Specialists in algorithms and computer systems technology, majors study at the forefront of developing technology and wrestle with new approaches to computation.
Reed's computer science program provides students from all kinds of backgrounds an unparalleled opportunity to master this field. Students in the major take core computer science coursework in computability and complexity theory, computer systems organization, programming systems and compilers, networked and distributed systems, database design, computer graphics and visualization, advanced algorithms, machine and statistical learning, and cryptography.
This type of multifaceted coursework positions Reed students to thrive in a world where groundbreaking scholarship depends on its researchers having a tremendous capacity to constantly innovate. Our approach centers the study of computer science on its core principles and on its theoretical foundations. Students are able to apply these to devising hardware and software systems and to developing new directions for computing. During their time at Reed, majors find research opportunities at leading universities and internships in the software and hardware industries—in Portland and beyond.
The computer science major is new to Reed and is offered through the Mathematics Department and many of its program's resources are shared with the mathematics program. Follow the links to the math pages to find descriptions of our courses, senior theses, seminars, and other activities
Although computer science is a new major at Reed, graduates have built a long tradition of success as innovators in computer science research and technology development. Roughly ten percent of Reed’s working alumni hold jobs in the field of computer technology.
"Computer science is an intersection between theory and application. The skills and concepts I get from my classes can immediately be taken out of the classroom context and applied in any setting. It gives me a really fulfilling sense of accomplishment to start with just an idea and create something tangible that’s usable and shareable."
—Alex Pan ’17