BC Should Devote Additional Resources to Computer Science

Boston College has seen its technology culture grow in recent years. The number of undergraduate computer science majors has grown from 57 in 2007 to 268 in 2016, an increase of 370 percent, the largest of any undergraduate discipline.

As another sign of the rising interest in coding, the BC Computer Science Society (BCCSS) is hosting its first Hack the Heights hackathon on April 21 and 22. Between 50 to 100 students are expected to participate, according to the BCCSS. The competition will highlight the developing department and showcase the talents of computer science students in creating useful and innovative apps, devices, and programs.

The steadily increasing number of students studying computer science and the organization of events such as Hack the Heights is evidence of the expanding interest in this department at BC. Despite these developments, however, computer science remains understaffed for the number of students in the department. As of 2016-17, computer science has nine full-time faculty, a drop from 10 in the previous academic year.

To keep up with continuously growing student interest in the field, the University should look to devote more attention and resources to its computer science department. The recent hiring of Lewis Tseng as a tenure-track faculty member is a step in the right direction.

Recently, T.J. Mei, CSOM ’20, received administrative approval to start the BC E-Sports Club, which seeks to bring together students that share an interest in playing video games competitively, a booming national trend. It is commendable that BC is choosing to fund the technological interests of its students in this way. The University should seek to replicate this support by allocating additional resources to the computer science department to ensure that it can meet student demand for courses.

Computer science students at BC have created a number of innovative and useful apps that benefit the University community, including EagleScribe and EagleEats. These creations demonstrate the potential of BC students interested in technological fields and coding to succeed in the future.

The University’s proximity to Boston has lead the city to play an important role in its development and culture throughout its history. The growing prevalence of the technology industry in the city should be no exception to this relationship, and therefore BC should acknowledge the amassing interest among students in technological fields by adequately supporting pertinent academic programs and student clubs.

 

As the University seeks to develop its own technological resources, as it has done with an ongoing remodeling of the website and new projects like bcservices.bc.edu, it should also focus on broadening the opportunities available to students to pursue technological fields of study and careers.

Featured Image by Meg Dolan / Heights Editor

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