The Department of Computer Science Leading Edge Scholarship application is now open!

Live the Code Life! Let us help you!

The Department of Computer Science Leading Edge Scholarship application is now open!

If you intend to major in computer science, data science, computing in the arts or computer information systems, then check out the CS Leading Edge Scholarship.

With a computer science degree from the College of Charleston, you can expect job opportunities with starting salaries between $50K and $65K—not including signing bonuses and stock options. (And, that’s just in the southeast market!)

From full-time, paid internships to a global alumni network, you’ll have boundless opportunities. We want to help you take advantage so you can see for yourself. So, review the eligibility requirements and apply by February 1!

If you have any questions, contact Marilee Smith at

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College Professor Awarded Part of NSF’s $31 Million to Improve “Big Data”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding $31 million to researchers, including the College of Charleston’s Jim Bowring, to develop tools, infrastructure and best practices for data science.


Jim Bowring, computer science professor

Bowring, a computer science professor, is working with both undergraduate and graduate students at the College to develop cyberinfrastructure that will assist in the visualization and interpretation of data related to the timescales and rates of climate change, sea-level change, and volcanic activity. The data are in the form of dates obtained from uranium-series dating of carbonate samples in marine limestone and cave deposits.

“There is an incredible amount of legacy data available from uranium-series dating efforts, but no standards for processing the data nor for archiving the results,” Bowring explains. “We will be collaborating with geochronologists to create new algorithms and an open-source cyberinfrastructure that will allow for re-processing existing data as well as supporting new data-acquisition techniques. We will also create standardized methods for archiving data and results in searchable public databases. In short, we seek to improve how scientists understand time in the context of climate and environmental change.

Bowring and his team, which includes researchers from the University of Florida, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Kansas, will receive $570,000 over the next three years to conduct this research. The NSF funded a total of 17 projects in 22 states through the Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) program.

The NSF notes “many of the benefits of ‘Big Data’ have yet to surface because of a lack of interoperability, missing tools and hardware that is still evolving to meet the diverse needs of scientific communities.”

“This project is helping to break down the silos in science,” Bowring states. “Bringing together computer scientists and earth scientists is a great way to make a big impact in areas like climate change.”


Jim Bowring (right) with students working on CIRDLES

For the past several years, Bowring has worked with students at the College of Charleston to create cyberinfrastructure through the NSF-funded project, which stands for Cyber Infrastructure Research and Development Lab for the Earth Sciences. The team has collaboratively developed cyberinfrastructure with earth scientists to support uranium-lead dating, and with this grant, will be extending and adapting this cyberinfrastructure to handle uranium-series dating.

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Alumni Spotlight – Chad Hobbs ’14

Chad Hobbs ’14 is a busy man.  A Computer Science graduate, Chad is an Information Security Specialist at CACI Federal, an organizer of Charleston B-Sides and Charleston Startup Weekend, an active member of ACM and ISSA, a co-founder of a local non-profit, Makelab Charleston, actively supports the Computer Science Department, and in September, welcomed the first addition to the Hobbs family, Emmy Noelle!   An advocate for Charleston’s technology movement, Hobbs is facilitating a strong influence at Silicon Harbor in Charleston. 


Chad Hobbs ’14

What are some of your most vivid memories about the College and the Department?

I believe that my most vivid memories of the College would simply be every day walking from class to class. It was a treat walking by the Cistern Yard and down the brick paths, taking in all the scenery around me. Students at the College of Charleston shouldn’t take a single day on campus for granted.

Within the CS Department, the extra-curricular activities like the Coding Competition and PCDC helped me connect with other students passionate about programming. I felt a strong sense of camaraderie when working with fellow classmates towards a common goal.

How did your time at CofC prepare you for the professional world?

My time spent at the CofC laid the foundation of what should be important to me as I entered the workforce and it gave me a diverse set of tools to get started in my new career. I was able to learn what I liked within the curriculum and what I needed to spend more time on outside of class.

What are some of your biggest challenges?

Currently, my biggest challenge in life is finding a good work/home life balance. Transitioning from a full time student with lots of free time to a working professional with a baby on the way has shifted a lot of my priorities. Growing up is hard to do…

What are you most proud of?

