Computer Science, M.S.


Department of Computer Science

Ming Li, Chair
Science II Building, Room C255

Degrees and Programs Offered

BS in Computer Science, B.S.
MN in Computer Science, Minor
MS in Computer Science, M.S.

Computer science is applied reasoning using both art and science: It requires the ability to communicate ideas through a combination of language and powerful technology. It is concerned with the interaction of humans and computers, as well as the application of computers to a myriad of specialized problems.

Program Description

The goal of the Department of Computer Science is to offer programs to a diverse audience: (1) students interested primarily in computing, (2) students interested primarily in applying computing to some other field of study, and (3) students who wish to include computing as part of their general education.


Students and faculty have access to a networked environment of UNIX workstations (Sun Microsystems and Linux systems) and microcomputer laboratories of PCs. These systems are connected to campus and international networks.


Computer Science

CSCI 1. Critical Thinking and Computer Science

Prerequisite: intermediate algebra. Overview of the field of computer science with an emphasis on critical thinking skills. Problem-solving strategies, algorithm design, and data abstraction. Introduction to hardware, theoretical limitations of computers, and issues arising from the growing role of computers in society. G.E. Foundation A3.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: A3

CSCI 5. Computer and Applications

An introduction to the computer: tools, applications, and graphics. Overview of the components of computer systems; discussion on software systems, electronic mail, influence of computers on society and the future of computing; extensive hands-on experience with application tools and programming. PC (Windows) environment. CR/NC grading only. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CSCI 30. Introduction to the Internet

Topics include email, web browsers, searching, evaluation of web resources, HTML, web-page design, encryption, basic network communication. Special emphasis on the underlying technologies. (2 lecture (1 traditional/1 on-line), 2 lab hours)

Units: 3

CSCI 40. Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving

Prerequisites: Students must take the ELM exam; students who do not pass the exam must record a grade of C or better in a college-taught intermediate algebra course; trigonometry. Introduction to problem solving, algorithm development, procedural and data abstraction; program design, coding, debugging, testing and documentation; a high-level programming language. (3 lecture, 2 lab hours)

Units: 4
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CSCI 41. Introduction to Data Structures

Prerequisite: CSCI 40. Programming methodology, program correctness. Review of data types. Data structures: linear and nonlinear structures, files. Implementation of data structures. Recursion. Searching and sorting. (3 lecture, 2 lab hours)

Units: 4
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CSCI 60. Foundations of Computer Science

Prerequisites: CSCI 40 (may be taken concurrently). Abstraction, iteration, induction, recursion, complexity of programs, data models, and logic. (3 lecture 2 lab hours)

Units: 4
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CSCI 100. Introduction to Computational Science

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area B. Fundamental concepts of computational science, computational modeling, computer simulations, and scientific applications. Topics include system-dynamics models, cellular-automaton simulations, computational and modeling tools, scientific visualization, high-performance computing. G.E. Integration IB.

Units: 3
GE Area: IB

CSCI 101. Computational Foundations for Bioinformatics

Prerequisites: CSCI 1, BIOL 102. Computational approaches to problems in molecular biology. Algorithms, heuristics, strings, graphs. Sequence comparison, mulitple alignment. Selected topics such as scripting, visual programming, laboratory workflow, databases, and queries. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours). (Formerly computer applications in the sciences).

Units: 3

CSCI 105T. Intro Programming Workshop

To be taken in conjunction with CSCI 40. Develops computational thinking, supplements programming instruction.

Units: 1

CSCI 112. Introduction to Computer Systems

Prerequisite: CSCI 41, CSCI 60. Computer arithmetic. Von Neumann architecture. Instruction sets, data types, formats, addressing. Register and ALU organization. Memory hierarchy. I/O Bus organization. Study of one or more assembly languages. Basics of implementation of higher-level languages. (3 lecture, 2 lab hours)

Units: 4
Course Typically Offered: Spring

CSCI 113. Introduction to Computer Organization

Prerequisite: CSCI 41. Fundamental issues of computer design at register-transfer level. Logical design of basic combinational and sequential modules. Organization and design of major functional blocks: ALU, CPU, memory, cache, input/output, hard-wired and microprogrammed control. Simulation of computer organization. INtroduction to high performance superscalar computer organization. (3 lecture, 2 lab hours)

