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
Supercomputer "Grace" Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
USNA Computer Science faculty members Dept. Chair CAPT Mike Bilzor, Asst. Professor Gavin Taylor and Visiting Professor Carl Albing, along with members of the University of Maryland, participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Naval Academy's new supercomputer "Grace" in September 2016. Named after the computer science pioneer Admiral Grace Hopper, "Grace" will allow midshipmen in the Computer Science and Information Technology programs to learn high performance computing (HPC) principles on state-of-the-art equipment, as well as let faculty leverage the system for cutting-edge research.
CS Faculty Honored with 2016 HPC Hero Award
USNA Computer Science faculty members Asst. Professor Gavin Taylor, Visiting Professor Carl Albing, and Assoc. Professor Nate Chambers were honored with the 2016 High Performance Computing (HPC) Hero Award in the Team Achievement category. Profs. Albing, Chambers, and Taylor were presented with this award in August 2016 by Dr. Kevin Newmeyer (USNA '83), Chief of Staff of the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program. Their tireless efforts to purchase and install state-of-the-art HPC equipment will provide Midshipmen with the ability to use cutting-edge tools and techniques to become leaders in DoD science and research communities. Learn more about the USNA Center for High Performance Computing Education and Research.
1st Place in the 2015 ACM Programming Competition
Three Naval Academy computer science majors competed against 188 different 3-person teams from universities and colleges across North Carolina to Pennsylvania. The ACM programming competition is the premier international competition that requires competitors to solve challenge problems with computer programs that they write from scratch in a 5 hour time period. The team that solves the most problems in the least time wins. The USNA team consisted of MIDN 1/C King, 1/C Mason, and 2/C O'Leary. The USNA team was 1 out of only 18 teams to correctly solve 5 challenge problems. Further, they were quicker than the others to rank 9th overall out of 188 teams. The USNA team was 1st place in its local site, and 1st over other Patriot League schools, as well as beating top research universities like Johns Hopkins and the Univ of Maryland. Congratulations to our midshipmen!
CS Major Selected as STAMP Scholar
Mr. Stamps and the Stamps Foundation selected ten midshipmen to become the Naval Academy's second cohort of Stamps Leadership Scholars. Our very own MIDN Andrew Zhao, a Computer Science major, was one of the selected students. The Stamps program provides each scholar with funding to be used for leadership development and top-student enrichment activities beyond those normally offered at the USNA.