April 18, 2023

Computer Science synergies across Science and Engineering; Purdue invests in computing to meet student need

America’s first CS department aims at reaching top 10 in the U.S. this decade

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – As student interests in computing-related majors and societal impact of AI and chips continue to rise rapidly, Purdue University announced a major initiative, Purdue Computes.

Purdue Computes consists of three pillars: academic resource of computing departments, strategic artificial intelligence research, and semiconductor education and research. This story highlights the first pillar – academic resource of computing departments:

  • A wave of top-notch hirings will bring 50 new faculty to computer science, computer engineering and related departments in the next five years, with a goal of reaching top 10 in the U.S.
  • The Department of Computer Science in the College of Science will have a secondary affiliation in the College of Engineering, further enhancing collaboration opportunities with faculty and students. Bi-collegiate collaboration efforts are a proven benefit, following the model of agricultural and biological engineering, which ranks No. 1 nationally. Productive collaboration with computer engineering in the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, which offers minor in AI applications, will be carried out. 

“A strategic investment like this in our computing departments generates the kind of momentum to fuel faculty and staff research efforts as well as bring the best and brightest to the Purdue campus. This builds on the legacy of Purdue having the nation's first department in 1962 and allows us to reach new heights among the national leaders,” said Provost Patrick Wolfe.

  • The goals continue an upward trajectory for computer science at Purdue. The computer science program moved up to 16th in the nation in September’s U.S. News & World Report undergraduate rankings. The jump was bolstered by the addition of new majors in artificial intelligence and in data science. Cybersecurity and software engineering both ranked in the top 10, while artificial intelligence moved up five places, to 19th, and data analytics received a ranking for the first time at No. 13. 
  • Further development of the computing departments is expected to create new enrollment opportunities for Purdue University in Indianapolis, where computer science, computer engineering and related areas form part of the foundation of the new, urban extension of West Lafayette campus, and the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, where business analytics and integrated business engineering are two of the most sought-after degrees.
  • The future under Purdue Computes’ innovative goals stands as a testament to the university’s initial prominence. In 1962-63, Purdue announced the first degree-awarding computer science program in the United States. It was founded by Purdue professor Samuel D. Conte and has seen continuous growth during its 60-year history. 

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://stories.purdue.edu

Writer/Media contact: Brian Huchel, bhuchel@purdue.edu

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