-on experience in a variety of standardized Web technologies to develop dynamic, functional, and appealing Web pages. Prerequisite: CT 100 or CS 120 or familiarity with some programming language. Offered occasionally.
CS 220 Cr. 3
Software Design II
This is a second course in the design of programs. Emphasis is placed on data abstraction and its application in design. Definitions of abstract data types are examined. The following structures are examined as methods for implementing data abstractions: recursion, sets, stacks, queues, strings, and various linked lists. Students will be expected to write several programs using these techniques in a modern programming language. Prerequisite: CS 120. Offered Fall, Spring.
CS 224 Cr. 1-3
Introduction to the Programming Language
This course presents the syntax and semantics of a particular programming language. Different offerings of the course will present different languages. Students are expected to be fluent in another programming language prior to enrollment. Prerequisite: a prior computer science course appropriate to the language being offered. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. (Each repeat must be for a different language.) Offered occasionally.
CS 270 Cr. 3
Assembler Programming and Introduction to Computer Organization
Programming in machine and assembler language is integrated with an introduction to the organization of computer hardware. An examination of the instruction set merges with descriptions of the related hardware devices. Laboratory assignments include the construction of software, as well as hardware, units. Topics include basic instruction types, data representation, addressing modes, combinational circuit design, flip-flops, registers, the ALU, computer memory, and interrupt handling. Prerequisites: CS 120, MTH 225 or concurrent enrollment. Offered Fall, Spring.
CS 301/501 Cr. 2
Using the Internet
An introduction to the Internet and computer networking. A survey of Internet resources and methods used to retrieve and create Internet resources. Topics include: connecting to the Internet, electronic mail, file transfer, remote login, Mosaic, World Wide Web, Gopher, TCP/IP, networking hardware. Not applicable to a computer science major or minor. Offered occasionally.
CS 340 Cr. 3
Software Design III: Abstract Data Types
An extensive survey of data structures and associated algorithms. An introduction to algorithm efficiency measures is included as a tool for deciding among alternate algorithms. Topics include: searching and sorting in arrays, hash tables, tree traversal and search algorithms, expression evaluation and graphs. Prerequisites: CS 220 and MTH 225. Offered Fall, Spring.
CS 341 Cr. 3
Software Design IV: Software Engineering
A study of methodologies for the development of reliable software systems. Several specification, design, and testing techniques are surveyed with an emphasis on one particular formal specification and formal design technique. Students work in teams, applying these techniques to the development of a medium scale (2000-5000 lines) software product. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Fall, Spring.
CS 342 Cr. 3
Software Testing Techniques
As the size and complexity of software projects have grown, so has the importance of ensuring program correctness. This course examines the issues of program testing, validation, and verification. Course projects require students to construct test data and to analyze the correctness of several software systems. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Spring, odd-numbered years.
CS 351 Cr. 3
Programming computers to play games and imitate activities of systems such as drive-in facilities, checkout lanes, and computer operations. Topics include tests of goodness of fit, random number generators, simulated sampling, queuing theory, analysis of systems to be simulated, construction and validation of simulation programs, and interpretation of results. Prerequisites: CS 220 and MTH 207. Offered occasionally.
CS 352 Cr. 3
Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization
An introduction to the fundamentals of computer graphics and its application to Scientific Visualization. Topics include basic drawing algorithms, geometric transformations, OpenGL, surface shaders, procedural shading, lighting models, photorealistic rendering, scene graphs, surface meshes and GPGPU computing. Prerequisites: CS 340 and MTH 207. Offered Spring, even-numbered years.
CS 353 Cr. 3
Analysis of Algorithm Complexity
An in-depth analysis of the computational complexity of a wide range of algorithms for problems of fundamental importance to computer science. Algorithms to be examined include: sorting, pattern matching and various graph algorithms. Prerequisites: CS 340 and MTH 207. Offered Fall, even-numbered years.
