Pre-registration for Spring 2018

Pre-registration for Spring 2018 concluded on Tuesday night. Our enrollments remain strong, with all sections except the senior capstone project nearly full or overfull:

Number Title Enrolled Women:Men Waitlist
CS 167-A,B Intro. Computational Problem Solving 59/60 1:3 16
CS 210 Computer Systems Fundamentals 24/24 1:4 4
CS 270 Data Structures 28/24 3:4 4
CS 300 ST: Software Engineering 23/24 ** 0
CS 301 / Math 373 ST: Cryptography 0 enrolled as a CS course
CS 320 Theory of Computation 15/20 1:4 0
CS 327 Algorithm Design & Analysis 18/20 1:3 0
CS 351 Artificial Intelligence 24/16 1:4 4
CS 496/7/8 Capstone Project 3/16 1:2

Some narrative on particular courses:

  • Based on recent history, we expected CS 167 to fill. The waitlist is too long to accommodate all students, but not long enough to justify another section even if we had the resources to add one. Neither section will be taught by regular CS faculty: Albert Schueller (Math) will teach one section as a result of negotiations this fall that let us add another section of Discrete Math; Robin Greene (Walla Walla Community College) will teach the other section due to my maternity leave. Inexplicably, the gender ratio is as unbalanced as Albert or I have ever seen it.
  • We anticipated CS 210 would be a problem, due to our class of 2020 bubble working its way through the system. We surveyed students in advance to learn their intentions and situations. This let us consent in seniors who had a compelling argument to take the course, as well as sophomores who need to take it this spring to progress in the major or to accommodate study abroad. Juniors we left to fend for themselves, and that worked out fine. The waiting list is mainly first-year students currently enrolled in CS 270.
  • We expected to overenroll CS 270 due to a large number of current CS 167 students interested in a CS major or minor. At the conclusion of pre-registration, the waiting list included three seniors, four first-year prospective majors, and one other student. It was easy to prioritize the first-year prospective majors, especially since they all happen to be women. We are happy about the gender balance in this class, which has been very male-dominated until now. Since it is the gateway to the CS major, I hope this will lead to greater balance in 300-level courses in the future.
  • CS 300, ST: Software Engineering, takes the place of CS 370, Software Design, which I ordinarily would have taught this spring. It will be taught by James Klein, recently retired from Walla Walla University. I’m pleased it filled, but unfortunately there is only one woman enrolled in the course right now. I’m thinking about how to best support her.
  • CS 301, ST: Cryptography, will be taught by Laura Schueller who is visiting in Math. Due to some administrative SNAFUs, the cross-listing in computer science wasn’t accomplished until the very last minute. It’s also at the same time as CS 351, Artificial Intelligence. There is space in the course section. Andy has tried to convince some of his AI students to switch to Cryptography, which would also count as elective credit for the CS major, but so far to no avail.
  • CS 320 and CS 327 are right where I would have expected. CS 320 will be offered again in the fall as we planned it to normally be a fall course. We are offering it this spring so that Andy didn’t need to teach all new courses this fall. We hope fall enrollments will be sufficient; I believe there will be seniors who need to take the course to graduate.
  • CS 351 is a very popular course. Andy decided to allow it to overenroll since he doesn’t have too many students overall. We may need more elective seats in general to support the major, or we may need to reconsider whether we require two electives for the major.

All in all, there are some challenges but no catastrophes.

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