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We join the entire CSU community in welcoming our students and colleagues back to campus. It is a delight to engage face to face again.

The evolving pandemic presents both challenges and opportunities. Our primary focus is ensuring high-quality in-person, hybrid, and remote education. As a discipline, computer science is amenable to online delivery, and I am pleased to tell you that our 40 years of distance education experience and investment in online programs is serving us well. We are not only surviving – we are thriving.

The department is breaking records and achieving university, national, and global recognition. This year enrollment in our new online bachelor’s program jumped 281%. The number of women in our major has increased 92% since 2018, supported by our Northeastern University Center for Inclusive Computing best practices grant. We are ranked one of the best colleges in the nation for 10-year ROI. And this fall we reached a milestone – our highest enrollment ever – 1115 students.

Computer science is ubiquitous, and we are striving to meet the demand for computing skills in a broad range of domains. In addition to the concentration areas in our major, we now offer minors in bioinformatics and machine learning to serve the needs of students in other disciplines. Department interdisciplinary research is rapidly growing with collaborations in psychology, biology, education, and more. Our junior faculty are flourishing, and we launched the Computer Science Scholars Program to expand those opportunities. This 3-year program offers prospective academic faculty training, mentoring, skill development, and practical teaching and research experience. We are excited to welcome inaugural scholars Amani Altarawneh and Marcia Moraes.

Our success in the face of unprecedented challenges is rooted in our dedicated faculty, staff, and students. I am proud to lead this department and share our achievements with you in this newsletter. We appreciate your support and are grateful to be part of the extraordinary CSU Ramily.

Craig Partridge
Department Chair


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In 2020 the Department of Computer Science launched its new bachelor’s degree both on campus and through CSU Online. Students can pursue the innovative program, the first of its kind in Colorado, in-person or fully online and receive the same degree. The wildly popular new major is seeing explosive growth.


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Darrell Whitley recognized with IEEE Pioneer Award

Darrell Whitley, current professor and former chair of the Department of Computer Science, has received the Pioneer Award in Evolutionary Computation from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 2019, he was also named a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).

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Indrakshi Ray named Professor Laureate by CSU College of Natural Sciences

Professor Indrakshi Ray has received the highest honor the College of Natural Sciences bestows on faculty – Professor Laureate – for her outstanding contribution to research, teaching, mentoring and outreach. Indrakshi researches computer, network, and information security and is the director of the Cybersecurity Center. Watch her Professor Laureate talk on heavy vehicle cybersecurity.

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CSU ranks top ten at national CyberSEED competition

Crack passwords, decipher hidden messages, and find hackers before they find you. In an 8-hour virtual capture the flag event, a CSU interdisciplinary student team crushed these challenges and bested competitors like Georgia Tech and the University of Florida in a test of practical cybersecurity skill.

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Tom Heidenfelder (B.S., ’74) honored as CSU Distinguished Alumnus

First-generation student Tom Heidenfelder is one of the first to receive a BS in computer science at CSU. Since then, he has spent decades in the computing industry, served on the computer science department’s Industrial Advisory Board, and established the Thomas J. Heidenfelder Scholarship, helping dozens of talented computer science students fund their education.

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Joe Gersch receives CNS Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award

Professor Joe Gersch has developed engaging, interactive courses on cybersecurity and blockchain, advised the Hashdump Security Club, coached successful hackathon teams, supported department diversity efforts, and mentored students. His research explores systems security and advanced networking, and next on his list is quantum computing because he’s interested in cryptography.

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CSU online computer science bachelor’s degree ranked No. 2 nationwide

The computer science department launched its new bachelor’s degree both on campus and through CSU Online in 2020. Students are flocking to the popular online major for its flexibility, community, and academic rigor. Computer science degrees across the country have a high return on investment, and the CSU program’s 10-year ROI is stunning.

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ACM recognizes Sudeep Pasricha for helping “propel the digital age”

Sudeep Pasricha, joint professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Systems Engineering, has been named an ACM Distinguished Member for his outstanding scientific contributions to the field of computing. Sudeep leads research on core technologies that enable our hyper-connected world, from self-driving cars to smart cities.

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Ram Legacy – Wim Böhm

Anton Pedro Willem Böhm, known to his colleagues and friends as “Wim,” stepped onto the Colorado State University campus in the spring of 1990 as a new professor in the Department of Computer Science. In the 30 years that followed, Böhm made an immediate and lasting impression.

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CSU AI/ML program ranked among nation’s best for value

As more technology professionals make the career move into artificial intelligence and machine learning, colleges and universities are developing bachelor’s degrees in these specializations. Value Colleges has ranked CSU’s AI/ML program among the nation’s best, providing a high return on a graduate’s investment of time, work, and money.

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Department introduces two new minors

Computing skills are in high demand and can distinguish CSU graduates in any field, from biology and political science to the arts. We’re working to meet this growing need in a broad range of domains. In addition to our computer science minor, we now offer new minors in bioinformatics and machine learning to serve the needs of students in other disciplines.


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Amani Altarawneh

Amani joins the department as a new Computer Science Scholar. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her research interests include cybersecurity, blockchain, IoT and smart cities, and parallel and distributed systems. Amani has worked on projects that produced innovative techniques to evaluate security for blockchain systems and IoT and smart cities applications.

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Marcia Moraes

We welcome Marcia as a new Computer Science Scholar. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow in the CSU School of Education and an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul. Marcia’s research interests are in learning analytics, technology enhanced teaching and learning, computer science education, and distance learning. She is particularly interested in developing innovative applications and methods that improve learning and teaching.

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Megan Brice

This fall we welcomed Megan as our new graduate advisor. She will be helping our current graduate students stay on track to graduate. Megan earned her B.S. in human services from the University of Northern Colorado and M.S. in community mental health counseling from the University of Wyoming. She was previously a therapist in Denver doing career counseling, dating/relationship coaching, and traditional therapy for common mental health concerns.

As we work together to explore, invent, and achieve at the lightening-fast pace our field requires, we encourage you to stay connected with the Department of Computer Science. Thank you and enjoy!

Send your Computer Science news, events, and story ideas to lisa.knebl@colostate.edu