At Bennington, students work closely with faculty to design the content, structure, and sequence of their study and practice—their Plan—taking advantage of resources inside and outside the classroom to pursue their work.
The study of computer science at Bennington entails a rigorous inquiry into the nature and applications of computers and computational principles. Our courses are project-based, and reinforce theory by emphasizing and exploring real-world applicability.
Every student concentrating in computer science begins with an introduction to the field, including:
- Tools and operating system fundamentals—development tools, overview of Unix/Linux, basic operating system layout and principles
- Computational thinking—problem solving, algorithm/program design, introductory programming skills (Python)
- An overview of the field—people, areas of research and study, and problems of note to computer scientists
From here, students may choose from a variety of courses in the following areas:
- Data Structures (currently taught using C)
- Operating Systems
- Database Management Systems (including NoSQL and distributed databases)
- Distributed & Internet-Scale Systems
- Object-Oriented Programming (C++, Java, C#)
- Computer Architecture & Assembly Language
- Computing for the Developing World
- Computing for Activism
- Environmental Impacts of Computing
In addition, students may pursue Field Work Term (FWT) projects in the areas of computing and computer science. Some recent examples include:
- 2 students working as interns for Nebula (cloud computing startup) under faculty supervision
- Independent research / senior projects in computer science
FWT projects and experience also help build a strong resume and marketable job skills for future employment. Students concentrating in computer science are advised on how to build a great resume, tips for interviewing for jobs in the technology industry, and/or how to prepare for graduate school.
Andrew Cencini has developed software and services used by millions of people every day, working in the technology industry, where he helped build Bing, as well as SQL Server and other products. He serves as VP of engineering and cofounder of Vapor IO, a data center startup based out of Austin, TX.
Ursula Wolz draws on her experience in academia and the world of entrepreneurship to develop computer-based learning environments, including AI tutoring systems and games for language learning.