A solid Computer Science education at Georgia Tech has been available since 1964, with the start of their Information Science program. By 1970, it had become the School of Information and Computer Science (ICS), offering bachelor’s degrees in information science and doctorates in ICS. The College of Computing continues to maintain a leadership role, expanding its academic initiatives and building new facilities. The College expanded in 2007, creating two divisions, the School of Interactive Computing and the School of Computer Science.
They have expanded their offerings over the past few years as well, to now offer advanced degrees in Machine Learning, Analytics, Cybersecurity, and others.
Advanced Degrees in Analytics, Machine Learning, and Cybersecurity
Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity, once just a programmer’s problem, is now a concern of several disciplines and careers, ranging from energy management to public policy to product design. The sheer volume of connected devices creates an urgent need for cybersecurity professionals. They must be capable of solving an extensive list of security problems. Graduate students have the option of following one of three cybersecurity paths:
- Information Security
- Energy Systems
Master of Science in Analytics
Georgia Tech offers a one-year Master of Science in Analytics. The program combines the expertise of the College of Engineering, the Scheller College of Business, and College of Computing. By merging their strengths, graduates learn to integrate a unique mixture of skills in an interdisciplinary way. This program provides training in:
- Operations Research
One of the program’s primary objectives is to place graduates capable of making an immediate impact in their field, as well as long-term impact. Students make contacts with corporations performing analytics, and gain invaluable exposure at the Big Data Industry Forum, sponsored by Georgia Tech.
Online Master of Science in Analytics
Working in collaboration with edX, Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Analytics provides the same curriculum offered by the campus program. Students gain a deep understanding of Data Science and Analytics. The program offers training in the following areas, to providing practical, career-boosting experience:
- Operations Research
This program can be completed in one year, but can also be stretched out to two. The flexibility allows students to earn their degree on their own schedule, in their own home, and can be completed for under $10,000.
Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction
This program studies how computers are used by people throughout their lives. Georgia Tech’s research in Human-Computer Interaction seeks to improve user interfaces, making them more useful, usable, and enjoyable. The program is focused on a broad range of activities, including design, development and the evaluation of computer systems, and a wide variety of elective courses, such as Systems Engineering, Architecture, and Music Technology. This program is supported collaboratively by four schools:
- Industrial Design
- Interactive Computing
- Literature, Media, and Communication
Ph.D. in Machine Learning
Georgia Tech has recently been approved to offer Machine Learning as a new program. This program is housed in the Interdisciplinary Research Center and provides training for students, and a home for researchers. Machine Learning is similar to Data Mining (both systems seek patterns in data), but Machine Learning uses the data to adapt its own behavior. Machine Learning is also a major component in building Artificial Intelligence. The five core courses are:
- Intermediate Statistics
- Mathematical Foundations of Machine Learning
- Probabilistic Graphical Models and Machine Learning in High Dimensions
- Machine Learning: Theory and Methods
Research in Machine Learning investigates the construction of algorithms used in building models and making data-driven decisions. There are a variety of applications being researched:
- recognizing images, characters and spoken language
- categorizing messages
- diagnosing and treating complex diseases such as asthma and cancer;
- detecting fraud; and
- predicting the responses of humans, natural events, and other dynamic processes
Degrees in Computer Science and Robotics
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program provides an educational experience based on the principles of computational theory and programming. This program allows students to select their own direction of study, using a choice of two paths (or Threads) from eight available options. Some “Threads” include Artificial Intelligence, Computational Physics, Cognitive Science, and Economics. (International studies are also an option, in this program.)
With Threads, the curriculum offers a base of fundamentals in Computational Theory and Programming. Each student has the option of exploring a variety of computer educational paths, in depth. Eight Threads are available, each offering a concentrated experience studying a broad spectrum of courses. Students are not immediately required to decide on their Threads directions, though it is an option.
Their Master of Science in Computer Science program provides more extensive training and prepares students for complex projects and management positions. This program is for students already possessing a B.S. in Computer Science. Students with a degree in another field are also invited to apply, though remedial course work may be necessary. Admission to this master’s program takes place once a year, with a deadline of February 1st for the following fall semester.
The Ph.D. in Computer Science program prepares students for cutting-edge careers in academia, government, and technology. Students must display excellence in defining problems, and in performing a significant research project supporting a unique contribution to computing. Students in the Georgia Tech’s Computer Science Ph.D. program, regardless of the student’s specialization, interest area, or school affiliation, all receive the same degree. This program is supported by three schools within the College of Computing:
- The School of Interactive Computing
- The School of Computer Science
- The School of Computational Science & Engineering
“Online” Master of Science in Computer Science
Georgia Tech, AT&T, and Udacity have joined forces, offering an online, accredited Master of Science in Computer Science. Students can gain an education, and earn a master’s degree, using these online courses, and “at a fraction of the cost” normally charged for traditional, on-campus programs.
Bachelor of Science in Computational Media
This is a joint effort supported by the “School of Literature, Media, and Communications” and the “College of Computing.” The program provides thorough training in all technical and applied aspects of the computer as a medium. Graduates of the program gain significant hands-on experience, a theoretical knowledge of computing, and a deep understanding of visual design. After graduation, students are uniquely positioned to create, plan, and critique digital media in the form of education, entertainment, and business communication. Typical specialty areas include:
- Interactive game designs
- Special effects
- Culturally informed program designs
Ph.D. in Robotics
The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines acts as Georgia Tech’s flagship for robotic efforts. Described as a “multidisciplinary experience” and “fully integrated,” the program provides an education for new robotics researchers, preparing them for a high-tech workforce. The program supports Georgia Tech’s mission to offer an education in the areas of technology, science, and the interdisciplinary areas. At present, Georgia Tech has over 40 faculty actively working within the robotics program. This program requires the completion of an independent and original research thesis.
Ph.D. in Algorithms, Combinatorics & Optimization
The Algorithms, Combinatorics & Optimization program prepares students for this field by training them in Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, and Operations Research. Students must be familiar with at least one of these three fields. The College of Computing sponsors this multidisciplinary program, along with the School of Mathematics and the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Applicants are admitted into the program through one of these sponsoring departments.
Ph.D. in Computational Science and Engineering
Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary Computational Science and Engineering program, trains students to the create, study, and apply computer-based models of man-made and natural systems. The curriculum offers students the hands-on skills and understanding of theory needed for becoming tomorrow’s leaders in engineering and computational science. This program emphasizes the application and integration of computing, engineering, mathematics, and science to create models for solving real-world problems. The Computational Science and Engineering program helps students develop the skills needed for developing software on a variety of computer systems (cluster computers, supercomputers). Students can take additional courses, allowing them to specialize in “their” particular areas of interests.
Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing
Human-Centered Computing is the science of creating and designing concepts and inventions that improve the ways humans use computers. The program promotes research attempting to humanize computer technology. This program brings together studies focused on three areas:
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Cognition, Learning, and Creativity
- Social Computing
Life at Georgia Tech
An anonymous second-year student from Georgia Tech wrote:
“If you are nerdy, into math/science, and one of those people that just really love school, then this is also the place for you. There is a great culture of academically oriented students here. A LOT of people here are nerdy and odd, and into engineering/math/science type stuff. If you’re into research, this is also a great place, though if you haven’t done research before, it’s a million times more boring than they make it out to be on TV or on the media. I’ve done it, trust me, it’s boring, but there are plenty of grad students, profs, and some undergrads that do like doing research. GT is in fact a premier research institution.”
Photo Credit: Georgia Institute of Technology