We are in the midst of exciting times for the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department. We have witnessed unprecedented growth, both in number and quality of students, faculty, and facilities.
One of the leading markers of success for a department is its ability to attract quality students and quality faculty. We are very happy to report that over the last few years we have been immensely successful in both those categories. CSE students have contributed heavily to increasing the average SAT scores of the incoming freshman class at SMU last year to the highest level ever. We also had a significant increase in graduate applications last year and CSE happens to have the highest Ph.D. student-to-faculty ratio in the university. Although the high productivity of CSE faculty in that regard is heartening, one of our strategic goals is to bring down that ratio, placing it in line with other top-tier departments in the country, all the while increasing Ph.D. productivity.
Our students have been excelling outside the classroom as well. A group of our undergraduate students and their graduate mentors came in second in the Southwest regional for the National Cyber Defense Competition. In September, another CSE student team won the first ever 20over20 Hackathon
competition in Dallas. Our co-op program has been the strongest ever in the last couple of years. Major industry partners including Microsoft, Raytheon, Deloitte, and Lockheed have been hiring our students through campus interviews and site interviews in record numbers. We have also seen an increase in the number of students who seek graduate education after their bachelor’s degree.
Our ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science programs in Computer Science and Computer Engineering will be going through the re-accreditation process next year. Various constituents including our alumni, industry and university colleagues, and current students have been helping us in this cause by keeping our program relevant through curricular evolution and outcome evaluation. CSE is one of the major contributors to the newly proposed M.S. program in Datacenter Systems Engineering. We collaborated with the Meadows School to launch Creative Computing
, a new, highly interdisciplinary major combining theory and methodology from computer science and engineering with aesthetic principles and creative practice from the arts.
CSE continues to grow strong in research. We recruited world-class research talent to our faculty in two strategic growth areas, Cyber Security and Data Sciences and Analytics. Every research faculty member in the department has externally-funded research projects. Our current sponsors include National Science Foundation (NSF), National Security Agency (NSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), Department of Defense (DoD), and various industry partners. In support of our research efforts, SMU administration has approved Cyber Security as one of the university-wide development focus areas, with a vision comprising an interdisciplinary Institute, multiple research centers, additional distinguished faculty positions, and other supporting resources. The CSE department will also be an integral part of the university-wide development effort on High Performance Computing, which has already received a $15 million gift.
We strive to excel in teaching, research and outreach. If the achievements in the past few years are true indicators, we are on the right path.
Suku Nair, Ph.D, P.E.
Professor and Chair
Department of Computer Science and Engineering