Overview of CS Courses

Curriculum diagram and index key

The following diagram summarizes the structure of St. Olaf’s course offerings in CS, and also the requirements for a CS major. Each circled code represents a course: the key for these codes serves as an index for accessing course descriptions.

Key

 

CS1  CS 121, Principles of Computer Science [ brief | detailed ]
CS1+  CS 225, Accelerated Principles of Computer Science [ brief | detailed ]
MFC  CS 231, Mathematical Foundations of Computing [ brief | detailed ]
HD  CS 241, Hardware Design [ brief | detailed ]
SD  CS 251, Software Design and Implementation [ brief | detailed ]
ADS  CS 253, Algorithms and Data Structures [ brief | detailed ]
ESD  CS 263, Ethical Issues in Software Design [ brief | detailed ]
OS  CS 273, Operating Systems [ brief | detailed ]
PL  CS 276, Programming Languages [ brief | detailed ]
MCA  CS 284, Mobile Computing Applications [ brief | detailed ]
TOP  CS 300, Topics in Computer Science [ brief | detailed ]
PDC  CS 300, Topics: Parallel and Distributed Computing brief | detailed ]
BI  CS 315, Bioinformatics [ brief | detailed ]
TC  CS 333, Theory of Computation [ brief | detailed ]
LP  CS 336, Logic Programming [ brief | detailed ]
ATP  CS 350, Advanced Team Project [ brief | detailed ]
CAP  CS 390, Senior Capstone Seminar [ brief | detailed ]
IS201  IS 201, Power Computing in All Disciplines [ brief | detailed ]

Foundation courses — Introductory

  • Notes:
  • CS CS 121 – CS1Principles of Computer Science
    Brief description: Introduction to the discipline, focusing on recurring concepts that are relevant to all forms of computing, and developing good analytical thinking skills. Taught through daily “hands-on” exercises involving the Scheme programming language. [More...]
    Prerequisites: None
    Note: Satisfies [AQR].
  • CS CS 225 – CS1+Accelerated Principles of Computer Science
    Brief description: Accelerated version covering the material of both CS1 and SD, for persons with substantial prior programming experience in C++, Java, or a similar language. [More...]
    Prerequisites: Equivalent of high school Advanced Placement credit in Computer Science, or consent of instructor
    Note: Satisfies [AQR]; proposed for [WRI].

Foundation courses — Intermediate

  • CS CS 231 – MFCMathematical Foundations of Computing
    Brief description: Mathematical topics and skills development required for core and advanced courses in CS, building on the analytical abilities developed in CS1[More...]
    Prerequisites: CS1 or CS1+, or consent of instructor
  • CS CS 241 – HDHardware Design
    Brief description: Exploration of the internal design of computer hardware, including circuit design at the “digital logic” level, CPU design, comparison of Pentium and other CPUs, assembly language, and machine-level implementation of popular high-level programming languages.[More...]
    Prerequisites: CS1 or CS1+, or consent of instructor
  • CS CS 251 – SDSoftware Design and Implementation
    Brief description: A study of software design practices that also develops solid programming skills in C++ language (introduced in this course). Includes substantial daily homework; weekly lab meetings; and a structured team project using typical software development methodology.[More...]
    Prerequisites: CS1, or consent of instructor
    Note: Proposed for [WRI].

Core courses

  • CS CS 253 – ADSAlgorithms and Data Structures
    Brief description: Standard algorithms and strategies for organizing data, as used in general software development. [More...]
    Prerequisites: SD, or consent of instructor
  • CS CS 263 – ESDEthical Issues in Software Design
    Brief description: Ethical and social considerations inherent in computing systems, focusing on actual extended case studies and practical models for ethical analysis. Builds on an “insider’s” understanding of how software is developed (from SD). [More...]
    Prerequisites: SD, or consent of instructor
    Note: Proposed for [EIN] and [ORC]
  • CS CS 273 – OSOperating Systems
    Brief description: Design of computer operating systems, including process management, file systems, input/output, and memory management. Examines the Linux operating system in detail, including source code, as well as design of Windows; projects include modifications of the Linux kernel. [More...]
    Prerequisites: SD and HD, or consent of instructor
  • CS CS 276 – PLProgramming Languages
    Brief description: A study of typical features of computer programming languages, together with an ongoing project in which students build a programming language of their own that implements those features. [More...]
    Prerequisites: SD and HD, or consent of instructor
  • CS CS 284 – MCAMobile Computing Applications
    Brief description: Introduction to Java programming, SQL databases, and related technologies through hands-on experience creating Android apps. Includes a final team project. [More...]
    Prerequisites: SD, or consent of instructor
  • CS CS 333 – TCTheory of Computation
    Brief description: Examination of the theoretical foundations and limitations of computing, applicable to encryption and program design. Finite state automata, complexity, regular expressions, etc. [More...]
    Prerequisites: MFC, or consent of instructor
    Note: Counts as an elective in the Mathematics major.

Electives and advanced courses

  • CS CS 300 – TOPTopics in Computer Science
    Brief description: Seminar in various topics in CS, most recently in Parallel Computing Systems. [More...]
    Prerequisites: Depends on topic.
  • CS CS 300 – PDCTopics: Parallel and Distributed Computing 
    Brief description: Concepts, practical experience, and project with multicore, cluster, and map-reduce cloud computing. [More...]
    Prerequisites: SD.
  • CS CS 315 – BIBioinformatics
    Brief description: First offering of a team-taught interdisciplinary course in Bioinformatics; one of the profs is an expert from France. Offered in collaboration with Biology and with Biomedical Studies. See also Bioinformatics information page[More...]
    Prerequisites: CS1 and either SD or Biology 125, or consent of instructor. Different people will be bringing different training, interests, and abilities to this interdisciplinary course—we hope for a balance of CS and non-CS students.
    Note: This course also counts towards Biology Major, Mathematics Major (applied course), CS Major, CS Concentration, and Molecular Biology Concentration. (!)
  • CS CS 336 – LPLogic Programming
    Brief description: Exploring a type of programming that is heavily used in Artificial Intelligence. [More...]
    Prerequisites: ADS or PL, or consent of instructor
  • CS CS 350 – ATPAdvanced Team Project
    Brief description: Team projects, usually with an interdisciplinary emphasis. [More...]
    Prerequisites: One CS core course with implementation
  • CS CS 390 – CAPSenior Capstone Seminar
    Brief description: “Capstone” integrative experience, including an interdisciplinary team project. [More...]
    Prerequisites: Senior CS major
    Note: Satisfies [WRI].
  • CS IS 201 – IS201Power Computing in All Disciplines
    Brief description: Creating custom software to support the research and/or teaching of professors in non-CS “domains” (disciplines) of application, using the HiPerCiC software framework. See also IS201 information page[More...]
    Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Different people will be bringing different training, interests, and abilities to this interdisciplinary course, which includes CS students with SD and domain students having no prior experience with CS.
    Note: This course satisfies [WRI], and counts as an elective in the CS Major.