Top Computer Science Universities in USA

by Lauren Miller, 2010

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The top computer science universities in the United States are responsible for some of the most important technological innovations in modern history. From inventing operating systems to global nonprofit initiatives serving the poor, the most prestigious computer science programs in the country serve as incubators for the birth of leading technology businesses.

Carnegie Mellon University

The School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is world-renowned for research and innovation and is the number one school on the "U.S. News & World Report" 2010 list of top computer science graduate schools. CMU's Mach Project was a leader in computer operating system inventions including Mac OS X. Undergraduates and graduates have the opportunity to study at the school's international campuses in Qatar, Australia and Portugal. Budding software engineers can apply for its industry-specific program based in Silicon Valley. Faculty awards include the Nobel Prize, Guggenheim Fellowships and MacArthur Fellows. The school is a pioneer in encouraging women to enter the field with its Women in Computer Science initiative.

Undergraduates earn a Bachelor of Science and can concentrate in three areas: computer science, computational biology or computer science and arts. Master's degrees are offered in 14 areas including a joint degree with Carnegie Mellon's business school. Doctoral students have 20 areas of study to choose from including a joint Ph.D.-M.D. option.

Carnegie Mellon University
School of Computer Science
Pittsburgh, PA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the oldest programs in the country. It has its roots in an electrical engineering program founded in 1882. More than 20 percent of the school's students study in the department. It is ranked second on the 2010 "U.S. News & World Report" list of top computer science programs.

Students can earn degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level and have access to the university's numerous research laboratories and centers. MIT's state-of-the-art media lab is a world leader in computer and human interaction. Its initiatives include the One Laptop per Child, a project that brings computers to children around the world.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Stanford University

Stanford University's Department of Computer Science is the third-ranked school on the "U.S. News & World Report" 2010 list of top computer science graduate schools. The northern California school is known for its research in artificial intelligence and robotics. The department grants bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees.

Undergraduates can participate in summer research projects with faculty members serving as mentors. They can also gain teaching experience by participating as section leaders in introductory computer science classes, a role usually reserved for graduate students at other universities. Numerous high-profile technology companies are the brainchild of Stanford graduates including Google, Yahoo! and Cisco Systems.

Stanford University
Department of Computer Science
Serra Mall Stanford, CA

F. Answer the following questions using information from the text:

1. The top computer science universities in the United States are called incubators – why?

2. For what innovations and initiatives are they responsible?

3. How are universities ranked on the "U.S. News & World Report" 2010 list of top computer science graduate schools?

4. What is CMU?

5. What international campuses does CMU have?

6. What is MIT?

7. Where is the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University?

8. Where is the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (at MIT)?

9. Where is Stanford University's Department of Computer Science?

10. What important projects are mentioned in the text?

11. What honorable awards are mentioned in the text?

G. Characterize each of the universities answering the following questions (fill in a table):

1. What degrees can students get there?

2. What are the main fields of research at this institution?

3. What are the main contributions/achievements of the university?

4. What is specific about it?

H. Imagine that you have got acquainted with a foreign student or a computer expert from abroad.

What would you tell him/her about Yaroslavl University’s Department of Computer Science (its location, specialties and degrees students can get, subjects you study, computer facilities you can use, achievements of the Department, its specifics).

I. Computer science specialists should always refresh their knowledge. One of the ways to do that is to read professional journals. Read information about The Computer Journal.

The Computer Journal is one of the longest-established journals serving all branches of the academic computer science community. It is currently published in three sections:

Section A: Computer Science, Methods and Tools publishes high quality research papers, review articles and special issues in all computer science topics other than those covered in Section B. Topics for inclusion in Section A may include areas such as theory, algorithms, software engineering, data structures, and complexity.
Section B: Networks and Computer Systems focuses on the latest ideas and research in computer systems and networks. This section is for researchers involved in the latest developments in topics such as architectures, mobile and wireless computing, network protocols, security, reliability and performance optimisation. In addition to research papers, this section will also publish commissioned reviews and special issues.

Section C: Computational Intelligence builds on artificial intelligence, robotics and machine intelligence to develop smart methods and tools that solve challenging problems in areas such as data mining, image processing, knowledge-based systems and the semantic web.

A fourth section, to be launched in 2011, is:
Section D: Security in Computer Systems and Networks

The Editors of the Journal welcome ideas for reviews and special issues for any section.

J. What section of this journal would you choose to read? What topic? Explain your choice.

K. You can go to to read information about this journal. Some of the numbers may be read free online.

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