I try to stay humble, but I feel a little bit of pride in helping other students learn what their passion within computer science was and then going after that goal. When I was able to connect someone with a good job reference, or inspired somebody to get more involved, or encouraged a deeper dialog about some programming topic, then I felt my time at the College was very well spent.

Who has been a mentor to you, and what was the biggest lesson you learned from him/her?

I really feel like the department acted as a group in molding my learning experiences. Aspen Olmsted taught me most of what I use every day. Jim Bowring made me put effort behind my aspirations. But I feel that Chris Starr was always my biggest cheerleader. He was a very busy man but always had a moment for you if you needed to ask a quick question. He constantly wanted to push the department and the individual further. And that is what I learned from him, is that you can always do more and there is always more to do.


What new trends are you seeing in your field?

I am seeing big upheavals and constant change in our industry all the time. I feel that the ability to program is within the reach of more people every day, but programming really well is increasingly harder to do. There are so many factors to consider. Our lives are surrounded by a constant swirl of data and I believe that we still don’t have a good grasp on what to do with it. Leveraging that data securely and in a meaningful way is an ongoing and evolving challenge for today and tomorrow’s computer scientists.

How do you like to spend your time outside of the office?

I am still working hard on building the technology community in the Charleston area, so most of my free time is spent working on projects like Startup Weekend, Security BSides, and Makelab Charleston. When I am not working on one of those endeavors, I really enjoy tinkering with micro-controllers and other fun electronics.

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Announcing the 2014-2015 CS Student Ambassadors and Google Hangouts

The Department of Computer Science is eager to announced the appointment of Katherine Vaughan, Sarah Mackey, Will Jamieson and the reappointment of John Zeringue as the 2014-2015 CS Student Ambassadors.


John Zeringue

The distinguished position of service as a Computer Science Student Ambassadors promote leadership and communication skills through representing the Department of Computer Science.  CS Student Ambassadors play an important role in the recruitment of prospective students through one-on-one interaction during prospect visits, attending social events, academic functions, and high school visits.  As a second year Ambassador, John Zeringue, “enjoys meeting new students and reflecting on a future student perspective.”  It is a profound experience for both Ambassadors and prospective students.

As the department finds new trends to expand our reach, we are excited to introduced Google Hangouts with our CS Student Ambassadors.  Google Hangouts will allow the department and the CS Student Ambassadors to interact with prospective students that do not have the capability to travel to Charleston.  This provides an additional opportunity to provide personable information about CofC, Computer Science courses, Harbor Walk East, or even the Charleston scene.  Also, this will allow our Ambassadors to participate abroad, as Zeringue and Jamieson have arranged to participate in the CofC Bilateral Program at Bolzano, Italy during the Spring 2015 semester.  This will open opportunities for prospective students to experience study abroad with the college and the department.

To learn more about our Ambassadors, visit our CS Student Ambassadors page.  To request an virtual meeting to learn more about us or chat with a Computer Science Ambassador, please fill out our Inquire Form.


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ACM Holds First Meeting of the Academic Year

Student organizations and clubs provide opportunities to meet new people with similar interests, learn new skills, share your talent, and help you become more connected to campus life.  The Department of Computer Science at the College of Charleston offers several opportunities for students to engage in organizations, activities, and immerse in the CS “code life”.  The CofC Association of Computing Machinery, or ACM, is an organization to discuss and share interest in computer science.  CofC ACM is a student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery, the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, delivering resources that advance computing as a science and a profession.

Ron Zielaznicki

CofC ACM President, Ron Zielaznicki

Overseen by Dr. Olmsted, ACM is looking forward to the 2014-2015 Academic year. The computer science club plans to reorganize and rebuild the local chapter to better serve the students and the community.  Focusing on the various spectrums of technology, the club is open to ideas and discussions driven by student interest.  As ACM Chapter President, Ronald Zielaznicki,  “hopes people will come and learn useful skills to apply toward computer science and feel more confidence in their abilities.”

The CofC ACM plans to kickstart a fundraiser initiative in order to support the local chapter.  Plans are underway, help is needed, and encouraged.  To help fundraise, contact ACM Chapter President, Ronald Zielaznicki, at

CofC ACM holds weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 12:45pm in Rm 334 at the new building for the Department of Computer Science, Harbor Walk East.   For more information, refer to the CofC ACM page.

ACM Meeting

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