Growing computer science department hires more faculty


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The computer science,

The university hired three new computer science professors for the academic year in response to high enrollment within the department.

Shion Guha, Thomas Schwarz and Satish Puri began teaching this fall. The three teach introduction to computer science, introduction computer programming and data structures for engineers, respectively. 

Despoina Perouli, a second-year assistant professor in the department of mathematics, statistics and computer science, emphasized the strength of the department.

“Enrollments are increasing,” Perouli said. “The department is doing great and definitely expanding.”

Guha, a first-year professor, came to Marquette after teaching at Cornell University for the past few years. He said that the department’s different approach compared to other universities attracted him.

“This department is really unique because it’s a math, stats and computer science department,” Guha said. “You have a lot of different values and cultures here. If I was in a purely Computer Science Department, those values and cultures would be much more homogeneous than here.”

Computer science is a popular choice for students at Marquette because it has a promising job market.

“Students nowadays are looking at return on investment,” Guha said. “When one comes to a private school like Marquette, where tuition fees are reasonably higher than in-state tuition at a state school, one wants something out of it. One reason why computer science has become very popular here is because of the good jobs.”

Schwarz said the major is a good choice in an economy that is turning toward more technology.

“Once you have automatized taxis, buses and manufacturing, suddenly lots of jobs can be done better by machines,” Schwarz said. “The protection is to go to more highly technical skills.”

Schwarz said that the future of computer science at Marquette will rely on keeping up with new trends that apply computer science to different fields.

“(Computer science) is going to be bigger, more diverse and much more difficult to place,” Schwarz said. “The old areas of computer science such as theoretical computer science, algorithms and databases will retain their importance, but their relative importance will shrink because there are so many new things that need to be done.

Schwarz explained that old areas of computer science such as theoretical computer science, algorithms and databases will still be relevant, but new topics like bioinformatics, the analysis of biological information using computers, will be explored as well.

“We are looking into bioinformatics, which will become central to most medical research,” Schwarz said. “Artificial intelligence is also going through a rebirth.”

Matthew Vue, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in computer science, is glad there will be more faculty in the growing department.

“It seems like a lot more people are getting into computer science,” Vue said. “It’ll also be a lower student-teacher ratio, which will help me learn better.”