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Welcome from the Chair

Desh Ranjan Pic

Dr. Desh Ranjan
Professor & Chair, Computer Science

dranjan@cs.odu.edu

Welcome to Computing at Old Dominion University!

The rapid developments of computer science are reflected in our programs at the bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. levels. At the undergraduate level, we provide students with the theoretical foundations needed to support computing professionals over the scope of their careers in this quickly evolving field. Specific details change quickly, fundamental concepts do not. Equally important for our graduates as they start their careers, our undergraduate program provides multiple experiences with the pragmatic and practical issues in software development that are highly valued by employers. Since much of the technology computing professionals will use in five years has not yet been invented we strive to provide the fundamentals to enable the life-time of learning required of all successful computing professionals. At the master's level, our programs support rapid advancement in computing careers as valuable advanced skills, insights, and understandings are acquired. Our Ph.D. programs prepare highly prized graduates with the ability to change the future of computing. As Alan Kay, a computer scientist known for pioneering work in object-oriented programming and user-interface design stated, "the best way to predict the future is to invent it."

At all degree levels, students have multiple opportunities to work closely with leading computer scientists and with other students to help solve challenging new problems often in funded projects! The days of a long programmer working in isolation on a computer have passed, and in spite of popular perception, have always been rare. Software development is a highly social activity. It involves working closely with specialists in different areas in order to understand what their problems really are, then working with other technical personnel to discover and build sound, cost-effective, reliable, usable, and exciting solutions. The deep understanding of a problem area's issues necessary for creating the right solutions is not easily outsourced. The United States is experiencing a significant shortage of people with the social and computing skills to understand the real problem and then to work with a group to create the right solution. We believe we provide our students a rich educational experience at all academic levels in superbly equipped facilities. Our majors benefit from our commitment to research and education in fundamental computer science and exciting new areas such as digital libraries, distance learning systems, mobile networks, and security as well as from our emphasis on the practical skills most valued by industry.

Come join us in this exciting, stimulating, and rewarding field.