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Computer Science

Recent Augustana computer science majors have achieved distinction at the ACM Mid-Central USA Programming Contest (at left in 2010 and right in 2009). In center photo on the left, computer science alumnus Ben Fischer '13 earned All-American status as part of the debate team.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Computer science majors often work part-time following their first year on campus. John Deere & Co., with its headquarters in the Quad Cities, and other local businesses hire students, usually through an internship.

Students gain experience by working for Augustana's Information Technology Services or joining the college's student-run Web Guild.

What graduates do

Daniel Scannura ’12 is an IT specialist for radiation oncology at the University of Colorado Denver.

Rebecca Noffsinger '11 is a web developer at Adage Technologies in Chicago.

Augustana College offers a major and a minor in computer science. Students have the opportunity to work with two faculty members with a PhD in computer science—a rare opportunity for undergraduates at a college of Augustana’s size. At the same time, with its strong liberal arts foundation, an Augustana education provides students in the hard sciences and pre-professional programs with a special depth of focus accompanied by a rich range of knowledge—a balance difficult to find at larger universities.

The computer science curriculum focuses on the representation, manipulation and storage of information in computer systems. Its range includes the study of programming languages, computer architecture, networks and the global internet, operating systems, data structures, algorithms and database management. Most computer science students take calculus and an introduction to computer science during their first year, followed by discrete mathematics in the first term of their second year. Discrete mathematics is a bridge between calculus and other math and computer science courses.

Facts & distinctions

All students complete Senior Inquiry, a focused, topical capstone project that draws from the student’s comprehensive learning experience and demonstrates benefit to a community. In computer science, seniors apply the software development process to specify, design, implement and test a major software project in teams. This capstone project also includes focus on social and ethical issues, a reflective written evaluation and an oral presentation.

Ben Fischer '13, computer science major, software engineer at

"Augie was a great fit for me. I loved my CS classes and I loved debating and I especially loved working with local businesses through the Augie Web Guild. My teachers always worked with me so that I could manage all three of those commitments, and I really appreciate that. I ended up landing a cool job in Chicago at as a software engineer where I have been able to continue learning and growing."

Amber Peloquin '11, computer science and math double major

"I think both math and computer science are important subjects that can be used in almost any job in some way. I am glad that some courses from each of my majors overlapped, which allowed me to be a double major. The faculty of the math/cs department are some of my favorite as well as the best and brightest I have met. I think the small department really matters as well as how available the teachers were during office hours."

Mark Hoffmann '15: finding my passions

Mark Hoffmann '15: "My professors were always willing to put in the extra time to help with things I needed. They weren't just interested in me taking their class. They were interested in helping me find my passions as well."

Andy Shearouse '15: expanded focus

"I interned in the EDGE Center during the summer before my freshman year and already knew that I wanted to take a leadership position in the center. Yet my focus has changed as I shifted to studying computer science and marketing, which are majors that were not on my radar my freshman year."

Student finds place in expanding information systems

Lacrosse brought Jake Self to Augustana, but it's been a powerful combination of his two majors that has defined his college experience. Self will graduate in May with a double major in accounting and management information systems and go to work for Deere and Co.

Wollstonecraft, Vázquez-Valarezo awards announced

Essays on Catholic sexual ethics, gender and gods in ancient Greece, and an exploration of the furry genre of anthropomorphic animal fiction won the the top prizes in the 2014 Wollstonecraft Essay Contest.

Former banker makes learning math fun

Venell Slaughter '03 realizes he is a rare commodity within Chicago Public Schools: a black male who teaches math. Only 5.7 percent of CPS' 22,283 teachers are black men, and fewer teach math. But the 33-year-old middle school teacher said he's happy he beat the odds and is now working at Crispus Attucks Elementary School. Slaughter was a math and computer science major at Augustana.
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