Our curriculum provides a broad, practical base for a career in computing while also offering an opportunity for in-depth study of topics like artificial intelligence, software engineering, cybersecurity, operating systems, and database management systems.
Recent News from the Department
Meet the department: Simone Ludwig, Professor and Department Chair
CS professors Jen Li and Anne Denton among panelists discussing AI in the classroom
In this discussion panelists talked about what artificial intelligence (AI) is and how it is currently being used in the classroom. You may have heard about AI technologies like ChatGPT, which have value in certain arenas, but can present challenges in other arenas. New technology often brings challenges and this panel addressed some of the challenges they have seen or anticipate seeing with the growth in use of AI technologies. Panelists provided information on additional technology tools that facilitate alternative assessments that are AI resistant and what NDSU's current AI policies and best practices are.
Dr. Anne Denton talks about AI
Anne Denton, NDSU Computer Science, was in the studio on Afternoons Live with Tyler Axness to answer some questions about the ever changing landscape of artificial intelligence. You can listen to it here.
NDSU faculty member invited to cybersecurity panel
NDSU Cybersecurity Institute director and Challey Institute faculty fellow Jeremy Straub recently was asked by facilitators at SUNY University at Albany and the Society of Actuaries to be part of an expert panel related to catastrophic cybersecurity risks.
Straub, who is also an assistant professor in NDSU’s Department of Computer Science, helped SUNY and the society understand the types of factors that could contribute to increased damage from cyberattacks and, thus, cost to insurance companies. Read more
MS and PhD in Software and Security Engineering program now offers two distinct tracks
These days computer science majors have a wealth of career options available to them. With rapid and considerable growth in the fields of software development and cybersecurity, the computer science department at NDSU is now offering two tracks to its MS and PhD programs, which are now called Software and Security Engineering, to offer a more focused area of study. The program started this fall and it is designed to deal with the different training and knowledge base required in each field. Students choosing the software engineering track will study topics such as Software Requirements Definition and Analysis (CSCI 715), Software Testing and Debugging (CSCI 718), and Introduction to Database Systems (CSCI 765). Those pursuing a cybersecurity track will study topics such as Ethical Hacking (CSCI 604), Cybersecurity Law and Policy (CSCI 609), Computer Crime and Forensics (CSCI 610), and Foundations of the Digital Enterprise (CSCI 773).
CS senior Kaylee Swenson, talks about her NDSU experience
Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics and software development are some of the hottest areas in the job market today and our computer science program is designed to help you succeed in any of them.
NDSU hosts 2023 ICPC regional programming competition
NDSU was a site host for the 2023 International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). Facilitated by Senior Lecturer Joseph Latimer, teams from NDSU, Bemidji State, and MSUM competed in the five hour event. NDSU Computer Science teams had a strong showing in our region of 116 teams, with the team of Elijah Satrom, Jean Eckelberg, and Eathon Jablon placing 11th, newcomers Brady Vogt, Andrew Fergel, and Colin Campbell placing 12th, and the team of Carson Miller, Brandon Gasser, and William Saksoda placing 37th.
The International Collegiate Programming Contest is an algorithmic programming contest for college students. Teams of three, representing their university, work to solve the most real-world problems, fostering collaboration, creativity, innovation, and the ability to perform under pressure. Through training and competition, teams challenge each other to raise the bar on the possible. It is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.
The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. The contest has raised aspirations and performance of generations of the world’s problem solvers in the computing sciences and engineering.
Byte-le Royale 2023 winners announced
Mama Mia! Can you cook the best pizza's faster than the competition? This kitchen is only big enough for the best! That was the theme of this year’s Byte-le Royale, hosted by the NDSU student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The 12-hour programming competition challenges competitors in teams of up to 3 to write an AI to play a video game and compete against each other to see who can create the best AI. The “Papa Rivard’s” team of Elijah Satrom, Enoch Satrom, and Chris Tupper took first place, “No llambda's” Brandon Gasser and William Soksoda took second, “IntelliBeans” Brennan Gerstner finished third, and “SIMS” Jace Weishaar and Mason Myles took fourth. Additionally, the team “Fan Mention” made up of Jack Hance, Matthew Tassava, and Cameron Kolodjski were the graduate team winners.
This was the first competition for NDSU computer science sophomore Ian King. “For the first time competing, it was a lot of fun. I'm still learning a lot about programing being new to computer science, so it was a bit overwhelming, but it was fun in the sense that like, okay, let's see what we can do and then we'll see what happens in the end. The ACM did have a meeting beforehand introducing Python and that personally really helped me, and the competition was a big help with getting better with coding. I definitely want to partake in more competitions in the future.”
First place winner Elijah Satrom says it was definitely worth the effort, with each of the first-place team members winning $456. “It’s fairly easy to get into as long as you have a basic grasp of programing, logic and such. The API to interact with the game was very easy to use and it was fairly well documented. It was definitely a fun experience and for a 12-hour competition it was very well-designed. No one's going to be closing out the competition with that feeling of, well, I've been working on stuff for 12 hours and I still did almost nothing. It's a good middle ground for the amount of time you have and there was still stuff at the end that we could get done. I'd say it was very well put together.”
Second place winner Braddon Gasser added “the first hour of it is always really stressful. You get the game, you get the manual and you've got no idea what to do. This was my fourth AI competition, and it's pretty fun. Even if you don't win, it's a good time.”
The current chair of the ACM Amanda Fetzer stated that development of the game takes close to a year. “Additionally, we did do a bit of game balancing during gameplay because we noticed some parts of the code we thought were working weren't. But we kind of gave ourselves a rule where we can do game balancing within the first half, but then after that we just don't touch the code because then otherwise it won't give teams enough time to adjust to those changes. There were five updates and only one of them was balancing in the first couple of hours.”
The ACM has been hosting the event since 2018 with the initial computational infrastructure built by computer science alum Jordan Goetze. The AI competition is a very well kept secret each year, which means that the objective and structure of the each year’s game are not revealed until the day of the event. You can learn more about the competition, including previous gameplay at the ACM website.
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