CS 364 Cr. 3
Introduction to Database Management Systems
Introduction to the design and organization of database management systems. Topics include the relational data model, relational algebra, SQL query language, database software development, data security, normalization, client/server environments. Prerequisite: CS 220. Offered Fall.
CS 370 Cr. 3
A presentation of the logical organization of modern digital computers. Topics include performance evaluation, instruction set design, computer arithmetic, processor control, pipelining, cache memory, memory hierarchy, memory and system buses, and I/O organization. Prerequisites: CS 270 and MTH 225. Offered Fall, Spring.
CS 395 Cr. 1-3
Individualized study of topics in computer science not covered by courses regularly taught in the department. Prerequisite: written consent of the instructor and the department chair. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
CS 402/502 Cr. 3
Web Application Development
This course will give a detailed description of the core concepts and general principles of Web application development. The course will cover various protocols, programming languages, scripting languages, data storage and security, layered software architectures, and graphical interface design as they relate to Web development. Students will apply these techniques to the development of medium scale Web application.
Prerequisite: CS 340 or consent of instructor. Offered Fall, odd-numbered years.
CS 410/510 Cr. 3
Free and Open Source Software Development
This course examines all aspects of the Free and Open Source Software movement. The course surveys the various definitions of open source licenses and examples of major free and open source development projects (e.g. the GNU Project, Apache Foundation, Linux). The course also examines the development tools that support developer communities, as well as how Web-based applications have created the possibility of international development teams. Students will select and contribute to the software development of an existing open source project. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Spring, odd-numbered years.
CS 419/519 Cr. 1-3
Topics in Computer Science
A special topics course in computer science which will function as a forum for new ideas and testing ground for new courses. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
CS 421/521 Cr. 3
Programming Language Concepts
A comparative study of the concepts underlying the design of contemporary high-level programming languages, including imperative, functional, logic and object-oriented paradigms; formal representation of syntax and semantics; control structures; data and procedural abstraction; scope and extent; parallelism and exception handling. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Fall, Spring.
CS 431/531 Cr. 3
Introduction to Robotics
This course is a hands-on introduction to the algorithms and techniques required to write robot control software. Topics include the components of mobile robots and robot manipulators, manipulator kinematics, robot task planning, sensing, sensor fusion, visual servoing and robot control concepts. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Spring, odd-numbered years.
CS 441/541 Cr. 3
Operating System Concepts
The study of the structures and algorithms of operating systems. Operating systems are viewed as managers and controllers of resources such as processors, memory, input and output devices and data. Topics include multiprogramming systems, CPU scheduling, memory management and device management. Prerequisites: CS 340 and 370. Offered Fall, Spring.
CS 442/542 Cr. 3
Structure of Compilers
An extensive study of all phases of the compilation of high level programming languages. Topics include: scanning, parsing (LL and LR), semantics analysis, symbol table organization and manipulation, internal code generation, storage allocation, optimization and object code generation. Students are required to complete a compiler for a small high-level language. Prerequisites: CS 270 and 340. Offered Spring.
CS 443/543 Cr. 3
Topics in Operating Systems
An intermediate course in operating systems extending topics introduced in CS 441. Operating systems concepts are studied in depth. Typically students will study and modify an existing system. Prerequisite: CS 441. Offered Fall, even-numbered years.
CS 446/546 Cr. 3
Object-Oriented Software Development
Introduction to the concepts and principles of object-orientation (OO). Topics include detailed discussion on analysis and design of OO software systems, notations for OO analysis and design, and comparison of OO programming languages. Advanced topics on object-orientation such as OO testing and software reuse will be briefly discussed. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Spring.
CS 449/549 Cr. 3
Advances in Software Engineering
Introduces advanced topics in software engineering. Topics include prototyping models, risk analysis, component-oriented software development, software architectures, software reuse, software metrics and quality analysis. Prerequisite: CS 341. Offered Fall, even-numbered years.
