Nov 15, 2018  
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog 
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science and Engineering

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Chair: Bogdan Chlebus
Program Assistant: Frances Moore
Office: North Classroom, 2605
Telephone: 303-556-4083
Fax: 303-556-8369
Web site:


Gita Alaghband, PhD, University of Colorado
Tom Altman, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
John Clark, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Boris Stilman, PhD, National Research Institute for Electrical Engineering, Moscow, Russia
Associate Professors:
Bogdan Chlebus, PhD, Warsaw University, Poland
Min-Hyung Choi, PhD, University of Iowa
Ellen Gethner, PhD, University of British Columbia
Ilkyeun Ra, PhD, Syracuse University
Senior Instructor and Undergraduate Advisor:
Richard Osborne, PhD, University of Colorado
Will Trobaugh, MS, University of Colorado

Mission Statement


The mission of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering is to do the following:

  • provide excellent education for undergraduate students in CSE, MS students in CS and PhD students in CSIS
  • encourage and support scholarly research activities by both faculty and students
  • form partnerships with industrial firms and agencies, both local and beyond, to address important computing and engineering problems
  • offer a wide range of computing and information technology courses as a service to the university and professional community
  • continue to exemplify leadership to students, businesses, professionals and the community at large



Computer Science and Engineering Program

Computers as a combination of software and hardware have become significant to the whole of society. They affect the way in which business is conducted and the way people study and learn. Very important is the use of computers to develop new avenues of human communication, interaction and cooperation. Communication networks and the combination of text with audio and video are providing more people with fingertip access to a vast array of information and knowledge.

The computer scientist and engineer is a professional who must be prepared to apply his or her skills, knowledge and creativity in a rapidly changing field. The bachelor of science in computer science and engineering at UC Denver prepares students for such creative work. The emphasis is on fundamental concepts and basic principles with a long useful life. The program is composed of five major study areas: mathematics, basic or engineering science, required computer science courses, technical electives and the Downtown Campus core curriculum.

The computer science and engineering program has dual accreditation from the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) and the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Computer Science and Engineering Curriculum

The mathematics, basic science and computer science core requirements give the student a broad exposure to the concepts, methods and practice of computer science and engineering; the student learns the fundamentals of producing solutions to problems.

Technical electives are chosen to add depth to a student’s knowledge in an area of special interest.

The Downtown Campus core curriculum is designed to give the student an exposure to knowledge outside his or her major. For students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, courses in the humanities, social sciences and human communications are required.

To be awarded the bachelor of science in computer science and engineering, a student must satisfactorily complete all course work shown in the curriculum below, satisfy all university graduation requirements and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in all computer science courses attempted (see “Policy on Academic Progress” in the introductory section of this chapter). Students must meet with an undergraduate advisor each semester to assure that they are on track within the degree program and are aware of the current requirements of the program. An additional source of information is the “C SE Undergraduate Advising Handbook” or the department’s Web site, Students are required to set up an appointment with the senior check-out advisor before registering for the last 30 semester hours of their program. Upon completion of the 30-hour checkout, all students are required to schedule an appointment with the CSE undergraduate advisor to complete the graduation agreement. Prerequisites will be strictly enforced. Note: Prerequisites must be taken before a course that requires them; co-requisites may be taken before or concurrent with a course that requires them.



The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) offers a master of science in computer science (MSCS). The CSE department, together with the Business School, also offers a joint program leading to a doctoral degree in computer science and information systems (CSIS).

Research areas of emphasis include algorithms, artificial intelligence, automata theory, communication networks, combinatorial geometry, computational geometry, computer graphics, distributed computing, graph theory, information theory, Internet, parallel processing, simulation and software engineering.

Requests for applications for graduate study in computer science and engineering should be addressed to UC Denver Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Campus Box 109, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364.

Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States should make application through the Office of International Admissions, Campus Box 185, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364. All applicants for admission must submit complete credentials as outlined in the instructions that accompany the application materials.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering or science. They should have considerable programming experience and the mathematical maturity to understand advanced courses.


Applicants should have had the equivalent of the following University of Colorado courses:


In addition, applicants should have had at least three upper-division computer science courses, such as the following:


Additional requirements include (1) 10 semester hours of university level calculus and (2) at least one math course beyond calculus, such as advanced calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability, statistics or combinatorial anaylsis.

Students lacking some of these courses must complete them after admission.

Required GPA

Regular admission: Applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.

Provisional admission: If the GPA is below 3.0 but above 2.75, and/or some prerequisites are lacking, applicants may be accepted as “provisional degree students.” Provisional students must satisfy all the provisional conditions within the time frame indicated on their admission letter. 

GRE Exam

Applicants whose GPA is below 3.00 but above 2.75 must submit GRE results of 1000 or better verbal + math, and 3.0 or better written.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate course work may be transferred into the program based on department approval.

Note: A student applying for MS study will be evaluated by the department’s graduate advisor using the above specified rules and requirements. The admission letter will be sent to the student by the CSE chair. A student in Plan I (see below) should immediately choose a full-time faculty member as permanent thesis advisor based on his or her area of interest. The permanent thesis advisor, in cooperation with the student, will form a thesis committee.

Computer Science and Information Systems PhD


Prospective students apply to either the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) or the Business School. Applicants who pass the initial screening are then reviewed by a joint committee (consisting of the two co-directors of the program) for the final admittance decision.

Admission criteria include GPA (undergraduate and graduate), standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE), letters of recommendation, prior achievements in academia and industry, an application portfolio essay describing an applicant’s motivation and an initial plan for doctoral study. The application portfolio is important to gauge an applicant’s motivation for research training.

Students without a master’s degree in either computer science or information systems will need to take additional course work sufficient to complete the requirements of a master’s degree in one of the two areas.

Supervision of the PhD Program

The PhD program is supervised by the two program co-directors. The duties of the co-directors include scheduling of doctoral courses, setting program policies subject to approval of business and CSE faculty, working with advisors to ensure compliance with the program guidelines, resolving disputes, measuring performance of the program over time and providing the final decision on admittance of students.


Upon entering the program, each student chooses an advisor to provide mentoring and guidance throughout the program and work with the student to prepare a program of study. The advisor will also work with the student in the preparation of the first and second papers. Requests to change advisors must be approved by the program co-directors, and this happens in very rare circumstances.

Doctoral Committee

The advisor and four other members form a doctoral committee. To foster interdisciplinary work, students can have their doctoral research co-supervised by two faculty members from CSE and the Business School. There is at least one faculty member from CSE and at least one from business. One of the committee members is a representative of industry. At least one faculty committee member is from outside CSE and business. If the student has difficulty finding an industry representative, the advisor and the program co-directors help identify an industry representative.



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