Units: 4
Course Typically Offered: Fall

CSCI 115. Algorithms and Data Structures

Prerequisites: CSCI 41, CSCI 60, MATH 75. Review of basic data structures. Graph, search paths, and spanning trees. Algorithm design and analysis of sorting, merging, and searching. Memory management, hashing, dynamic storage allocation. Integration of data structures into system design. (3 lecture 2 lab hours)

Units: 4
Course Typically Offered: Spring

CSCI 117. Structures of Programming Languages

Prerequisites: CSCI 41, and CSCI 60. General concepts and paradigms of programming languages; scope and binding rules, applications and implementations of language concepts. Languages selected from: ADA, ICON, Miranda, ML, MODULA 2, OCCAM 2, PROLOG, LISP, Scheme, Smalltalk. (3 lecture, 2 lab hours)

Units: 4
Course Typically Offered: Fall

CSCI 119. Introduction to Finite Automata

Prerequisites: CSCI 41, CSCI 60. Strings, languages, and fundamental proof techniques. Regular expression, regular grammar, regular languages, finite automata, their interrelationship, and their properties. Introduction to context-free languages. (3 lecture 2 lab hours)

Units: 4
Course Typically Offered: Fall

CSCI 124. Introduction to File Processing

Prerequisite: CSCI 115. Definition of file components, access methods, and file operations. Algorithms for efficient implementation of data structures; characteristics of bulk storage media for mainframe and microcomputers. Introduction to database management systems.

Units: 3

CSCI 126. Database Systems

Prerequisites: CSCI 124. Database concepts; hierarchical and relational network models; object-oriented data models. Data normalization, data description languages, data manipulation languages, and query design.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

CSCI 130. Web Programming

Prerequisites: CSCI 115. Programming for the World Wide Web. Web servers and clients, Internet and Web protocols, and mark-up languages. Client side scripting, including both gateway and filter-based approaches. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours). (Formerly CSCI 191T).

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

CSCI 134. Compiler Design

Prerequisites: CSCI 112, CSCI 115, CSCI 119. Syntax and semantics of programming languages. Lexical analysis, parsing techniques, parser generator, SLR and LALR parsing. Introduction to symbol table organization and semantic routines. Compiler generators.

Units: 3

CSCI 144. Introduction to Operating Systems

Prerequisites: CSCI 41, and CSCI 112 or ECE 118. Operating system history and services. File systems. Memory management. Process management - concurrent processes, communication, semaphores, monitors, deadlocks. Resource management - processor and disk scheduling. Security and protection mechanisms. (3 lecture hours)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

CSCI 146. Systems Architecture

Prerequisites: CSCI 113, CSCI 144. An in-depth analysis of one or more operating systems -- system data structures, hardware architecture, shell and kernel functions, I/O routines, interrupt handling. Other topics may include parallel hardware architectures, performance analysis.

Units: 3

CSCI 148. Systems Programming

Prerequisites: CSCI 113, CSCI 144. Topics include implementation of operating system components and modification of existing systems. Device drivers, memory management, communication networks, and file systems will be examined. Projects will be emphasized.

Units: 3

CSCI 150. Introduction to Software Engineering

Prerequisite: CSCI 41. History, goals, and motivation of software engineering. Study and use of software engineering methods. Requirements, specification, design, implementation, testing, verification, and maintenance of large software systems. Team programming. (2 lecture, 3 lab hours)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

CSCI 152. Software Engineering

Prerequisite: CSCI 150. In-depth examination of techniques for specification, design, implementation, testing, and verification of software. Human-computer interfaces. Formal methods of software development. Use of software engineering tools for the development of substantial software projects. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

CSCI 154. Simulation

Prerequisites: CSCI 41, CSCI 60; MATH 75. Simulation as a tool for the study of complex systems in computer science, statistics and operations research. Generating random variables. Review of principles behind and examples of simulation languages.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

CSCI 156. Internetworking Systems and Protocols

Prerequisite: CSCI 144 or permission of instructor. Review of underlying network technologies. Application-level interconnections, network architectures, addressing, mapping abstract addresses to physical addresses, routing datagrams, error and control messages, protocal layering, gateways, subnets. Client-server interactions. Upper layers of protocol stacks. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

CSCI 164. Artificial Intelligence Programming

Prerequisite: CSCI 117. Introduction to problem-solving methods from artificial intelligence. Production systems. Knowledge-based systems. Machine learning. Topics chosen from fuzzy logic, neural network models, genetic algorithms. Verification, validation, testing.

