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Computer Science at Olin

cognizancecognizance 48 replies5 threads Junior Member
edited August 2018 in Olin College
I see that there is no Computer Science major at Olin. Only option is ECE which is not the same as CS. Is my interpretation correct ? Are there plans to introduce CS curriculum at Olin in near future ?

Also, is ECE at olin comparable in curriculum to EECS at MIT? MIT offers various flavors in EECS, (like 7 courses along with possibility of double major in math or management), and they also have Math dept. offering the CS curriculum, so that makes it two differing paths.

I am also curious if ECE at Olin is similar to ECE at CMU. (Sorry for mixing all these, but we need to be certain before spending efforts on application process or visits).
edited August 2018
4 replies
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Replies to: Computer Science at Olin

  • MuggleMomMuggleMom 550 replies9 threads Member
    You have quite a bit of work ahead of you to compare all those programs.

    Hopefully this will get you started.

    Olin has 3 degree offerings: Mech E, ECE, and Engineering. All are ABET acredited.

    For the Engineering Degree at Olin, students design a concentration in an area they are interested in. Some are predesigned, some are student designed. The Computing Concentration is the closest you'll come to a comp sci degree. This is directly from the school website --> The Computing concentration integrates the study of computer science and software engineering within a broad interdisciplinary context. The E:C concentration offers significant flexibility, particularly with courses taken off-campus.

    This link goes to an explanation for the Engineering Major:
    http://olin.smartcatalogiq.com/en/2017-18/Catalog/Programs-of-Study-and-Degree-Requirements/Academic-Programs/Engineering

    This link shows the requirements for the ECE major. It should help you compare the program to the other schools that you are considering.
    http://olin.smartcatalogiq.com/2017-18/Catalog/Programs-of-Study-and-Degree-Requirements/Academic-Programs/Electrical-and-Computer-Engineering-ECE

    There is tons of info available on the website. Take some time and stroll through it to see if you can find what you're looking for. Olin is a small school (<350 students total), there is no way that they can offer the same options at the schools you are looking for. There just isn't the students to support it. Their claim to fame is user driven collaborative project oriented design. I would seriously recommend an overnight visit, or attend some classes and talk to some professors to see if its what you're looking for. Its certainly not for everyone, but for those who 'get it', its an amazing place with incredible opportunities.

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  • cognizancecognizance 48 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thank you. Your response is well thought and provides an excellent entry point for further exploration.
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  • cognizancecognizance 48 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I have a follow up, why don't they have a usual CS course offered at almost every other university? I guess CS is the most popular major there is, and they already have a computing course, though little bit awkward way of going about it. I may be missing something here, though I believe Harvey Mudd also approaches similarly in education.

    I mean, a degree in generic engineering with a concentration/specialization in computing does not jive with me, but may be I am inexperienced. I think I saw something like this at Dartmouth as well - where they have an engineering school but just a general degree in engineering or engineering sciences. In contrast, Princeton,Columbia and Penn, even though liberal arts colleges, provide some technical degree in CS.

    My worry is that job market / resume screeners look for a specific CS degree as requirement. I don't know if Olin (or others) provide the means to explicitly state or fulfill that requirement positively.

    Again, we are new to this model so I apologize if I don't understand Harvey Mudd or Olin or Dartmouth way of teaching completely. I guess Dartmouth does not fit here either, being an LA college.
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  • MuggleMomMuggleMom 550 replies9 threads Member
    @cognizance
    I'm sure other parents can chime in here.

    Olin is an "experiment in engineering education". They don't claim to be anything else. My impression is that they aren't trying to compete with those other schools you listed, but fill a need that they feel isn't being met.

    If Olin doesn't have what you are looking for, it simply comes off your list.

    Regarding students from Olin, as far as I can tell from my own students, they seem to be doing well in the job market. Google, Microsoft, and AetnaHealth are the 3 employers that hired the most graduates. Here is the results off their web page --> http://www.olin.edu/collaborate/careers-graduate-studies/results/
    Make sure to check out the individual graduation years as well (links on that page)

    All of your questions are valid points and are good points of discussion. I just don't know if you're going to get any concrete answers.

    Best of luck to you.
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