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Learning Outcomes for Hunter College Computer Science Students

Hunter College has asked each department to develop a plan for assessing how well it does in teaching its majors. As a first step, departments are required to compile a list of “learning outcomes” that state explicitly what the curriculum for majors is intended to help students achieve. Syllabi for each course refer to these outcomes and note which of them the course addresses. The following is the set of learning outcomes adopted by the Computer Science Department.

  1. Computer science students should learn the fundamental concepts and theories of the discipline of computer science as specified by professional organizations such as the Association for Computing Machinery. They should:
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic foundations and relevant applications of mathematics and statistics, particularly those branches related to computer science.
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of the overarching relationships between hardware and software, i.e. computer architectures, software systems and operating systems.
    3. Demostrate knowledge of the theory of computation and algorithms (for example: formal languages, Turing machines, etc.)
    4. Display knowledge of at least two area disciplines within computer science (for example: artificial intelligence, computer theory, formal methods, etc.)
  2. Computer science students should be adept at formulating, analyzing and solving computing problems. They should:
    1. Be proficient in writing and reading programs sufficient to implement and study algorithms.
    2. Be able to apply principles of design and analysis in creating substantive projects involving programs and algorithmic design, and have experience working in teams on projects of moderately realistic scope.
  3. Computer science students should be prepared to pursue advanced studies in the field and to assume professional responsibilities. They should:
    1. Be able to communicate technical ideas effectively, both in writing and in oral presentations.
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical concerns typically arising in the context of computing.
    3. Be competitive when applying to graduate schools should they so choose.
    4. Graduate prepared to continue to learn throughout their careers, keeping up-to-date in a quickly developing field. In particular, they should be able to read and assimilate scientific and technical material independently - from textooks, journal articles, and other level-appropriate sources.