Computer Science Department - United States Air Force Academy

The Computer Engineering Major at a Glance

Computer systems are an integral part of every aspect of Air Force operations.  These systems range from embedded devices that perform a specific function in a weapon system to massively-parallel supercomputers used to simulate an air campaign.  Because today's computing systems are so sophisticated a new field of engineering, computer engineering, has evolved.  Computer engineers take a true 'systems' view toward computing design, combining the algorithm-design skills of a computer scientist with the hardware-design talents of an electrical engineer.  Computer Engineering majors t USAFA acquire these skills through an interdisciplinary approach that intermingles courses from Computer Science with offerings from Electrical Engineering.  This course mix provides the broad, varied background an engineer needs to succeed in this dynamic field.
Cadets who successfully complete the Computer Engineering major are awarded a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree.  The departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science are currently taking the necessary steps to have USAFA's Computer Engineering degree accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).  The culmination of this process will occur in 2002; if successful, anyone who has earned a Computer Engineering degree at USAFA will have an ABET-accredited degree.

The Computer Science Major at a Glance

The Computer Science major provides a broad background in computer programming, software engineering, programming languages, computer systems, and applications.  The aim of this major is to graduate officers who are highly qualified in the rapidly growing areas of computer research, computer management, software engineering and the application of computers to complex scientific, engineering and information management problems.  Cadets who successfully complete the requirements for this major receive the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree, which is accredited by the Computing Sciences Accreditation Commission of the Computer Sciences Accreditation Board

The Operatgions Reseach Major at a Glance

Operations Research (OR) is the application of quantitative techniques to managerial decision-making.  To gain an appreciation for the field, it is necessary to look at the origins of Operations Research.
OR, as a discipline, arose from the need to determine optimal resource allocation and assist decision makers during the Second World War.  Groups of mathematicians, physical scientists and economists were assembled during the war to perform studies that would provide quantitative input for commanders.  The results of their efforts were impressive and, soon thereafter, the commercial sector realized the power of these new planning techniques.
Operations Research, therefore, entails the development of new quantitative modeling methods and the application of these and existing models to real management and economics problems.  This is an exciting field and one that attracts curious problem-solvers who are strong in mathematics and computer science and are eager to solve real world problems.
The use of mathematics to model real world systems was nothing new; physicists and economists had been doing this for years.  What defined this new field called OR was its focus on the operations of organizations.   Not only w3ere traditional mathematical modeling methods used, such as statistics and probability, but new modeling methods were created, such as mathematical programming and queuing theory.



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U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-1110 DSN: 333-1110, Updated: 23 Apr 14
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