A Glance at Dartmouth Computer Science

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Darthmouth building

A Glance at Dartmouth Computer Science

Dartmouth College, located in Hanover, New Hampshire, is a renowned member of the Ivy League, distinguished for its strong commitment to providing the highest quality undergraduate and graduate education. The college offers a wealth of academic programs, among which the Dartmouth Computer Science Department holds a position of significance, originally founded in 1965.

With a solid grounding in the fundamental principles of computer science and the latest technological advancements, the department offers a comprehensive curriculum for its undergraduate and graduate programs.

The program is committed to the dissemination of knowledge and the creation of new knowledge, providing students with ample research opportunities across diverse areas such as artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, computational biology, security and privacy, and more.

Known for its highly experienced faculty, a broad spectrum of courses, and state-of-the-art facilities, Dartmouth’s Computer Science Department aims to cultivate analytical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills among its students, thus equipping them to tackle real-world challenges and contribute meaningfully to society.

Dartmouth College Department of Computer Science History

The Dartmouth College Department of Computer Science History began in 1965, making it one of the oldest computer science departments in the country. Initiated under the leadership of John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz, the department has grown tremendously since its inception.

Kemeny and Kurtz were instrumental figures in the department’s founding and the broader history of computer science; they developed the BASIC programming language, a milestone that democratized computing by making it accessible to non-scientists. A significant landmark in the department’s history was the introduction of time-sharing on the Dartmouth mainframe, the Dartmouth Time Sharing System (DTSS).

a young muslim woman wearing a hijab and typing unto her laptop

This revolutionary development allowed multiple users to access the mainframe simultaneously from remote terminals, a precursor to modern-day cloud computing. Over the years, the department has continued to evolve and grow, adding faculty, expanding its course offerings, and constantly updating its curriculum to keep pace with the rapid advancements in computer science.

As part of its commitment to research, the department has also established several specialized research groups and laboratories. Some notable research areas include cybersecurity, data science, machine learning, and computational biology, reflecting the department’s ongoing evolution to meet the shifting technological landscape and the emerging needs of society.

Therefore, the Dartmouth Computer Science Department’s history is characterized by a strong tradition of innovation and a forward-looking approach, reinforcing its position at the forefront of computer science education and research.

Overview of the Dartmouth Computer Science Program

Undergraduate Program

The Dartmouth Computer Science Department offers a comprehensive undergraduate program that blends theory and practice. Admission to the Dartmouth Computer Science Program follows the general admission process of Dartmouth College, which involves a holistic review of high school transcripts, standardized test scores, recommendations, essays, and extracurricular activities.

As part of the major, students must complete a series of foundational courses in data structures, algorithms, and computer architecture and upper-level courses that offer a deeper dive into specialized topics. In addition to coursework, students are strongly encouraged to participate in research projects and internships.

Research opportunities are available within the department’s various labs and groups, where students can work alongside faculty on cutting-edge topics in computer science. Dartmouth’s strong connections with industry also provide students with ample opportunities for internships, where they can gain practical experience and make valuable professional connections.

Graduate Program

Dartmouth’s Computer Science Department offers both Master’s and Ph.D. programs to foster advanced knowledge and research in computer science. Admission to these graduate programs is competitive and requires a bachelor’s degree, preferably in computer science or a related field, strong academic records, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and GRE scores.

The Master’s program typically takes two years to complete. It includes coursework and a project or thesis option, allowing students to tailor their experience based on their career goals. The Ph.D. program, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on original research, culminating in a doctoral dissertation.

Ph.D. students typically work closely with faculty advisors in their area of interest. Both programs provide abundant research opportunities in various focus areas, such as artificial intelligence, data science, cybersecurity, computational biology, and more. This combination of rigorous academics and robust research opportunities positions Dartmouth’s graduate computer science students to contribute significantly to their fields, whether in academia, industry, or entrepreneurship.

Dartmouth College Computer Science in the Global Context

Rankings and reputation

Dartmouth College Computer Science Department consistently ranks among the top computer science programs in the United States and worldwide. Renowned for its rigorous academic programs and innovative research, the department has earned a reputation for excellence in computer science education. Dartmouth’s computer science faculty, leaders in their respective fields, contribute significantly to its strong standing.

Furthermore, academic peers and industry professionals have lauded the department’s commitment to providing students with a solid theoretical foundation coupled with practical, real-world experience.

