The University of Tennessee at Martin recently approved two new concentration areas for the Department of Computer Science. These changes will allow students majoring in computer science to focus on either data science or digital hardware and embedded systems beginning with the fall 2019 semester. These additions are designed to help fill growing student demand and industry needs in the field.
“These are areas where we’ve been seeing increased interest in recent years,” said Dr. Joshua Guerin, associate professor and department chair. “Data science is a rapidly growing field combining computer science, mathematics and statistics to gain insight from various forms of information. Likewise, many new computing platforms come in the form of embedded or ‘internet of things’-style devices. Many students who come to our program want to develop software for platforms that require hardware that interfaces with the world around us.”
The expansion into these new areas of computing marks a transition for the department from having a singular focus on the field of computer science to one that includes specialized coursework in mathematics, engineering and other disciplines.
“The computing landscape has been moving forward rapidly in recent decades, and many emerging fields are materializing to meet the demands of an interdisciplinary world. Computer science and computer technologies are a part of virtually every modern field and area of academic study,” said Guerin. “We are seeing an increased need in the field for students who have a solid background in computer science but have additional knowledge and expertise in another field in the arts, humanities or sciences.”
Dr. Shadow Robinson, dean of the UT Martin College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, in which the Department of Computer Science is housed, said these additions will expand career options for students and better equip them to handle the digital landscape of the future.
“Thanks to the growth in the number of connected, or ‘smart,’ devices, we now double the amount of information that exists every year or two. The ability to navigate this explosive growth in both data and devices will be critical in the modern digital workforce. These concentrations prepare our graduates to be leaders in that space,” he said.
The Department of Computer Science has seen an increase in the number of program applicants and graduates in recent years and expects these increases to continue with the construction of the university’s new Latimer Engineering and Science Building, projected for completion in 2021, and a proposed Innovation and Product Realization Facility for commercial and corporate workspace.
This announcement comes shortly after Core10, a fintech software development company based in Nashville, opened a location in downtown Martin to take advantage of graduates from the UT Martin program.
The UT Martin bachelor’s degree program in computer science is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. For more information about ABET accreditation, visit abet.org.
For more information on the UT Martin Department of Computer Science, contact the department at 731-881-7391.