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Whitman college for computer science

sriramasrirama 10 replies3 threads New Member
Whitman has recently introduced 4 year computer science major. We have not visited Walla Walla. All our information is based from the website and reading information about Whitman on college confidential.
My Daughter is interested in computer science program and we found Whitman as part of this research. Reason why we picked this is (a) Personal attention my daughter would get at this college (b) smaller classes (c) Interact with professors who are friendly and helpful. (d) Less selective compared to other colleges that we looked but still good (Harvey Mudd, Reed, Rose Hulman )
Some of the questions I have are
1. What is the difference getting a computer science degree from a liberal arts college vs a engineering school ?
2. Since Whitman's program is fairly new (I think they have introduced the major is 2016 or 2017) would there be any disadvantage in terms of job prospects or how potential employers would view it (in terms of getting internships or co-op or job).
3. At this point of time, my daugther is interested in getting a good education with strong fundamentals so she can apply and perform well at job. She has no plans of graduate study.
4. We really like Whitman but concerned that if we are missing something especially since we have not visited it. My daughter studies in India

Thanks for your time

6 replies
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Replies to: Whitman college for computer science

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78591 replies695 threads Senior Member
    Whitman's upper level CS offerings appear to be limited, and some of them are not offered every year:

    https://www.whitman.edu/Documents/Offices/Registrar/Catalog/Computer Science.pdf

    For example, common upper level CS courses like networks, databases, compilers, and graphics are not present in the catalog listing.
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  • simba9simba9 3265 replies20 threads Senior Member
    The offerings do seem a little sparse, but there's still enough to get a good job. It almost looks like it's geared toward the hotter, more modern aspects of CS such as machine learning.. I'm not sure classes like networks or compilers are really all that important anymore.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78591 replies695 threads Senior Member
    Many computer programs communicate over networks and store things in databases. These topics may not be the hot new things, but it is helpful to have an understanding of them in many areas of software work.

    Meanwhile, artificial intelligence and machine learning are very commonly offered in CS departments, so it is not like Whitman's CS department is anything special or unique because it offers them.
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  • simba9simba9 3265 replies20 threads Senior Member
    What most programmers need to know about networks these days can be learned in a 45 minute lecture. Databases can be good to know about, but it's better to learn the practical aspects of databases through something like a SQL class than a database theory class. Compilers - almost no need to know compiler theory to be software engineer. Graphics is always good to know about.

    If you need to, you can learn almost anything related to CS on your own or on the job as long as you have some basic CS knowledge as a starting point, I became a graphics specialist because my first job was writing 3D software for flight simulators, and I ended up in a graphics niche throughout my career. I never took a graphics class in college.
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  • HapworthHapworth 525 replies0 threads Member
    I cannot add to the CS discussion, but Whitman is a fantastic school. Honestly, maybe you should decide what's more important: Whitman or CS. In other words, if your daughter is in love with Whitman and is impressed with what it has to offer, then this should be the driving factor; the fact that she can major in CS (despite its newness) is gravy. If, however, your daughter is primarily interested in CS and Whitman's overall rep and culture is not that crucial, perhaps she should look elsewhere? I hope this makes sense. Whitman is a fine, fine school. One of my faves.
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  • PacNWparentPacNWparent 236 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Regarding your first question, one distinction would be that the Computer Science degree will be a Bachelor of Arts, whereas other universities may offer a Bachelor of Science.
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