Computer Science Department

Over the course of three decades, the computer science department at Washington and Lee has built a curriculum that provides outstanding computer science education in a liberal arts setting.  We offer students courses in all of the major areas of computing, as well as opportunities to participate in several ongoing research programs sponsored by our faculty.

Beginning students take a two-semester introductory programming sequence course in the Python language, where they become proficient in problem solving and developing software using the latest and most advanced programming techniques.  They then take courses in software development with Java, computer organization (assembly language and C programming), programming language design, and algorithm analysis.  Electives in many areas are then available.  You can enter the honors program and write a senior thesis if you qualify.

Research areas included robotics, web applications, digital humanities, and genetic programming.  The department also has strong interdisciplinary ties to such areas as neuroscience, engineering, mathematics, business administration, and digital humanities.

Faculty sponsor student research with summer internships, and you can also find summer opportunities at other universities, in government, or in the private sector.  Some graduates have been admitted to some of the top graduate schools in the country.  Other graduates use our aggressive career office and strong alumni network to find permanent employment in government or the private sector.

Students have majored in computer science and also majored in almost any other subject here.  Many students have another science major, such as biology or physics; some have a second major in our commerce school, and a few have a second major in a subject like philosophy, classics, or theater.  Students can also have a minor in a subject that offers one, where you take approximately one half of the courses required for  a major.  In all cases, we encourage our majors to pursue a broad sampling of subjects in the liberal arts, which we believe is the best way to get a true education.

We have a collegial and fun-loving group of students in the program at any given time, and our record of attracting women and students of underrepresented groups to the major is unsurpassed.  Our majors, like other students, are involved outside the classroom in many extracurricular clubs, organizations, and athletic teams.

In short, if you want a first-rate computer science education at a first-rate liberal arts college, you should check out the computer science department at Washington and Lee.  Please feel free to contact the department chair, Professor Ken Lambert at lambertk@wlu.edu, if you have any questions.

Computer Science Department Blog

Monday, February 05, 2018

Spotlight on Seniors: Lex McGriff ’18 and Sima Sharma ’18

As they prepare for graduation and the future, Lex McGriff and Sima Sharma share their W&L experiences and student successes. Lex McGriff, a Computer Science and Sociology double major shares her leadership experiences as the vice president of the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU) and vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK).  Lex also talks […]

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

CSCI Majors, Truth Iyiewuare ’18 and Alicia Martinez ’18, inducted into ODK!

Two Computer Science Majors will be be inducted into Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, (ODK) the national leadership honor society, at Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders Day/ODK Convocation.  The ceremony will be held on Jan. 18, 2018 at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel.  Below are brief descriptions of these students and their many […]

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

CSCI Major Janie Martin ’18 –Breakthrough Achievement at Hackathon!

Senior Janie Martin attended Rice University’s 7th annual Hackathon this past weekend in Houston with the goal of trying to solve some of the biggest problems in health care today.  The Hackathon competitors were in a 36 hour race against each other to develop new software and hardware to solve challenges identified by doctors at Texas […]

Thursday, September 21, 2017

CSCI Major Mary Catherine Greenleaf ’19: Digital Humanities Experience

Mary Catherine, a Computer Science and Studio Art major, describes her recent participation in a Digital Humanities project, and shares her enthusiasm for blending art with computer science.   https://columns.wlu.edu/preserving-snippets-smidgens-and-scraps-of-history/