Agnes Scott, Emory Partner on Computer Science Degree

Monday, February 28, 2011

Agnes Scott College students will soon be able to major in computer science, thanks to a new dual-degree program with Emory University. The new degree program will be offered this spring.

“This program provides an exciting opportunity for students at Agnes Scott to pursue a degree in a technical area, computer science, that has seen fewer women entering the field over the past 20 years,” said Carolyn J. Stefanco, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Agnes Scott. “By joining forces with Emory, we hope that Agnes Scott will play a role in national efforts to reverse this trend and make significant progress in diversifying the field of computer science.”

The program offers Agnes Scott students interested in computer science an opportunity to pursue a degree. Students could previously take introductory programming courses at Emory through cross registration, but the new program allows them to pursue a Bachelor of Arts from Agnes Scott and a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in computer science from Emory. Currently, the only computer programming course offered at Agnes Scott is a scientific computing course offered by the physics department.

“Students interested in computer science can come to Agnes Scott and benefit from being here for three years before moving on to Emory for computer science,” said Larry Riddle, professor of mathematics at Agnes Scott and faculty adviser for the dual-degree program in computer science.

Students pursuing the dual degree must complete or earn credit for Calculus I and II, as well as Linear Algebra, at Agnes Scott and Introduction to Computer Science I and II at Emory, and must have satisfied all the Agnes Scott specific and distributional standards before enrolling at Emory to complete the dual-degree program.

Riddle said he expects students interested primarily in mathematics to choose the dual-degree computer science program, though students from economics and physics have also shown an interest in computer science in the past. Biology students who are interested in bioinformatics may also want to combine the study of biology with computer science. However, any Agnes Scott student is welcome to pursue the dual-degree program, he added.

“The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Emory is excited to be partnering with Agnes Scott College in a joint program in computer science. Emory's CS programs are uniquely designed for the liberal arts contexts and thus very well matched to ASC students. The program represents a big step forward in closer partnerships between Emory and Agnes Scott, as well as in helping to nurture the participation of women in computer science,” said Vaidy Sunderam, the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Computer Science and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Emory.

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.