Division ofNatural Sciences

Why Study CSCE?

Computer Science is the excitement of solving a puzzle problem, the fascination of moving through a structural maze to a solution, and the adventure of discovering a new solution to an old problem. Computer Science is the thrill of working on the frontier of knowledge with the latest tools available.

If you enjoy the structure of mathematics, the discovery of laboratory sciences and the excitement of working with computer software, consider a degree in Computer Science.

You will deal with the theoretical, practical and ethical issues involved with the equipment, programs and data used in modern computer systems. For the computer science capstone students design and implement a significant software program.

What is Computer Engineering?

Computer Engineering is a discipline that bridges Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Computer Engineering is more hardware oriented than Computer Science and more software oriented than Electrical Engineering. In Computer Engineering, you develop software and hardware expertise, learning theory in the classroom and gaining hands-on experience in the laboratory.

Advanced courses include circuit theory, electronics, digital system design and computer science. Electives allow you to concentrate in specialty areas such as integrated circuit design, microprocessor applications and software development. For the computer engineering capstone students design and implement a significant hardware component.

Why Study CSCE at PLU?

At PLU you will receive both a rigorous course of study and personal attention. Our department has a first-rate Ph.D. faculty, active in research, professional development and in the academic community beyond PLU. Teaching is the main focus of their work and classes and labs at PLU are small, encouraging student-faculty interaction.

PLU’s liberal arts environment and departmental core provide a broad-based education that produces graduates uniquely prepared for today’s workplace. PLU graduates have excellent communication skills and the liberal arts core gives you the awareness of social, ethical and environmental issues that employers seek.

Careers for CSCE Majors

There are many opportunities for well-qualified people with backgrounds in Computer Science. Projections indicate the job openings for Computer Science graduates will exceed the number of graduates for many years.

Computer industry careers include the design, development, testing and maintenance of computer hardware and software. Projects may include work with compilers, operating systems and database systems. Companies that employ PLU graduates include Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Intel, SUN Microsystems and Nintendo.

Research in Computer Science is carried on at many companies and universities and at private and government facilities. Research may be theoretical or practical in nature, and includes such areas as automata, artificial intelligence, simulation, networking, computer security, robotics and computer architecture. Companies like Boeing, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory have PLU graduates on their staffs.

Applications to other areas include such fields as information management in a business setting, computer aided-design in industry, or signal and image enhancement in aerospace programs. Space Labs Incorporated, Weyerhaeuser and Boeing typify companies employing PLU graduates.

As an engineering professional, you could apply your abilities to a wide variety of tasks. In the aircraft industry, engineers from many disciplines design systems for propulsion, navigation, communication and control. In the telecommunications industry, an engineer may work to improve capacity and range of a cellular telephone system or to increase efficiency in a video compression system that transmits high resolution pictures. In the microchip industry, engineers design and build silicon chips containing millions of components. Other engineers use these chips to build electronic systems found all around us, from personal computers and compact disc players to washing machines and microwave ovens.

Additional Opportunities for CSCE Majors

Job Opportunities

On-campus jobs include Computing and Telecommunications consultants and programmers, faculty assistants, web developers, hardware and software support, paper graders, and tutors for the department and university help centers.

Off-campus employment is available with numerous small and large companies using computer hardware and software. Internship programs have been established with several area and regional companies including Weyerhaeuser, Microsoft, Battelle PNL, Boeing and Accenture. These are salaried positions that are also available for academic credit.


Computing facilities at PLU include university servers offering mail, web service and logon. All students have unlimited access to the university computer center’s user-room facilities. The Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering also maintains a Solaris server and laboratories of its own. The upper level computer science lab contains Linux and Windows work stations. Another computer science lab is used as a teaching laboratory and open lab; it has 18 Windows NT workstations and computer projection equipment. There also is a Computer Engineering lab in the

Rieke Science Center for computer engineering classes. All machines are on the Ethernet, are accessible through the campus network and have full access to the Internet. Coming spring 2006 all of these facilities will be housed in the Morken Center for Learning and Technology. This new building will also include undergraduate research space, student workrooms for capstone projects, smart classrooms, multi media labs, and space for faculty student interaction.

All PLU computers are connected via a high-speed Ethernet (switched and fast). Connections to the Ethernet network are also provided in the dorm rooms. The campus network is based upon a fiber-optic backbone connecting the buildings and switched Ethernet inside the buildings.

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