Need info : Anyone know about computer science at Emory

I wanted to know about thier CS program
Heard the department is split from math

Anyone pursuing or know about math/cs or Computer science program there

From the documents on the split, my take was that it was expected to lead to enhanced faculty recruitment (because incoming faculty candidates would be more comfortable with an autonomous department) and looks like they are on a hiring spree as kind of described here:

They are changing the curriculum/requirements some to match more independent departments (so not those connect with a math or housed in an engineering department. Addition of machine learning looks like an overlap or effort to compete with QTM though as they offer many classes on “statistical learning”):

They also retained (or just made) a 4+1 program so the amount of resources (faculty or otherwise) clearly aren’t bad. I think this may be because of many interdisciplinary collaborations as well

Plus looks like Jinho is a beast (my friends who were CS majors said he gave really good projects, mentorship, and training. Now it looks like he attracts some really strong undergraduates who are capable of winning that competition.
Kind of interesting since CS is supposedly not a strong point of Emory. Maybe that is changing?):

Seems like the split will lead to changes for the better, but only newer cohorts (yours) will experience or feel any particularly benefits. Supposedly CS is bringing back its own hack-a-thon so that should be interesting. So Emory will have at least 2 hack-a-thons, datafest, and some other things that allow programmers of any sort to gain experience and maybe win prizes/do networking. So even the already solid “scene” is getting better.

There was also this (but it was under the advising of a math faculty. The team was all undergraduates I believe) very recently:

Usually mathematical modelling is computationally heavy and involves at least some program. Somehow Emory is attracting students good enough to participate, do extremely well at or even win these sorts of competitions. This all points to the idea that if you wanna major in CS or math or get involved in computation, and actually do things/gain experience, you are in good hands and have other motivated peers who are very interested in experiential learning. A lot of these types are self-trained, but the coursework and faculty mentoring must be working well enough to help them do well in these competitions.

There is also a computational modelling course hosted by physics and biology,

It is taught every spring I believe and is quite popular (and is a requirement for physics majors). It is project based. You can take a look at it:,_2018:_Computational_Modeling_For_Scientists_And_Engineers

Projects and modules teach techniques that help tackle a variety of problems in different fields. Such a course could be a good primer for those competitions above, as well as a good way to apply newly gained CS knowledge.

This really helps
Thank you
Looks like with all the effort they are putting in , it might be a good major to enroll in

Ok, so. I just had my first year at Emory and I saw this post and immediately had to say something. Emory’s computer science program is strong (I think), like the professors definitely know their stuff and all that. But the classes are literally impossible. It’s actual torture. I took the first level intro course just for fun and I was really enjoying it in the beginning but eventually that turned into being locked in my room for days in the dark trying to solve literally impossible problem sets that you cannot find help for anywhere (for some, I literally gave up after two days of searching because there was no hope). The grading is also quite strict with little partial credit and the class was so big that it’s hard to really get personal attention (most of the time, even at office hours, they’re booked. Or, I still felt like I was having trouble understanding after office hours). This isn’t to scare you away from comp sci at Emory. Just, if that’s really what you want to do (maybe it’s just not for me), be prepared for the first level classes. Don’t underestimate them. I did in the beginning. Make sure you stay up to date on everything and get help for everything. Good luck.

@jule009 : Did you take an unusually hard instructor or was that instructor the only one available (is this 170 or 171?)? I never heard of those classes being “impossible”. Most were known to have some challenge to them, but I think I would hear that some instructors actually may have been easier than desired/ideal. It is also possible that they are currently pulling an “econ” and intentionally making the intro and intermediate courses harder than they were in the past.

The problem with many college CS classes is that there is a very large difference in student previous experience and preparation levels and sometimes the instructor assumes too much in the way of background.

@bernie12 hey!! there were only two instructors and for both classes they said it was just as rough (and its for 170, although I don’t know much about 171). And yeah, I definitely think it’s possible the intro classes are really difficult so I wouldn’t be super worried, just careful ya know? Especially in the beginning classes. And it’s helpful to have already taken some sort of comp sci class which I had not.

@jule009 : I think my perspective and ears are biased perhaps because I heard from lots of folks who either had AP or had self-teaching prior to 170, so that may be one thing. Another option is that they straight up changed. I wouldn’t know. I did hear and see before leaving Atlanta that some of the sections shifted to the “flipped” format (they take place in the chemistry roundtable room), so obviously some changes were afoot at the undergrad level even before they officially split from math. I always heard of upper division instructors being kind of tough, but at that point it is more relevant because they give more control over the project(s) you design or choose to pursue and it is much more personalized (like you could get mentoring from the prof. through a project and such in some classes apparently).

On the Alexa prize:

Be on the look out for instructors who encourage students to do these types of experiential opportunities (damn, Emory has been doing really well here lately. A math instructor just had a group of students finish among the top groups in an international modelling competition: ). Even being selected as final participants in these is resume worthy (and great for your skill and intellectual development, plus you have a product that you can claim. THESE are what make you competitive, not taking CS courses at the right institution. Plus Emory, with the new QTM institute and all also offers opps to get you an opportunity to get experience using computational techniques towards data intensive problems. There are lots of opportunities that may originate simply from taking a course with the right instructor :wink: and asking the right questions (being academically perfect not required. Interest or passion probably required)

Either way, do what you can to “power up” your experience.