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Computer Science

450 Computer Science Building
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue

Chair: Shree K. Nayar (450 Computer Science Building, 212-939-7004)
Vice Chair: Vishal Misra (512 Computer Science Building, 212-939-7061)
Associate Chair for Undergraduate Education: Adam Cannon (459 Computer Science Building, 212-939-7016)

Professors: Alfred V. Aho, Peter K. Allen, Peter Belhumeur, Steven M. Bellovin, Steven K. Feiner, Jonathan L. Gross, Julia Hirschberg, Gail E. Kaiser, John R. Kender, Kathleen R. McKeown, Shree K. Nayar, Kenneth A. Ross, Henning G. Schulzrinne, Salvatore J. Stolfo, Joseph F. Traub, Henryk Wozniakowski, Mihalis Yannakakis, Yechiam Yemini
Associate Professors: Luca Carloni, Stephen A. Edwards, Luis Gravano, Tony Jebara, Angelos D. Keromytis, Vishal Misra, Jason Nieh, Steven M. Nowick, Ravi Ramamoorthi, Daniel Rubenstein, Rocco Servedio
Assistant Professors: Eitan Grinspun, Martha Kim, Tal Malkin, Itsik Pe’er, Simha Sethumadhavan, Junfeng Yang
Lecturer: Adam Cannon
Adjunct Faculty: Alexandros Biliris, German Creamer, Donald Ferguson, John Ioannidis, Pamana Isukapalli, Claire Monteleoni, Alexander Pasik, Michael Schneider, Herbert Thompson, Dragomir Radev, Mayank Sharma, Gitanjali Swamy
Barnard Major Advisors: Kathleen R. McKeown

Computer Science Program

Computer Science is the study of how to communicate and transform information. Developments in the field over the past few decades have profoundly changed society, and this effect is likely to accelerate in the future. Information processing techniques are being applied increasingly in the fields of medicine, business, law, science, and finance. The goal of the theoretical side of computer science is to characterize the inherent complexity of computations, including the issue of what problems are solvable. The goal of the applied side of the field is to design cost-effective computer systems that are easy and pleasant to use, including the possibility of "intelligent" systems that mimic some aspects of human behavior.


The bachelor of arts degree in Computer Science encourages students to obtain broad exposure to the arts, humanities, and social sciences while at the same time providing them with the appropriate Computer Science background necessary for graduate study or a professional career. Computers have an impact on nearly all areas of human endeavor, so the department also offers several courses intended for students who do not plan a Computer Science major or concentration.

Program Overview

The Computer Science major offers maximum flexibility by providing students with a range of options for specializing their degree program. Students study a common core of fundamental topics, supplemented by a track that identifies specific areas for deeper study.

The foundations track prepares students for advanced work in fundamental theoretical and mathematical aspects of computing, including analysis of algorithms, scientific computing, and security. The systems track prepares students for immediate employment in the computer industry as well as advanced study in such areas as software engineering, operating systems, computer-aided digital design, computer architecture, programming languages, and user interfaces. The artificial intelligence track provides specialization for the student interested in natural language processing and systems capable of exhibiting "human-like" intelligence. The applications track is for students interested in the implementation of interactive multimedia content for the Internet and wireless applications. The vision of graphics track exposes students to computer vision, graphics, human-computer interaction and robotics. A combination track is available to students who wish to pursue an interdisciplinary course of study combining computer science and another field in arts, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, or social sciences. A student planning a combination track should be aware that one additional course is required to complete this option.