Computer science grows at Troy U

Published 10:24 am Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Troy University is now recognizing one of the school’s more popular academic programs as a department of its own.

The Department of Computer Science will function under the College of Arts and Sciences and will be allowed to grow as a separate entity. That means the department will receive greater resources, said Dr. Jim Rinehart, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The computer science program had been a unit of the mathematics department since the 70s, but the growth of the program warranted the creation of a separate department, Rinehart said.

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The department will add two full-time faculty members, bringing the total to 12. The department also employs 10-12 adjunct faculty members each term. Dr. Bill Zhong, who joined the faculty in 2005 has been named the department chair.

“One of the benefits is that students will get more personal attention,” Dr. Zhong said. “I believe we can take better care of our students under this structure.”

The computer science curriculum will be revised to reflect current trends in the profession and will collaborate with the Department of Criminal Justice to offer a new academic minor in cyber security.

Zhong said he also hopes to strengthen the student internship program to grow closer ties to the industry. This summer, one student will be interning in New York City and another will be going to Virginia to work for a government agency, Zhong said.

“Now computer science will be able to build stronger relationships with outside stakeholders, primarily companies in the industry, such as software manufacturers and developers,” Dr. Rinehart said.