For undergraduate students:
1. Why Take Computer Science at Lakehead?
- Faculty are readily available for student consultation.
- We follow a rigorous curriculum regularly brought up-to-date. For instance we have been teaching and using Java and C/C++ as our main programming languages of instruction for the last decade and we have added a new mobile computing course to second year requirements.
- Several of our LU graduates have elected to continue their Masters studies here at Lakehead.
- Several of our students have elected to continue their graduate studies at larger Universities such as Waterloo, University of Western Ontario, Queens and York.
- A professional experience component is available through Co-op allowing a student to work full time in a job related to Computer Science for up to sixteen months, or on 4-month work terms between academic terms. We have over twenty five years experience in Co-op student placement and our undergraduate students are of high demand by notable Computer companies like IBM and RIM as well as local industries (e.g. Tbaytel).
- We encourage excellence in teaching and research. Many projects and research papers are integrated into our undergraduate courses. In particular, our Project course provides students with team-work experience in producing a large scale programming application. Courses on advanced topics (such as Artificial Intelligence, Computer Graphics, Object-Oriented Design and Methodologies, Internet Security, Networking and Programming Languages), are often directly linked to our faculty's research areas.
- Students are not only required to design and write programs, but some courses require them to write position papers and give presentations and to participate in seminars (e.g. CS4478, CS4411).
- We have a full-time faculty member whose main objective is to mentor our first and second year students programming skills, as well as being available for further consultation.
- Our computing labs have modern hardware and software and are updated on a continuing basis.
- We have most years over the last decade run a local site for the annual ACM North Central North America Regional Programming Contest Sponsored by IBM. This gives our students the opportunity to compete with other teams in the region. In 2007, our top team placed 13th out of 96 competing teams.
- Students may get an opportunity to work as Teaching Assistants, helping junior students in the labs as well as marking assignments.
- Students can tailor their studies to an area of interest: business related or from a wide selection of scientific applications as covered in our Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies.
- We build skills gradually based on courses that start from the first year.
2. What if I don't have any computing experience?
That's not a big problem because the first year course, CS1411, is an introduction to Computer Science intended for students without programming experience. If you've never used a computer before, you can still succeed in the course.
3. Do students on Co-op earn a salary?
Yes, they work under an agreement with their co-op employer who determines the salary. This provides an ideal way to gain important work experience and help finance their education.
4. Do certain personality types excel over others, in the Computer Science program?
If you're thinking of the pocket-protector type, think again! What you need to succeed in Computer Science is imagination, intelligence (not genius), creativity, persistence and, above all, the desire. People from all walks of life study Computer Science for varied reasons, but many are propelled by the simple quest for knowledge; to know how these mysterious machines work their magic and to find ways of making them more fun, easier to use and faster. Sweatshirts and jeans are the rule; pocket-protectors the exception.
5. How many students are in each class?
Typically, a first year CS course has 30 to 60 students registered for lectures and those students have lab sessions with a teaching assistant (TA) present to answer questions and assist with problems.
6. Is help available if I'm experiencing difficulties?
Tutoring is available through our Student Success Centre. Additional types of assistance are available for students with special needs, from specialized computers and technical aids to note-taking services. You can obtain more information about these services from the Student Success Centre.
7. Can I get a professional designation after I graduate from CS Lakehead?
A Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) professional designation path is available for Computer Science graduates. See http://www.cips.ca/applications for details.