Oct. 6, 2010 - At a news conference held today, CSUB President Horace Mitchell announced that the university will offer a degree in computer engineering with coursework beginning in fall 2011. This will be the institution's first four-year engineering program; a pre-engineering program has been offered for a number of years.
Dr. Mitchell stated, "For the past six years as I have been out and about in the community, the question I am unfailingly and most frequently asked is, 'What about engineering? This region needs engineering.' We are excited to be able to respond to a component of this need by offering our initial engineering program."
Funding for the new program was made possible by a $3.7 million grant awarded to CSUB last week by the U.S. Department of Education under the Strengthening Hispanic Serving Institutions Program. The grant will be awarded over five years, with CSUB receiving $737,000 each year.
Mitchell added, "CSUB is committed to increasing the number of underrepresented students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. This grant will expand and enhance our efforts to do so."
While CSUB was eligible for the funds because 38 percent of its current enrollment is Hispanic, the new major will benefit all student populations according to Dr. Julio Blanco, Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
"This is a major accomplishment and major stepping stone for the future," said Blanco. "We will submit additional proposals to bring in more engineering programs in the future."
The new major will complement CSUB's well-established computer science program and will take advantage of existing classrooms, labs and other resources.
"Our vision is to optimize the synergies between computer science and computer engineering to enter the domain of engineering, then build on that," said Blanco. "The computer science program has benefited from donations from the community in terms of equipment. Computer science has offered a hardware track since 2006 and now the facilities will serve a dual purpose. We also intend to buy new specialized equipment for computer engineering."
Commonalities between the two majors exist and many courses will overlap. Typically, computer science involves computer language and programming, while computer engineering involves the hardware and electrical side of computing systems, Blanco said.
Curriculum for the program has already been developed and approved by CSUB's Academic Senate and a review by the CSU Chancellor's Office is underway. A search for two tenure-track computer engineering faculty is being initiated.
For more information:Rob Meszaros
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications