Welcome to Computer Science
About the Department
The Computer Science Department at the US Naval Academy houses the Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT) majors. Both majors provide an exciting curriculum that meets the needs of newly appointed naval officers serving in the fleet.
This nationally recognized department is dedicated to remaining on the leading edge of research and technology. Both the CS and IT majors are dynamic and vital components of the Naval Academy's academic program.
Given the nature of mobile devices and unlock procedures, unlock authentication is a prime target for credential leaking via shoulder surfing, a form of an observation attack. In a recent publication, Asst. Prof Adam Aviv, MIDN John Davin ('17), and fellow researchers from UMBC investigate the difficulty of guessing mobile device unlock codes after observing the user type in a PIN or draw a pattern.
The department is home to 10 civilian Ph.D. professors, 5 military faculty, and a handful of distinguished visitors. Our faculty offer a range of exciting electives, integrate cutting edge research into the classroom, and many students pursue one-on-one research with faculty.
Information for Prospective Students
Explore the Majors
Spend some time learning and comparing the CS and IT majors. Detailed information about both majors, including why it is important to the Navy, can be found on our short introduction page.
Many students from across the Yard choose a dual major with either CS or IT. In fact, double majoring in both CS and IT is a popular option given the overlap in content.
Visit the dual major page for helpful details and dual major matrices.
Annual briefs are given to 4/C midshipmen. The AY2018 brief can be downloaded here.
4/C Brief: PDF
Comparison with Other Computing Majors
Many of the technical courses in the interdisciplinary Cyber Operations (SCY) major are derived from similar courses in the CS and IT majors. The Computer Engineering (ECE), Electrical Engineering (EEE), and Weapons Systems Engineering (WSE) majors also integrate computing to various degrees. For a comparison, see this matrix.
Recent Events and News
Women and Minorities in Computing
In January 2019, led by Associate Profesor Adina Crainiceanu and Captain Jaspreet Blevins of Computer Science, 20 midshipmen traveled to West Point to participate in the Jean Bartik Computing Symposium, bringing women and underrepresented minorities from computing disciplines at the service academies together with military and government computing professionals. Midshipman 2/C Jamie Lee received the Betty Award for the best student presentation at the symposium, and Midshipman 1/C Catherine Griswold placed third in the student presentations competition.
New GPU Hardware
In January 2019, in an effort led by Associate Professor Nate Chambers of Computer Science, the Center for High Performance Computing brought online a new state-of-the-art GPU machine that provides more computational power in a single unit than any other machine on the Yard. This advanced computer is available to faculty and midshipmen studying neural networks and performing other GPU-enabled research.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) Research
In May 2019, Prof. Chambers' research group on Natural Language Processing, including collaborators from UMBC, UT Austin, and Stony Brook, learned that it won a $4 million award from DARPA to pursue advanced research in the area of "Knowledge-directed Artificial Intelligence Reasoning over Schemas," which builds on novel methods pioneered by Dr. Chambers.
University of Maryland Big Data Challenge
In February 2019, led by Associate Professor Gavin Taylor of Computer Science, 21 midshipmen from a variety of majors participated in the University of Maryland Big Data Challenge, a hackathon focused on Data Science and Machine Learning.
NSA Cyber Exercise
In April 2019, 36 midshipmen traveled to The US Air Force Academy to participate in the annual NSA Cyber Exercise, which included all service academies plus teams from several ROTC schools as well as US Cyber Command. The USNA team took second overall, including first place in Cyber Policy and Secure Software development, as well as second in Forensics and Big Data Analysis and third in the Live Fire exercise. The USNA team of JohnPwnJones (above) competed in all modules and was led by 1/c Douglas Alpuche (Computer Science), 1/c Sam Teplov (Cyber Science), 1/c Brandon Sipes Computer Science), 1/c Kristina Bodeman Computer Science), and 2/c Caroline Sears (Computer Science).