It is an exciting time for someone with a computing-related degree, such as computer science, computer engineering, cybersecurity, or information technology. A computing degree will open doors in whatever industry you want, ranging from big software companies to non-profits. You could be building the next generation augmented reality device in a research laboratory, or designing genomics algorithms for the pharmaceutical industry, or creating artificial intelligence software to make airplanes safer, or writing software for data acquisition and controls for a chemical plant, or configuring software and sensors for efficient and green transportation, or architecting the software and database for a non-governmental agency to manage people and projects scattered across the globe. The possibilities are endless.
In addition to being a software developer in various industries, CSE graduates are also qualified for jobs, such as computer and information research scientists, computer network architects, computer programmers, computer systems analysts, database administrators, information security analysts, and network and computer systems administrators.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in computer and information technology occupations will grow 13% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $91,250.
In 2021, based on job gap analysis, the Florida Board of Governors identified Computer Science, Information Technology, and Computer Engineering as three of the eight Programs of Strategic Emphasis. USF Computer Science and Engineering (USF CSE) offers all three of these degrees.
The quality of the research and education at USF CSE is reflected in our rankings. We are already performing at the top level based on objective measures of grants, awards, publications, citations, and books. According to Academic Analytics Scholarly Research Index (using default weights for grants, articles, conferences, awards, and citations) (AAD 2020):
- USF CSE is top 15% among 177 Computer Science departments in public universities.
- USF CSE is among the top 35% of Computer Science departments in highly prestigious AAU Public Institutions.
- USF CSE is a top 10 USF department based on discipline-based ranks.
Great faculty members make for great departments. As of fall 2022, USF CSE has 28 tenure-stream faculty and 11 full-time instructors, many of whom are IEEE, AAAS, IAPR, AIMBE Fellows, NSF CAREER award recipients (11 of them), and Distinguished University Professors (three). Multiple faculty members have been awarded Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching awards from the University. Our faculty members are very involved with service to professional societies (such as IEEE-CS and ACM) and the community.
Faculty members are currently executing $12 million in active external research grants from NSF, DoD, NIH, NIST, industry, and state sources. As reported to ASEE, the annual research expenditure for 2020-21 was $4.5 million.
The research clusters in the department include:
- AI and Cognitive Computing (Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Robotics, Human-Computer Interfaces, and Affective Computing)
- Cybersecurity (Trustworthy Computing, Network Security, Smart Bio-devices, Hardware security, and Biometrics)
- Big-Data Science Algorithms (Biomedical Imaging, Machine Learning, Databases, Visualization, Social Networks, and Efficient Computing Platforms)
- Efficient Computing Platforms (VLSI, Ubiquitous Sensing Networks, Distributed Computing, Parallel Processing, and Biomedical Devices)
The USF Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI+X), a university-level network, is conducting externally funded research in artificial intelligence (AI) and associated areas (X = healthcare, medicine, cybersecurity, finance, business, manufacturing, transportation, etc.). Ongoing projects range from event perception using neuro-symbolic approaches, robotics, social network information prediction, correlating persons across video streams, identifying fake videos, and predicting the performance of human-AI teams and AI-enhanced systems. Funding sources include the NSF, NIH, IARPA, DoD, and the US Army.
Broadening Participation in Computing:
CSE faculty and staff are committed to building an inclusive environment that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our students. This commitment is essential as we educate new generations of scientists and engineers, and our graduates become members of a diverse workforce that reflects the communities they serve. To enrich the student educational experience facilitated by a diverse student body, we have embraced an accelerated approach to diversity and inclusion with exceptional support and activities designed to recruit and assist the personal development, academic achievement, and graduation of underrepresented groups in the computing field.
An intersectional (gender and race/ethnicity) profile of the programs shows that the diversity of the men and women follow that for the University overall. The diversity for men and women in computer science has increased over time. The demographics of women students are more diverse than men in both CS and IT/Cybersecurity tracks. On the other hand, while the percentage of women in computer science has increased from 16% to 23% over the last five years, it is much lower than the overall percentage of women students at USF, 57%.
To address this gender gap, the USF CSE is implementing evidence-based approaches to attract and retain more women computer science, information technology, and cybersecurity students. This effort is facilitated by a three-year, $579,737 grant from the Center for Inclusive Computing at Northeastern University.
Undergraduate Educational Experience:
We offer four degrees programs at the undergraduate level - the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Cybersecurity, and Information Technology. Total undergraduate enrollment, including pre-majors, currently exceeds 2600 students or 48% of the total headcount of undergraduate students in the College of Engineering. This fall semester, over 45% of incoming students to the College of Engineering declared an interest in one of CSE's four-degree programs.
In Academic Year 2021-22, the department awarded 383 BS degrees. Our graduates are in top companies in the Tampa-bay region and nationwide, including CAE, Raymond James, JP Morgan, Johnson and Johnson, Reliaquest, Raytheon, General Motors, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Twitter, and Intel.
We have an active Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, undergraduate
teaching assistantships, many scholarships, connections for internship opportunities
with companies in the Tampa Bay area, and the chance to do meaningful capstone design
projects in conjunction with local companies. Our students have access to many active
computing-related student organizations state of the art computing facilities, including
the Mini-Circuits Design-for-X Lab, computer engineering lab, and cybersecurity lab.
Graduate Educational Experience:
Students have a variety of options at the graduate level. We have two Master of Science programs in Computer Science and Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering. In Academic Year 2021-22 students graduated with 59 M.S. degrees and 13 Ph.D. degrees. Currently, we have 210 Master's students and 98 Ph.D. students pursuing their dreams.
All of our Ph.D. students have research or teaching assistantships that include a stipend and tuition waiver. During their study, all students have access to many student organizations and state-of-the-art computing facilities, including a more than 100 node GPU cluster for AI/deep learning/database in the CSE data center.
Top industrial research labs such as Google, Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, Jet Propulsion Labs employ our MS and Ph.D. graduates. Many Ph.D. graduates are also excelling as faculty members at top academic institutions.
We engage with the industry in two modes: (i) participation in the External Advisory Board (EAB) and (ii) as a member of the Computing Partners Program (CPP).
The Computing Partners Program provides a structured engagement with students for internships and jobs. The Computing Partners Program enables companies to have a customized, deeper connection with our students and USF CSE. This program augments the mechanisms available through the CSE Student Newsletter, USF Career Services, or participation in a resume matching system. To date, we are delighted to have Amazon Pay, CAE, Johnson and Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Nielsen, and Raymond James as our partners. We hope to grow this program into a vibrant mechanism to showcase our best students to the best companies in the region and vice-versa.
We are located in the beautiful Tampa Bay area, which has several of the top-ranked beaches in the world, a sunny climate, and many opportunities for recreation as well as cultural activities. We look forward to welcoming you on campus sometime soon. Be it as a student, faculty, an alumnus who wants to connect back, a distinguished speaker, or simply as a respected guest and friend.
Distinguished University Professor and Chair