Computer Science (B.S.)
Computer science is at the forefront of a technological revolution that has dramatically changed the face of modern society. Modes of thinking, acting, and interacting have been and will continue to be shaped by the computer. Significant advances in many other disciplines seldom occur today without some crucial reliance on computing capabilities.
I am thankful for my Samford experience and it laid a good foundation for me to attend graduate school and get into an excellent career that I love.–Brian Randles '93, Senior Software Engineer, Lockheed Martin
Like the field of medicine, computer science cannot be identified with, nor limited to, a single specialty. At its core, however, computer science is all about solving problems. Computer scientists seek to understand the nature of problems and search for creative techniques to efficiently automate their solutions. From games to artificial brains, from businesses to labs, from networks to databases, and from conceptual tools to hardware, computer scientists devise ways to represent, process, and produce knowledge for every discipline imaginable.
Your time and devotion to your students allows us to leave Samford with confidence that we can positively contribute to any organization or team.–Austin Moore '14, Programmer, CapTech Ventures
Objectives and Curriculum
A computer science degree enables understanding, fosters logical thinking, and provides a unique perspective on the ever-increasing role of technology in our society. Students receive training in a variety of foundational areas such as programming and computer languages, databases, operating systems and networking, computer architecture, and artificial intelligence. This background opens doors to a vast array of career opportunities in both traditional and innovative domains.
Is This Program for Me?
Computer science provides a terrific opportunity to express one’s creative instincts. Successful students will be those who are resourceful, imaginative, inquisitive, analytical, motivated, excited by discovery, and challenged by unsolved problems.
What Makes Us Different?
The Computer Science program at Samford offers quality instruction with an excellent student to faculty ratio that permits us to mentor students in a way impossible for many larger institutions. We know our majors and classes are not taught by graduate students. Faculty is active in Computer Science arenas beyond the classroom, including research and community involvement. Furthermore, our students have the option to participate in hands-on research as undergraduates, thereby gaining valuable experience often available only to graduate students. Opportunities exist for conference presentations and some students have been co-authors on published papers. All this in a Christian environment, where we want our majors to know that, despite its relevance and appeal in modern society, there is more to life than just Computer Science. Thus, faculty members are also active in the wider community, teaching Sunday School, helping construct churches or participating in other mission endeavors, leading student cadres, and speaking at off-campus religious venues.
Because of your investment, not only did I graduate with Magna Cum Laude honors from Samford University, but I have also received an offer from a very reputable company here in town for a full-time position that I am very excited about taking. It was such a blessing getting to work with you and learn from your different classes throughout my journey at Samford. Your hard work and effort is greatly appreciated and has helped me to further develop and grow as a professional.–Danielle Lavett '14, Programmer Analyst II, Regions Financial Corporation
Computer Science is a particularly good discipline, not only for developing specific capabilities that are valuable in the workplace, but also for fostering critical thinking skills that facilitate use of those capabilities both in the profession and beyond. The foundation we provide helps equip students to adapt to an ever-changing technological society. Thus, fascinating prospects for computer science majors exist in fields as diverse as science, engineering, medicine, law, academics, education, and business.
- Software development
- Systems analysis
- Database administration
- Networking administration
- Computer marketing
- Cross-disciplinary computer scientist (e.g., physics, biology, chemistry, economics)
Students have recently interned with:
- Alabama Power
- Blue Cross
- CGI (formerly CTS)
- Lyons Computers
- Southern Progress Corporation
- Scope (a disability charity in the UK)
- Starnes Davis Florie Law Firm
- Hibbett Sports
- Altec Inc.
Accolades and Alumni
Awards and Recognition
ACM Computer Programming Competition 1st place (Rookie category) - University of South Alabama, Mobile, November 7th, 2009
ACM MidSoutheast Conference, Undergraduate 4-year Institutions, Presentation Awards 1st Place: 2003, Cade Metz: Image Normalization through a Recurrent Neural Network
1st Place: 2006, Jason Gruber (Birmingham Southern College student doing research with Samford professor Dr. Steve Donaldson): Sidestepping the Chinese Room: Aspects of Self Awareness in a Humanoid Robot
1st Place Track 2: 2007, Gregory Brazda and Benjamin Dennis: Cognitive Mapping and Artificial Systems
1st Place: 2009, Chris Walling and Claire Richie: Pictures in the Head? A Computational Model of Mental Imagery
2nd Place: 2010, Jesse Kawell and Chris Walling: Machine Consciousness and the Advent of Narcissistic Computers
3rd Place: Jonathan Zeiger: Evolution of Neural Architectures
3rd Place: 2011, Jesse Kawell: Multi-Agent Collaboration on the Nao Platform
1st Place: 2013, Austin Moore: The Great Moonbuggy Challenge
Honorable Mention: Jason Goebel: Systematic Development of Evolving Neural Networks and Distributions of their Emergent Properties
Computer science alumni have established careers with:
- Software development
- Software engineering
- Data analysis
- National defense systems
- Homeland security
- Hardware marketing
- IT security
- IT support
- Air Force pilot
- Geographical information systems
- Mobile applications
- Graduate school