This blend of quality education and research opportunities has seen Dartmouth graduates consistently land competitive positions in academia, industry, and entrepreneurial ventures. While exact rankings can fluctuate annually, the program’s overall reputation remains strong, affirming its place among the best computer science departments globally.

Notable alumni and their contributions

The Dartmouth Computer Science Department has a long list of notable alumni who have made significant contributions in various fields. Many have held influential positions in academia, industry, and entrepreneurial ventures, exemplifying the versatility of a Dartmouth computer science education.

a computer science professor demonstrating

For instance, some alumni have become professors at prestigious universities, contributing to the academic body of knowledge in computer science and inspiring the next generation of computer scientists. Other alumni have assumed leadership roles at tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, where they’ve played a crucial part in shaping today’s digital landscape.

Still, others have launched successful start-ups, bringing innovative products and services. While the specific achievements of individual alumni may vary, their collective success serves as a testament to the quality of the computer science education at Dartmouth and the department’s ability to prepare students for a range of career paths.

Collaborations with other universities and industries

Dartmouth’s Computer Science Department maintains strong collaborative relationships with other universities and industries, further enhancing the opportunities and resources available to its students and faculty. These partnerships foster a robust exchange of ideas and help to ensure that Dartmouth’s computer science research and education remain on the cutting edge.

For instance, Dartmouth collaborates with other universities on joint research projects and academic programs, allowing faculty and students to work with and learn from diverse peers. Regarding industry partnerships, Dartmouth has established relationships with several tech companies, ranging from well-established giants to innovative start-ups.

These connections often provide students with internships, job opportunities, and avenues for practical, industry-relevant research. Such collaborations underscore Dartmouth’s commitment to bridging theory and practice, and they play a critical role in preparing students for successful careers in computer science.

Dartmouth Student Life and Resources

Student organizations related to computer science

Dartmouth’s Computer Science Department is complemented by various student organizations that offer additional learning opportunities and foster community among computer science students. For instance, the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science (DUJS) provides an outlet for students interested in writing or learning about scientific research, including computer science.

The Dartmouth Programming Board offers students an environment to work on coding projects, participate in hackathons, and collaborate on real-world problems. Women in Computer Science (WiCS) aims to support and encourage women to pursue computer science degrees, organizing events and offering mentorship opportunities.

The Computer Science Foreign Study Program allows students to study abroad while fulfilling their major requirements, fostering a global perspective on the field. Through these organizations, students can connect with like-minded peers, expand their knowledge beyond the classroom, and gain leadership skills, enhancing their overall computer science program experience.

Resources for students (tutoring, career advising, etc.)

As part of Dartmouth Student Life, in addition to academic programs and student organizations, Dartmouth’s Computer Science Department provides a wealth of resources to support students’ success and personal growth.

For academic support, the department offers tutoring services, including peer tutors and academic study groups, to help students navigate challenging coursework. Furthermore, faculty members hold regular office hours, offering students personalized guidance and mentorship.

Career counseling is another significant resource offered by the department. Students can receive advice on resume building, job and internship search strategies, interview preparation, and more. They also have opportunities to connect with Dartmouth alumni and industry professionals through networking events.

Other resources include workshops on technical skills and research methods, lectures from guest speakers in the field, and access to state-of-the-art labs and computing facilities. These resources aim to equip students with the necessary tools to excel academically, professionally, and personally during their time at Dartmouth and beyond.

Community and diversity initiatives

The Dartmouth Computer Science Department is deeply committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse community. The department understands that diversity—including, but not limited to, race, gender, nationality, and socio-economic background—significantly enriches the educational experience and the field of computer science at large. To support this commitment, the department has several initiatives in place.

For example, it actively participates in efforts to increase the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in computer science through organizations like Women in Computer Science (WiCS) and initiatives such as the Computer Science Diversity Committee. The department also collaborates with campus-wide initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion within STEM fields.

a computer scientist reporting in front of his colleaguesFurthermore, the department hosts events and workshops to raise awareness about diversity issues and foster a more inclusive environment. By pursuing these initiatives, the Dartmouth Computer Science Department strives to create a community where all members feel valued, respected, and empowered to achieve their full potential.

As you learn about Dartmouth, your college admissions to that university should be next on your mind. To ensure that you get into Dartmouth, you can get help with AdmissionSight. With ten years of experience working with college admission experts, AdmissionSight can help you get into Dartmouth. You can talk to our experts today to get an initial consultation.



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