Units: 3

CSCI 166. Principles of Artificial Intelligence

Prerequisite: CSCI 164. Analysis of knowledge-based and neural models, including self-organization, sequential learning models, neurally inspired models of reasoning and perception. Integration of different paradigms.

Units: 3

CSCI 172. Computer Graphics

Prerequisites: MATH 76, CSCI 41, and (CSCI 112 or ECE 118). Hardware devices, raster graphics, device in dependence, graphic data structure and representations, interactive techniques, and algorithms for the display of two- and three-dimensional objects, graphic transformation, graphics standards, modeling ,animation, VRML, and scientific visualization. (3 lecture hours)

Units: 3

CSCI 173. Advanced Computer Graphics

Prerequisite: CSCI 172. Visible surface algorithms, lighting and shading, textures, curves and surfaces, computer-aided design, advanced modeling techniques, solid modeling, advanced raster graphics architecture, advanced geometric and raster algorithms, user interface, ray tracing, animation techniques, and fractals. (2 lecture, 2 lab hours)

Units: 3

CSCI 174. Design and Analysis of Algorithms

Prerequisites: CSCI 115, CSCI 119. Models of computation and measures of complexity, algorithms for sorting and searching, set representation and manipulation, branch and bound, integer and polynomial arithmetic, pattern-matching algorithms, parsing algorithm, graph algorithm, NP-complete problems.

Units: 3

CSCI 176. Parallel Processing

Prerequisites: CSCI 113, CSCI 144. Characteristics, and classification of computer systems. Notion and realization of parallelism. Pipeline design techniques. Vector processing. Array processing. Multiprocessing. Multiprocessing vs. multicomputers. Shared memory vs message-passing, problem solving and parallel programming. Architectural trends.

Units: 3

CSCI 177. Distributed Computer Systems

Prerequisites: CSCI 113, CSCI 144. Characteristics and design of distributed systems. Application and network interconnectivity. Enterprise computing. Distributed data and transaction management. Distributed operating systems. Distributed problem solving and programming.

Units: 3

CSCI 186. Formal Languages and Automata

Prerequisite: CSCI 119. Introduction to formal language theory. Context-free grammars, context-sensitive grammars, unrestricted grammars; properties of context-free languages, push-down automata.

Units: 3

CSCI 188. Introduction to Computability

Prerequisite: CSCI 119. Introduction to computability and complexity. Turing machines, recursive functions, reduction, undecidability, classes P and NP, and intractable problems.

Units: 3

CSCI 190. Independent Study

See Academic Placement -- [-LINK-]. Approved for SP grading.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units

CSCI 191T. Information Security

Introduction to security issues in Computer Systems and Networks. Contents include cryptography access control, Internet Security, Systems Security, and Network Security. Prerequisite: CSCI 144 and CSCI 156.

Units: 3

CSCI 191T. Game Development

Prerequisites: CSCI 115 or permission from instructor. Computer graphics on framebuffers and bitmaps, color presentation, composting equations, Bresenham?s algorithms. Linear algebra; Implementation issues; Dynamics such as equations of motion, numerical integration methods, collision detection and response; performance issues; Multiplayer and networking issues.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 9 units

CSCI 194. Cooperative Education

Prerequisites: courses appropriate to the work experience; approval by major department cooperative education coordinator. Integration of work experience with academic program, individually planned through coordinator. CR/NC grading only.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

CSCI 198. Project

Prerequisite: senior standing in computer science or permission of instructor and approved subject. See [-LINK-]. Study of a problem under the supervision of a faculty member. Presentation by the student in a seminar setting and a final report are required. Satisfies the senior major requirement for the B.S. in Computer Science. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CSCI 200. Introduction to Research in Computer Science

Prerequisite: classified standing in computer science. Orientation to the graduate program, introduction to research methodology, and discussion of possible project and thesis topics.

Units: 1

CSCI 213. Computer Organization

Prerequisites: CSCI 112 and CSCI 113 or permission of instructor. Organization of memory, I/O, and processors. Computer busses. Microprogramming and instruction execution. Interrupts. Data communications.

