Comp Sci/Math Double Awaits Approval


No new funding is needed for proposed major as the classes and professors required already exist separately. (PHOTO BY PAYTON VINCELETTE/THE OBSERVER)


A special joint double major of computer science and mathematics is planned to be presented to the Arts and Sciences Council of Fordham University on April 30. According to David Swinarski, professor of mathematics and a proponent of the new joint double major, the proposal has already been approved by both Rose Hill and Lincoln Center’s College Councils. Robert Moniot Ph.D., associate professor of computer & information science and associate dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), explained the process of creating a new joint double major and some of the proposed details of a joint major in computer science and mathematics.

OBSV: So why the push for this new joint major? What prompted this?

MONIOT: Advisors and faculty within the computer science departments noticed students were attempting to double major, which is difficult because they are both good-sized majors. But for students they felt like it was a good match, and [faculty] saw a demand for a joint double major that would be more feasible in terms of preparation. In this way, students could take a grouping of classes that would prepare students for their later careers.

OBSV: What is the approval process for a new major?

MONIOT: For the major to be fully approved, it will have to pass a vote of approval from the Council of Arts and Sciences at Fordham, then finally be approved by the state of New York. The way it works now though, students in the major have taken classes that already are planned to count either count for the math and computer science major, or they don’t count but are frequently taken.

OBSV: So students will not have to wait for the major to be approved to take the classes necessary to complete the major?

MONIOT: No, it will be similar to the neuroscience major when it was approved. Students will be taking the classes necessary and then be subsumed into the major when it is officially approved. If they do not have the major approved by the time they graduate, it can be worked that they have a math or computer science major with a minor in math or computer science … since the minors don’t have to be state-approved, we can work with them on that.

OBSV: What are the real world applications for this major?

MONIOT: The investment firms downtown on Wall Street are looking for people with skills both in math and in computer science. A background in math along with computer science, helps with engineering, financial modelling. It’s not just about science; people can make some money from these combined parts. If approved at the Arts and Science Council, according to Moniot, “it will need to go to New York State for further approval … we need state approval to move forward with new majors.”