Computing technology has become an essential part of nearly every profession even as new research in computer science continues to reinvent how we communicate and work. The Computer Science major at Bethel prepares students for leadership roles in this ever-changing academic discipline as they learn current programming languages, network technology, databases, software engineering techniques, hardware, and operating systems. Electives are also offered in graphics, compilers, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing. Students can gain work experience through employment in Bethel’s computing support services and can earn course credit through internships at local companies. Bethel conforms to the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) model for a liberal arts university computing degree with coursework in computing ethics and a balance of practical and theoretical study in computer science.
Advanced Placement: The computer science department requires a score of 4 or better on the AP exam in order for the exam to be used to fulfill course requirements in the majors and minors it offers. Students with a score of 3 will receive elective credit or receive credit toward General Education requirements. Students should consult the department chair with questions on AP exams and requirements for majors.
Majors in Computer Science
Minor in Computer Science
COS 100 • Introduction to Programming. 3 Credits.
An introduction to programming using a current procedural (imperative) programming language. Standard data types and control structures are introduced.
Offered: Fall, interim.
COS 105 • Computer Science 1. 4 Credits.
Introduction to fundamental computer programming design principles. Strong emphasis on theory. Extensive programming assignments in a current object-oriented computer language.
Prerequisites: COS 100, COS 205, or equivalent proficiency; MAT 123M, MAT 124M, MAT 125, or equivalent proficiency. Offered: Spring. Special Notes: Not designed as a computer literacy course. Includes 6 lab hours.
COS 205 • Scientific Computing. 3 Credits.
Introduction to programming in C and C++ with an emphasis on issues relevant to scientific computing such as machine error, performance, and implementation of common numerical algorithms.
Prerequisites: MAT 124M. Offered: Fall, spring
COS 212 • Computer Science 2. 4 Credits.
Elementary data structures such as file structures, linked lists, and simple trees. Introduction to fundamental search and sort algorithms, analysis, design methodologies, and object-oriented programming. Extensive programming assignments in a current computer language.
Prerequisites: COS 105 or COS 205 with consent of instructor. Special Notes: Includes 6 lab hours. Offered: Fall.
COS 214 • Computer Architecture. 4 Credits.
Assembly and machine language to study computer organization and structure, including addressing techniques, digital logic and representation of numbers and arithmetic. Also includes an introduction to C.
Prerequisites: COS 212. Special Notes: Includes 6 lab hours. Offered: Spring.
COS 216 • Data Structures and Algorithms. 3 Credits.
COS 301 • Operating Systems. 4 Credits.
Computer organization, structure of operating systems, memory management, process management, resource allocation, and operating system monitors. Alternative approaches to operating system design.
Prerequisites: COS 214; knowledge of C or C++. Offered: Fall
COS 313 • Database Systems. 3 Credits.
Relational and object-oriented databases, schemas, and normalization. Database management systems, SQL, concurrent transactions, logging/disaster recovery, and query optimization. Application program interaction with database management systems.
Prerequisites: COS 216. Offered: Fall, even # years
COS 318 • Web Programming. 3 Credits.
An examination of the foundational technologies used for creating web applications. Includes client and server programming, as well as fundamentals of cloud services, including security, storage, and reliability.
COS 320 • Computer Graphics Programming. 3 Credits.
An introduction to the drawing methods, geometrical transforms, and illumination models that are fundamental to computer graphics programming. Topics include modeling of 2D and 3D objects, local and global illumination simulation, shading, color models, procedural modeling, and discrete (fragment) techniques including texture mapping. A current graphics API is used, including custom shaders.
Prerequisites: COS 216. Offered: Fall odd # years
COS 334 • Data Mining and Machine Learning. 3 Credits.
An introduction to widely-used techniques for extracting information from large data sets such as medical databases, credit reports, weather history, and the stock market. Includes algorithms for nominal and ordinal data and metrics to measure their performance. Students will implement common algorithms with real data and choose appropriate algorithms for different applications.
Prerequisites: COS 216. Offered: Spring, even # years.
COS 337K • Behavioral Robotics. 3 Credits.
Control and automation are fundamental aspects of human, animal, and machine behavior. These topics will be considered from philosophical and psychological perspectives and explored through robotics and other hands-on experimental labs, in order to develop both a practical and theoretical, understanding of behavior.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. Special Note: Carries cross credit in psychology. Offered: Interim
COS 351 • High-Performance Computing. 3 Credits.
Fundamental concepts and techniques for parallel computation in C/C++ (load balancing, communication, synchronization, serial program decomposition) using an industry-standard parallel computing library.
Prerequisites: COS 205 or COS 214. Offered: Interim
COS 371 • Organization of Programming Languages. 3 Credits.
Formal programming language specification using various grammars and the Backus-Naur Form. Data types and structures, control structures, and data flow of several programming languages, including interpreters and compilers. Introduction to parsing and lexical analysis.
Prerequisites: COS 216. Offered: Spring, even # years
COS 386 • Data Communications and Computer Networks. 3 Credits.
Data communications including interprocess communication, computer networking, and associated software protocols. Topics include network topologies, point-to-point network protocols, local area networks, and interconnection of networks.
Prerequisites: COS 301. Offered: Spring, odd # years
COS 389 • Artificial Intelligence. 3 Credits.
Basic concepts and techniques of artificial intelligence, including representation, notational structures, searches, control structures, and logic programming languages. Samples of current work in several application areas including natural language systems, expert systems, and neural networks.
Prerequisites: COS 216. Offered: Spring, odd # years
COS 420 • Software Process. 3 Credits.
Balancing the various real-world challenges that a software engineer encounters, including ambiguity, conflicting requirements, task-time estimation, team dynamics, requests from customers, product managers or architects. A team-based software project on a modern computer science topic will be developed during the semester.
Prerequisites: COS 216; COS 477 recommended. CX: ENR 420. Offered: Spring odd # years
COS 450 • Humans and Computers. 3 Credits.
Examines the ways that humans and computers interact. Issues in user experience and human-machine interaction are explored. Christian and professional ethics in the development and application of computing technology are extensively examined.
Prerequisites: COS 216. Offered: Interim, even # years. Special Notes: Students may not receive credit for both COS 450 and GES 334K.
COS 477 • Software Engineering. 3 Credits.
Formal approach to the design and development of software. Multiple process models discussed and compared. Other topics include design patterns, project management and estimation, team management, formal methods, documentation, system and data description, verification and validation, and process improvement.
Prerequisites: COS 216. CX: ENR 477. Offered: Fall, odd # years.
COS 490 • Topics in Computer Science. 3 Credits.
A seminar to provide an in-depth survey of a recent trend or field in the rapidly changing discipline of computer science. Students work on a significant project and explore the future implications of the current topic.
Prerequisites: COS 216. Offered: Occasionally.