Units: 3

CSCI 217. Programming Language Principles

Prerequisite: CSCI 117 or permission of instructor. Advanced topics in programming languages: concurrency, exceptions, types, procedures, execution models. Introduction to the formal specification of programming languages: syntax specification, semantic specification.

Units: 3

CSCI 226. Advanced Database Systems

Prerequisites: CSCI 126 and CSCI 144. Implementation of database systems on modern hardware systems. Operating system design issues, including buffering, page size, prefetching, etc. Query processing algorithms; design of crash recovery and concurrency contro

Units: 3

CSCI 230. Advanced Web Application Development

Prerequisite: CSCI 130 or permission of instructor. Application development for the World-Wide Web. Three-tier architecture; authentication, capability, and session management; versioning and open-source development. Case studies and project work. (Formerly CSCI 291T)

Units: 3

CSCI 244. Operating Systems

Prerequisite: CSCI 144. Operating system functions. Performance monitoring and fine-tuning. Network operating system design. Concurrency, analysis of deadlock. Selected topics from current research.

Units: 3

CSCI 246. Computer Architecture

Prerequisite: CSCI 144 or permission of instructor. Contemporary computer architectures. Pipelined, superscalar, shared and distributed memory, multicore and embedded systems. Memory hierarchy, computer arithmetic, interconnection networks. Selected topics from current research.

Units: 3

CSCI 250. Advanced Software Engineering

Prerequisite: CSCI 150 or permission of instructor. Theoretical and practical aspects of software engineering emphasizing requirements analysis, specification, design, coding, testing, correctness, maintenance, and management. Examination of reliability, performance, and software metrics.

Units: 3

CSCI 252. Software Development and Environments

Prerequisite: CSCI 150 or permission of instructor. Overview of advanced and state-of-the-practice software engineering methodologies and techniques for software development, software environments, software verification, software planning, or cost estimation. Selected topics from current research.

Units: 3

CSCI 253. Human-Computer Interaction

Software engineering approach to human-computer interaction. Design, evaluation, and implementation of user interfaces and experiences. Modeling, prototyping, inspection, and usability testing. Relationship of user interface characteristics to attention, errors, and efficiency.

Units: 3

CSCI 256. Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing

Review of basic wireless communication concepts, protocols, and architectures. Study of IEEE 802.11 based wireless LANs, wireless mobile ad hoc networks, wireless sensor networks, and wireless mesh networks. Mobile IP and cellular networks. (Formerly CSCI 291T)

Units: 3

CSCI 264. Artificial Intelligence

Prerequisite: CSCI 164 or ability to program in Lisp and Prolog. Software technology for artificial intelligence systems, including expert systems. Knowledge- based and rule-based systems. Explanation and learning. User-oriented interfaces.

Units: 3

CSCI 272. Computer Graphics

Prerequisite: CSCI 172 or permission of instructor. 3-D transformations, visible surface algorithms, shading, textures, curves and surfaces, computer-aided design, advanced modeling techniques, solid modeling, advanced raster graphics architecture, advanced geometric and raster algorithms, user interface, ray tracing, animation techniques, and fractals.

Units: 3

CSCI 274. Combinatorial Algorithms

Prerequisite: CSCI 174. Design and analysis of efficient algorithms for combinatorial problems. Network flow theory, matching theory, augmenting-path algorithms, branch-and-bound algorithms, data structure techniques for efficient implementation of combinatorial algorithms, analysis of data structures, application of data structural techniques to sorting, searching, and geometric problems.

Units: 3

CSCI 282. Theory of Computation

Prerequisite: CSCI 188 or permission of instructor. General models of computation, recursive functions, undecidable problems, propositional calculus, predicate calculus, complexity classes, NP-complete problems.

Units: 3

CSCI 284. Automata Theory

Prerequisite: CSCI 186 or permission of instructor. Formal Languages, abstract machines, algebraic approach to automata, term rewriting systems, formal power series, cryptography, parallel computation.

