Computer Science

Undergraduate Major & Minor Natural Sciences

Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Minor in Data Science

Video Transcription

Computer Science at PLU Transcription

(gentle jazz music)

[video: Laurie Murphy’s voice comes in over video clips. A student and professor look on to a computer screen. A computer monitor shows a graphic of colorful lines tangled together in a tangled web.
Laurie: The computer science program at PLU is for students who are interested in mathematics, science, engineering and are interested in building software.
[video: Coral sits in front of a glass wall.
Coral Hunter ‘20: I originally came to PLU to pursue math and to become a math teacher eventually.
[video: Coral’s voice continues over clips. A whiteboard with notes in black ink. A computer screen with code typed. A professor talks to a student in front of a whiteboard filled with notes.]

Coral: Then when I started hearing about the computer science program, I thought what a great opportunity to not only learn this new skill, but learn it so I could eventually teach it. That’s what drew me to the program

[video: Return to Coral.]

Coral: and the reason that I wanted to study it.

[video: Nathan speaks to the camera in front of windows which show fall trees outside.]

Nathan Yocom ‘02, Senior Software Architect, Okta, Inc.: Some of the strengths of the computer science program at PLU I think lie in its combination of specificity and generality. The strength PLU brings to any program is its generality in immersing you in a culture of diversity,

[video: Nathan’s voice continues over clips. Students speak in class. A student controls a robot with a controller over a computer. A student works on two monitors, one displays code while the other shows a web of data.]

Nathan: which leads to great conversations, a great chance to learn things that you might not in a very specialized program. But then the computer science program itself helps with the specificity of what it means to be an engineer, what it means to solve computer science problems, what it means to apply technical learning to a situation.

[video: Clips continue, Laurie’s voice comes in. A shot of a city skyline. A student types code on a laptop. A shot high up in downtown skyscrapers.]

Laurie: We have connections with industry in the area. We have graduates who are working at Amazon and Facebook and Microsoft, Google. Lots of the larger companies, but also smaller startups in the area as well.

[video: Laurie speaks to the camera in front of a big building with stairs leading down behind her and a wall of windows on the back wall.]

Laurie Murphy, PLU Computer Science Professor: What makes our graduates really attractive
to prospective employers is not only their strong computing skills, but their broad liberal arts education

[video: Laurie’s voice continues over clips. A panning shot of a “Pacific Lutheran University” sign. Students network in an event with professionals. A professor projects sheet music to a class.]

Laurie: that makes them good problem solvers and good communicators and able to apply their knowledge in a broad range of settings.

[video: Clips continue, Nathan’s voice comes in. A shot from above of a tall clock structure on PLU’s campus.]

Nathan: It’s that liberal arts background

[video: Return to Nathan.]

Nathan: that really made me successful throughout my career, as I found it was equally important for me to communicate with my teammates, to work within a group, and use soft skills to sort of advance my career,

[video: Nathan’s voice continues over clips. A student presents work to a professional. A student helps children on desktop computers. A group of students sit in a room of technology, a sign that says “FLUKE” behind them.]

Nathan: but also have fun and engage with my peers and my superiors and eventually folks that I led or that worked for me.

[video: Return to Nathan.]

Nathan: Those are skills that I learned through the liberal arts portion of the program here.

[video: Coral’s voice continues over clips. A professor stands in front of a whiteboard, teaching a class. A teaching assistant helps a student with class material.]

Coral: Generally, the classes are really small, so I’ve always really enjoyed that because we have been able to work together, get one-on-one help, and then that’s also balanced with pretty small lab courses.

[video: Return to Coral.]

Coral: Overall, you just get a lot of one-on-one help.

[video: Clips continue, Nathan’s voice comes in. Students talk in class. A green screen of code scrolls.]

Nathan: When I think about the faculty in the computer science department, there’s a strong bond and interest in the development of the program and the students that come through it and ensuring their success.

[video: Return to Nathan.]

Nathan: The professors are regularly doing research publication into computer graphics and simulation, into machine learning and topics of the day, which provides them interest obviously, but also brings that relevancy to the student body and the program that they provide.

[video: Clips resume, Coral’s voice comes in. Students look down at a group of robots on the floor of their class. Students look onto a monitor with a professor.]

Coral: They were always willing to help, always wanted to help me pursue what I was passionate about. The mentorship was amazing and I still talk to those professors today.

[video: Return to Laurie.]

Laurie: We’re extremely proud of our students. They work very hard and they’re extremely diligent and they are creative

[video: Laurie’s voice continues over clips. A student types on a blue computer keyboard. A shot of the Space Needle in Seattle.]

Laurie: and they really want to take the skills that they learned here, the computing skills that they learned here, and apply them to help solve the world’s problems.
(gentle jazz music)

About

The PLU Computer Science program prepares students for exciting career opportunities in the high technology industry. You’ll learn the theoretical, practical and ethical issues involved with the equipment, programs and data used in modern computer systems. You’ll gain plenty of hands-on experience in analysis and design, including software development, and will be exposed to a variety of programming languages and systems. For your senior capstone project, you’ll put your skills to the test as you design and implement a significant software program. Once you graduate, you’ll be ready to join one of the fastest growing industries – you might end up writing code for software simulations of proteins, creating the next big video game, or developing a social application that connects people in new ways. The possibilities are limitless.

Graduates from the last 5 years: Their jobs

  • Programmer/Analyst, Boeing
  • Software Engineer, Google
  • QA Analyst, Infosys
  • Programming Engineer, SystImmune
  • Service Engineer, Microsoft
  • Software Engineer, Alaska Airlines
  • Application Developer, OSPI
  • IT Audit, Moss Adams LLP
  • Threat Intelligence Analyst, Infoblox Tacoma
  • Associate Software Engineer, T Mobile
  • Senior Software Engineer, The Walt Disney Company

Graduates from the last last 5 years: Their graduate programs

  • PhD in Bioinformatics, Toyota Technological Institute, Chicago
  • Master of Science in Integrated Design & Media, New York University
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity & Leadership, UW Tacoma
  • Master of Business Administration, Pacific Lutheran University
  • Master of Science in Computer Science, DigiPen Institute of Technology
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