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University of Virginia Interdisciplinary Major in Computer Science

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Started in Spring 2006, the Interdisciplinary Major in Computer Science leading to a BA degree is one of three undergraduate degrees offered by the Computer Science department and the only computing degree for students in the College of Arts & Sciences.

The curriculum is designed to provide students entering the University without previous background in computing with the deep understanding of computing and critical thinking skills that will enable graduates to pursue careers in a wide variety of possible fields and to become ac   ad   em   ic   and   ind   ustrial   leaders.

BACS Blog

Wanted: Technical Women

Wanted: Technical Women

Joanne Cohoon, a professor in the Science, Technology and Society Department at UVa, wrote an essay on the need for more women in computing for US News & World Report: Wanted: Technical Women, US News and World Report, 3 January 2012.

Especially at a time when unemployment is high and our economy is weak, we cannot afford to lose anyone with the technical skills to create a sustainable future, improve health, build our cyber and physical infrastructure, and enhance personal and societal security.

A diverse set of minds needs to tackle those problems. But we are largely missing out on women’s intelligence, creativity, and values in solving the problems we all face.

Why is this so? [ Read More]

CRA Announcement

CRA Announcement

Here’s the CRA Announcement about Peter Chapman’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award:

Peter Chapman – Male Runner-Up

2012 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Runner-Up
Senior at University of Virginia

Peter Chapman is a Senior at the University of Virginia majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Science.

Computer security and privacy is a critical concern, especially when medical issues are involved. Peter developed a method for automatically searching web applications to find side-channel vulnerabilities in web applications. He applied new statistical tools to better describe these vulnerabilities. In the end, he determined that 88% of queries to Google Health could be recovered by an eavesdropping adversary.

Peter has also worked on secure computation, where parties collaborate on computing a function of two inputs without exposing the inputs to each other. He has proposed novel applications of secure computation in smartphones, and is working on an improved approach to mobile secure computation, relying on the network carrier to provide suitable streams of randomness.

You can read more about the side-channel analysis work at http://www.cs.virginia.edu/sca/ and about the mobile secure computation work at http://www.MightBeEvil.com/mobile.

The tech jobs hiring boom is real

The tech jobs hiring boom is real — for these skills, InfoWorld, 12 December 2012.

It’s not a myth. The technology industry is in the midst of a hiring surge stronger than any we’ve seen since the days of the dot-com boom. InfoWorld’s interviews with economists, technology executives, job seekers, and hiring board managers indicate that employment in the tech sector is up a solid 10 percent this year — by some bullish estimates, closer to 20 percent. And despite the tendency of the media to fixate on California’s Silicon Valley, the hottest job markets are in places like New York and Washington, D.C., where firms in financial services and the federal government hire droves of IT hands.

The Future of Computing

The Future of Computing

The New York Times has a special Science Times issue on The Future of Computing. It includes lots of interesting articles including Sebastian Thrun on self-driving cars, Daphne Koller on personalized education, Scott Aaronson on quantum computing, and David Patterson on curing cancer. There’s also an interactive timeline that highlights important past events in computing and gives you a chance to influence predictions about future events.

Who is the real Mark Zuckerberg?

Who is the real Mark Zuckerberg?

Who is the real Mark Zuckerberg?, BBC News, 3 December 2011.

At Harvard, alongside computer science, Zuckerberg also studied psychology. He says Facebook springs from both disciplines: “Those two things together really represent the DNA of Facebook… There are a lot of great technology companies and there are people who think about social issues, but there aren’t a lot people doing both.”

CRA Honorees

CRA Honorees

BACS students Jiamin Chen, Peter Chapman, and Virginia Smith have been recognized by the Computing Research Association Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers Award. This is the premier national award for undergraduate researchers in computer science.

Peter was selected as the Runner-Up, and Jiamin Chen and Virginia Smith were selected as Honorable Mentionees.

Congratulations to Jiamin, Peter, and Virginia!

For a list of previous winners, see the Awards page.

Turn On the Server. It’s Cold Inside.

Turn On the Server. It’s Cold Inside.

The New York Times has an article about Kamin Whitehouse’s work on data furnaces: Data Furnaces Could Bring Heat to Homes, New York Times, 26 November 2011.

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