Units: 3

CSCI 290. Independent Study

Prerequisite: approval of department. See Academic Placement -- [-LINK-]. Approved for SP grading.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units

CSCI 291T. Seminar

Prerequisite: approval of instructor. Special topics in computer science of current interest and importance.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 9 units

CSCI 291T. Bioinfomatics Computing

Prerequisites: CSCI 115, any Biology GE course or permission from instructor. Computational and algorithmic approaches in bioinformatics. Heuristic/non-heuristic sequence alignment, suffix tree, genome alignment, motif finding, gene prediction, hidden Markov models. High-throughput sequencing data analysis methodologies and practices. Selected topics from current research. (3 Lecture hours)

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 9 units

CSCI 298. Research Project

Prerequisite: advancement to candidacy. See [-LINK-]. Independent investigation of an advanced topic as the culminating requirement for the master's degree. Approved for SP grading.

Units: 3

CSCI 298C. Project Continuation

Pre-requisite: Project CSCI 298. For continuous enrollment while completing the project. May enroll twice with department approval. Additional enrollments must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Units: 0

CSCI 299. Master's Thesis

Prerequisite: advancement to candidacy. See [-LINK-]. Preparation, completion, and submission of an acceptable thesis for the master's degree. Approved for SP grading.

Units: 3-6

CSCI 299C. Thesis Continuation

Pre-requisite: Thesis CSCI 299. For continuous enrollment while completing the thesis. May enroll twice with department approval. Additional enrollments must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Units: 0


Computer Science Master of Science Requirements

Graduate Program

The Master of Science degree program in Computer Science is designed to offer the advanced principles, applications, and current topics in computer science. Students who obtain the M.S. will be ready to do significant developmental work in the computer industry or in an important application area and will also be well qualified to pursue a Ph.D.

Applicants may hold an acceptable bachelor's degree in any field of study and must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

To attain classified standing at the time of admission, an applicant must:

have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in the last 60 units and
have completed the following undergraduate prerequisite courses or equivalents with a minimum grade point average of 3.0: CSCI 40, 41, 60, 112, 113, 115, 117, 119, 144, MATH 75, 76.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements 1 and 2 above may be admitted to conditionally classified standing to complete the remaining prerequisites at California State University, Fresno. Approved coursework up to a maximum of 10 units of the 30 units required for the M.S. can be taken concurrently with prerequisite courses by a student with conditionally classified standing.

To attain classified standing from conditionally classified standing, a student must complete the remaining prerequisite courses with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in all coursework taken toward the M.S. in Computer Science.

(See also the Graduate Studies section in this catalog.)

Master of Science Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree requires a minimum of 30 units after the completion of the baccalaure ate degree according to the criteria below. At least 21 units of the total must be taken in 200-level courses in computer science. The undergraduate courses used toward the bachelor's degree or toward fully classified status may not be used toward the master's degree.

Required courses (10 units)
CSCI 174 or 188, 200, 213* or 246, 217

Electives (9 units)
Three of the following: CSCI 226, 230, 244, 246, 250, 252, 253, 256, 272, 274, 282, 284

Approved electives (5-8 units)

Culminating experience (3-6 units)
CSCI 298 or 299

Total (30 units)

* CSCI 246 is an elective for students who have taken CSCI 213 as a required course.

In order to be eligible for advancement to candidacy in the M.S. in Computer Science program, all students must pass CSCI 200 with a grade of B or better. In addition, all students must demonstrate competence in graduate-level writing prior to being advanced to candidacy. Students may fulfill this requirement by passing the writing component of CSCI 200. Please see the graduate program coordinator for further information.


The faculty comes from a variety of areas including computer systems and architecture, theoretical computer science, programming languages, software engineering, computer graphics, distributed systems and parallel processing, neural networks, image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, wireless communication and mobile computing, robot swarm communication, evolutionary computation, domain-specific languages, and real-time and embedded systems. They have in common a desire to provide a program that will give the student a broad range of experience in computer science as well as the depth of education that will be needed in the student's later career, whether professional or academic.

Name Degree Email Phone
Auernheimer, Brent J Doctor of Philosophy 559.278.2573
Clifton, Andrew V Bachelor of Science
Li, Ming Doctor of Philosophy 559.278.4792
Liu, Shih-Hsi Doctor of Philosophy 559.278.4789
Lowe, Prudence M Master of Science 559.278.7074
McLeod, Todd Master of Business Admin
Park, Jin H Doctor of Philosophy 559.278.4307
Ruby, David C Doctor of Philosophy
Sutherland, Lawrence C
Wilson, J T Doctor of Philosophy 559.278.9138