CS 451/551 Cr. 3
User Interface Design
This course focuses on the design and implementation of user interfaces. The topics include characteristics of user interfaces, user profiles, user interface design principles, methods and tools for user interface development, evolution of user interfaces, evaluation of user interfaces, and case studies. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Fall, odd-numbered years.
CS 452/552 Cr. 3
Artificial Intelligence and Pattern Recognition
An introduction to the fundamental principles of artificial intelligence. Topics include the biological basis for intelligence, classification of object descriptions and pattern recognition, search strategies and game trees, natural language processing, automatic theorem proving, programming for artificial intelligence and knowledge-based systems. Projects include writing a substantial artificial intelligence application program. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Fall, odd-numbered years.
CS 453/553 Cr. 3
Introduction to the Theory of Computation
An introduction to the theoretical aspects of computation. The capabilities and limits of several computation models are considered including: partial recursive functions, Turing machines, finite state automata and formal languages. The implications of Church’s thesis and unsolvable problems such as the halting problem are discussed. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Spring, even-numbered years.
CS 454/554 Cr. 3
Digital Image Processing
This course introduces the fundamentals of digital image processing techniques with an emphasis on the design and implementation of image processing algorithms. Topics include color models, point-processing techniques, convolution, Fourier domain processing, the discrete cosine transform, image compression methodologies, image restoration and enhancement, sampling and image display. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Fall, even-numbered years.
CS 455/555 Cr. 3
Fundamentals of Information Security
This course presents the fundamental concepts of information security. Basic policies, techniques and tools for maintaining the security of host computers, information networks and computer software are presented. Elementary cryptography is explored with special attention to applications in data encryption, hashing and digital signatures. Fundamental security management procedures also are introduced, as are the legal and ethical issues associated with computer security. Students will be expected to apply the knowledge gained to construct security policies and practice security in the form of access privileges, firewalls, vulnerability scanners and intrusion detection tools. Prerequisite: CS 220. Offered Fall, odd-numbered years.
CS 456/556 Cr. 3
Secure Software Development
Traditionally, software engineering has viewed flaws as the inconsistency of software behavior with its functional requirements. Software security problems, however, can occur in software that contains no such flaws but is nonetheless susceptible to external attack. This course examines known reasons for software security vulnerabilities with an emphasis on best practices for their detection and mitigation, along with general principles for engineering software in ways that enhance security. Prerequisite: CS 340. Offered Spring, even-numbered years.
CS 464/564 Cr. 3
Advanced Database Management Systems
Advanced topics in database management systems. Topics include the relational data model, relational calculus, embedded SQL programming, database application programming, indexing, systems software and storage structures for databases, concurrency control, crash recovery, database administration, parallel and distributed databases, object-oriented databases. Prerequisite: CS 364. Offered Spring, odd-numbered years.
CS 470/570 Cr. 3
Parallel and Distributed Computing
A study of architectures, control software, and applications for parallel and distributed systems. A survey of parallel and distributed architectures including data flow machines, vector processors, shared memory multiprocessors, and message based multiprocessors. Software topics include process communication and synchronization, global state maintenance, negotiation, scheduling, data parallelism, control parallelism, and languages for parallel and distributed computing. Prerequisite: CS 370. Offered occasionally.
CS 471/571 Cr. 3
An introduction to data communications, including the electrical properties and software protocols. In addition to presentations of the concepts and techniques used for data communications, several currently used standards and communications networks will be examined. Prerequisites: CS 270 and 340. Offered Spring, even-numbered years.
CS 480/680 Cr. 3
Survey of Computer Assisted Instructional Systems
A survey of current trends in Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI). Development of instructional and curriculum materials suitable for computer applications. Use of a current authoring software package. Prerequisite: CS 224 or CI 420. Offered occasionally.
CS 499 Cr. 1-3
Research in Computer Science
An opportunity to become acquainted with literature in the field and to work on a professional level research project within an area of interest of the computer science faculty. A seminar reviewing the results of the study will be a requirement for completion of the course. Prerequisite: consent of computer science staff. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. Offered Fall, Spring.