Be Known at Oregon's Christian University

Department of Computer Science and Information Systems

About CS/IS @ GFU


What are "Computer Science" and "Information Systems"

Computer Science, in the words of Aho & Ullman, is "[fundamentally] a science of abstraction - creating the right model for thinking about a problem and devising the appropriate mechanizable techniques to solve it." Computer Science is not primarily about programming, although computer scientists express solutions to problems via "programs" that can be executed by computing machines. Ultimately the Science of Computing seeks to address the question of what can be automated and how to do so.

Students studying Computer Science at George Fox University are introduced to the fundamental principles and mechanisms of modeling, abstraction, and problem-solving using computers. The knowledge of these principles, rooted in mathematics, logic and language, prepares students to understand the essence of the Science of Computing and to continue to adapt to this evolving field. Along the way students will be introduced to a wide range of state-of-the-art programming languages and techniques, software systems, computing devices, and computing technologies.

Information Systems studies the integration of information technology solutions and business processes to meet the needs of an organization, enabling them to effectively achieve their objectives. Information Systems requires an understanding of both the technical and organizational factors that affect the creation and deployment of information technology solutions.


What will I study?

The curriculum begins with a sequence of courses that introduce students to programming and problem-solving in modern programming languages using object-oriented techniques - no prior programming experience is required. Students typically begin the sequence in the fall of their Freshman year. After the introductory sequence, the curriculum includes a wide variety of courses that cover the core elements of a traditional Computer Science or Information Systems curriculum including Software Engineering, System and Network Administration, Algorithms, Computer Graphics, Artificial Intelligence, Networking, Computer Architecture, etc. The curriculum culminates in a two-course Senior Seminar in which students complete a non-trivial software engineering project in conjunction with a project-sponsor or conduct novel research into a selected area of Computer Science or Information Systems.


Why CS/IS @ GFU?

The Computer Science and Information Systems Department at GFU is a small, diverse, close-knit group of faculty, staff and students who develop close relationships during their time together. The setting is ideal for students seeking a smaller, more intimate department where they can receive more personal attention and instruction. Classes have small enrollments (typically 15 or less for upper-division courses) and are taught exclusively by department faculty who have broad experience in industrial and academic settings and remain active and current via consulting relationships with industry and through academic research.

Our curriculum covers the core elements of a Computer Science and Information Systems education as put forth in Computing Curricula 2005 published jointly by the Computer Society of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE-CS), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Association for Information Systems (AIS); we do not aspire to simply train students in the implementation and use of technology but to broadly educate students in the disciplines of Computer Scientist and Information Systems.

Despite our small size, our department has dedicated facilities in the form of two laboratories located in the Edwards-Holman Science Building. Our labs are routinely upgraded with modern computing equipment for exclusive use by students majoring and minoring in Computer Science or Information Systems.

In addition, students benefit from our being a part of the College of Engineering enabling students to include elective courses in relevant Computer and Electrical Engineering subjects such as Digital Logic, Robotics, and Microprocessors.

Prospective students should feel free to contact any of the faculty with questions about Computer Science and Information Systems at GFU - we'd love to hear from you and would be happy to answer any questions you have about pursuing a degree in Computer Science or Information Systems at George Fox University.


Can I transfer from a Community College?

We are excited to accept transfer students into the George Fox University's Computer Science and Information Systems programs. While transferring schools can be a bit tricky, we are hopeful that you will find the following information helpful to assist with your transfer.

Computer Science and Information Systems courses are made of two very important and complementary components: theory and language implementation. Most colleges and universities teach very similar theory, however their implementation language may be very different. Due to this uniqueness, it is imperative that students wishing to join us their Sophomore or Junior year have both the proper theory and a solid working knowledge of our primary implementation language which is currently Java.

Students wishing to take the introduction to Computer Science sequence at a community college and then transfer in to our department may need to prepare themselves by taking additional Java language classes if their introduction to Computer Science sequence will be taught using another programming language.

For transfer students coming from an Oregon Community College, in order to satisfy the requirements for our two introductory courses: CSIS 201 & CSIS 202, you must complete the following:

Required Theory Classes:
CS161 & CS162 (likely taught in C++)
In addition, you must demonstrate proficiency in the Java programming language by either:
Taking recommended Java programming classes:
PCC-Online CIS133J & CIS233J (or their equivalent)
Show proficiency in Java by preparing a portfolio of completed work to be evaluated by department faculty.

If you have any further questions about transferring to our department, please contact: Dr. Brent Wilson, Computer Science & Information Systems


Are scholarships available?

Yes! Each year the University holds a scholarship competition that awards competitive merit-based scholarships to outstanding incoming Freshman in each major. These scholarships are awarded for the full four-years, are not based on need, and do not affect other aid you may be receiving. The application process generally includes a visit to the campus in February for an interview with department faculty. Please see the Scholarship Competition web site for information about the application process and schedule as well as selection criteria - we encourage every eligible incoming Freshman to apply!


What sort of computer should I bring?

Technically speaking, you don't need to bring any hardware as our department has computing resources available in our labs. Our department uses a wide variety of hardware and operating systems (e.g., Windows, OS/X, Linux) and course projects are often implemented using open-source software. We're also a member of the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) providing free access to all Microsoft deveopment tools for our students. Most students do choose to have their own resources; the choice of hardware and operating system is entirely up to you - we'll expand your horizons regardless of what you choose!


What happens after I graduate?

Despite what many prospective students have heard, jobs in Computer Science and Information Systems are plentiful and opportunities for further study at the graduate level abound. As the U.S. Department of Labor notes, the outlook for job growth in the industry is excellent. Many of our alumni immediately enter the workforce while others continue on to graduate study in Computer Science. Our proximity to the high-tech centers surrounding the Portland metropolitan area offers many opportunities for employment. Some students obtain internships with local high-tech employers that become full-time positions upon graduation.

As you can see from the partial-list below, our alumni are successfully employed in a wide range of industries.

Accent Business Services Software Developer
State of Alaska Programmer/Analyst
Axium Software Engineer
Boeing Electrical Engineering Technical Designer
Carnegie Mellon University Masters Degree Candidate
Con-way Transportation Distributed Systems Administrator
DOW Agrosciences Informatics Research Scientist
GE Software Engineering Leader
Senior Software Engineer
Software Engineer
Hawaii Medical Service Association Senior Software Developer, Technical Lead
Intel Senior Software Engineer
Software Engineer
Component Design Engineer
The Kelly Group Real Estate Operations Manager
KPMG Senior Associate - Information Risk Management
McAfee Inc. Software Developer II
Mentor Graphics Software Engineering Manager
Software Engineer
Miriam Technologies Software Engineer
Oregon Graduate Institute Ph.D. Candidate
Oregon State University Ph.D. Candidate
Masters Degree Candidate
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Research Scientist
Research Scientist I
Portland State University Masters Degree Candidate
Providence Health Plans Data Center Technician II
Rentrak Project Manager
Huron Consulting Group Senior Products Analyst
Corporate Applications Associate
StrikeForce Technologies, Inc Senior Software Engineer
Oracle Corporation Software Engineer
Supervalu Corporation Senior Operations Optimization Analyst
Tripwire Network Administrator
Washington ESD, Phoenix, AZ Web Programmer Analyst
Washington State University Masters Degree Candidate
Wilco Network Operations Technician