Strengthening computer science

Computer science drives today’s digital and connected society and tomorrow’s future, changing our lives in areas as wide-ranging as social interactions, medical systems, commerce, entertainment, transportation, education, and government. The demand for computer science and data science graduates with the deep skill sets needed to manage challenges and create future opportunities continues to grow. The undergraduate population has outpaced the previous goals, preparing more and more outstanding students to become innovative and creative problem solvers who advance our digital and connected world.

Goals

  • Purdue Computer Science will lead the world in educating tomorrow's innovators who will move forward the boundaries of computing, and will engage in research that advances new horizons of computer science and its applications.
  • Grow the newly created Data Science Major, educating graduates who will change our digital, wired and data-driven world. 
  • Hire faculty in key areas to ensure Purdue will be preeminent through scholarship, research and innovation in data science, cybersecurity, programming languages, and reliable and scalable software systems.
  • Increase graduate enrollment in the Department of Computer Science 

Major Milestones

  • As of fall of 2020, the Department of Computer Science has far surpassed the planned levels of expansion. Our undergraduate student body has grown by 270% percent (compared with a planned growth of 27%), indicating a strong demand for Purdue's excellent computer science and data science program.
  • US News & World Report rank Purdue’s Department of Computer Science #20 overall, #14 in Programming Languages, and #15 in Systems.

Accomplishments

  • The demand for computer science education is at an all-time high, and computer science is now the most selective and largest undergraduate major on campus. The department received 5,500 undergraduate applications and more than 2,100 graduate applications for fall 2020, along with an increase in the overall quality of applicants.
  • Since the launch of Purdue Moves, the Department of Computer Science has hired 38 tenure track professors and 5 professor of practice faculty members.
  • The increased undergraduate enrollment has led to the addition of six new academic advisors allowing the department to support and mentor all computer science and data science majors at the highest level. 
  • The department has hired 9 additional staff members to support student growth, undergraduate recruitment, and instructional learning. Three of the instructional support staff were essential in the rapid development of online learning courses during the pandemic. The instructional support team was chosen by Provost Ackridge to share their work and ideas across the university through the Instructional Support Initiative. 
  • The department also has more than doubled its number of women faculty members from 5 to 11 since the launch of Purdue Moves, and our woman student population is at an all-time high. From the beginning of Purdue Moves, the percentage of women students more than doubled, rising from 9 to 22% for the fall of 2020.  
  • Computer science students are in demand, enjoying the highest starting salary of any four-year program at Purdue and a near 100% placement rate, with some students recruited for summer internships as early as their freshman year.
  • Since 2017, undergraduate research has been encouraged, leading to five computer science students recognized by the Computing Research Association for their research accomplishments.
  • The graduate student population grew 49% from 2010 to 2020 with 261 PhD students in the fall of 2020.
  • The department has launched a professional master's degree program in Information Security for Computing Professionals .
  • In 2021, the department added an online professional master's degree program in Information Security for Computing Professionals .
  • Purdue is the lead institution for the $50M National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center led by Professor Wojtek Szpankowski. The Purdue Center for the Science of Information brings together faculty from multiple institutions across the country to advance the science of information.
  • Comprised of computer science professors and interdisciplinary researches, The Purdue Center for Programming Principles and Software Systems Research Center was launched in 2019. 
  • In conjunction with the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories , CERIAS, and computer science faculty the SOL4CE Cyber/Cyber-Physical Laboratory opened at Purdue University in 2020.
  • In 2020, members of the faculty joined the national Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) to improve cybersecurity and energy efficiency for American manufacturing.
  • In 2021, The Purdue-MITRE vision partnership created a public-private partnership focusing on key areas of national safety and security led by computer science faculty.
  • Since 2013, computer science faculty members have received ten National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards .
  • Our faculty continue to achieve high honors within the profession of computer science.
  • Recognizing the lack of high quality programming courses for high school students, the Department of Computer Science launched a free online programming course designed for AP Computer Science A exam preparation. Today, the course is offered through EdX and is open to anyone .