COMPUTER SCIENCE &
COMPUTER ENGINEERING

Computer Science | Computer Engineering | Software Engineering

Our stellar programs attract oustanding students from around the world who work closely with our faculty to advance state-of-the-art research in computing technologies. We attribute our success to a strong tradition of collaborative research, close working relationships with local industries, state-of-the-art facilities and a dedicated committment to student achievement.

We offer bachelor of science degrees in computer science (CS), computer engineering (CPE), and a master's degree in software engineering (MSE). Our MSE program is unique within the UW system and offers graduates very desiriable employment opportunities. We also offer a very popular dual-degree program that awards students a BS in Computer Science and a Master's in Software Engineering within a condensed time frame of only five years. If you have any questions please contact us at compsci@uwlax.edu.

Announcements

Fall 2021: Lab Schedule
Fall 2021: MFT exam offered on Oct. 22nd and Nov. 5th

Tutoring Sessions

Tutors are available to help students in CS 120 and CS 220. Tutoring hours are Monday and Tuesday 4:00-6:00, and Thursday 6:00-8:00. Tutors will be located in the departmental CS lab in the basement of Wing Technology.

Research Grant Awarded to Dr. Mitra

Dr. Dipankar Mitra was awarded a UWL Faculty Research Grant to fund his research entitled "A Pathway to Prototyping Transformation Optics-based Electromagnetic Devices." This grant includes funding for student researchers to assist Dr. Mitra in his efforts which are summarized in brief below.

Electromagnetic (EM) devices, such as antennas and radio-frequency (RF) structures dominate our daily life. Apart from their use in TV broadcasting and home Wi-Fi networks, they are also found in tablets, global positioning system (GPS) in cars, highway toll devices, the security tag attached to merchandise, weather monitoring, health-care monitoring, and defense security etc. Often the performances of these devices are characterized in terms of bandwidth (BW), directionality, and gain. These performances are significantly dependent on the substrate materials of the EM devices. One of the key challenges to realize unique and useful EM devices is to come up with new substrate materials. In 2006, a new theoretical method, transformation electromagnetics/optics (TE/TO) was proposed to control electromagnetic waves in a desired manner. The TE/TO technique results in a new substrate material for unconventional and powerful EM devices, but the substrate material takes a complex and anisotropic matrix form and therefore makes it very difficult to realize practically with available natural materials. This eventually makes it difficult to prototype EM devices prescribed by the TE/TO technique. This research focuses on the theoretical optimization of the existing TE/TO theory so that the resultant matrix form of complex and anisotropic material parameters can be mapped into realizable values with the available natural materials. Finite element analysis (FEA)-based numerical simulator, COMSOL Multiphysics will be used to perform this process. Additionally, this research focuses on deriving the equivalent electrical circuit model using a method called partial element equivalent circuit (PEEC) of the proposed TE/TO-based EM device to accurately predict its electrical behavior, which is a necessary step for prototyping the EM device. This step will be performed using electronic design automation (EDA) software, ADS. Overall, the results of this research will lead the path towards fabrication of the TE/TO-based electromagnetic device.

Invited Talk at IEEE RAPID

Dr. Dipankar Mitra gave an invited talk at IEEE Research and Applications of Photonics in Defense (RAPID), 2-4 Aug., 2021 Virtual Conference. The talk was titled "Phased Array Scanning using Source Transformations". Information about the conference can be found at https://ieee-rapid.org/. An abstract is given below.

How transformation optics (TO) can be shown to be a useful technique in designing unique electromagnetic devices and the concepts can be extended to electromagnetic sources known as source transformations. This talk focuses on how source transformations can be utilized for designing phased arrays and scanning.

Dr. Dipankar Mitra: Guest Editor

Dipankar Mitra is serving as a guest editor for an upcoming special issue of the well regarded Electronics Journal. This special issue is meant to present research activities in the domain of metamaterials, antenna and RFID based sensor design and development for 5G and IoT applications. It is entitled "Advances in Antennas, RFID and Metamaterials for 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) Application Areas". The call for participation is given below.

The increased spectrum availability makes the 5G radio technology a key Internet of Things (IoT) enabler by supporting the high traffic growth and growing demand for high-bandwidth connectivity. IoT makes extensive use of sensor technologies in order to empower any application under its realm. To gain better industrial traction, ideally, the sensors used in IoT should have the ability to identify and locate items. The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) based sensors can be potential solution in this regard. The pervasive coverage, low latency and high-speed connectivity of 5G allows a substantial number of IoT devices to communicate with each other seamlessly. This eventually enables a wide range of industrial applications to take advantage of such a groundbreaking technology. For example, 5G is poised to play a significant role in driving industrial automation. It will also support use cases like smart homes, precision agriculture, transport infrastructure such as connected cars and traffic control, health monitoring of public infrastructure such as bridges, wearables and many others.

Student Research: Algorithmic Extinction Event!

Kaelan Engholdt, a senior majoring in computer science, has created a method by which computers can more effectively pinpoint the optimal solutions to a wide range of issues.

“In computer science, we like to use the biological world for inspiration for things we can try in the computational world,” Engholdt explains. “Genetic algorithms are a perfect example. They’re based on Darwinian evolution, like you see in nature. Basically, you give a computer a population of possible solutions, and over time, they evolve into better and better solutions.” For more information refer to the Campus Connection article Solving the world’s toughest problems.

Funding for Summer 2022 CS and Engineering Camp

Working in collaboration with UWL's Office of Multicultural Student Services, Professor Elliott Forbes has received funding from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to host the UWL Computer Science and Engineering Exploration Camp. The summer camp is for pre-college students who live in low-income regions where access to equipment and expertise is not available. Converging on UWL's campus in the summer of 2022, students will stay on campus and participate in leadership and team-building exercises. Throughout their stay, students will be introduced to the fields of computer science and computer engineering, with activities that will give students hands-on exposure to the day-to-day tasks that computer scientists and computer engineers perform in their careers. The CS department will also recruit existing UWL Computer Science students to give a panel talk about life as a UWL student, and their experience with the Computer Science and Computer Engineering programs.

Continuing NSF Research

Prof. Allie Sauppé continues work on a National Science Foundation grant, together with colleagues at UW-Madison and University of Washington, which seeks to develop a framework for computationally validating appropriate robot social behaviors. For example, if you program a robot to approach someone, say "hi", and then walk away, is that robot following typical human social behaviors? No! Will it be successful in whatever tasks it is assigned to do? Probably not! Humans don't like technology that behaves in unexpected ways. Right now, tools for programming robots do nothing to ensure that the programmer is implementing appropriate social behavior, primarily because there is not yet a framework for automatically validating whether a provided program is socially appropriate. For this summer, Prof. Sauppé and Peter Aloisi, a UWL MSE student, are beginning work on his capstone project to develop a visual programming environment that will introduce secondary school students to programming robots in socially appropriate ways. During the next school year, they will test the programming environment with a local homeschool co-op group.

CS Alumn Presentation: June 23

Andrea Connell, ’08, is part of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which has helped oversee planning and operations for the Mars Perseverance rover. Adrea earned her undergraduate degree in Computer Science and then went on to earn her master’s degree from the University of Hawaii. During this time, she worked as a summer intern with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She will be giving a presentation on her work with the Mars Perseverance project on Wednesday as part of the What's New Wednesday series. The program is free and open to anyone: register online here.

CS Alumn Authors Kotlin Book

CS Alumn Michael Fazio recently completed a book called "Kotlin and Android Development featuring Jetpack". The book is currently available in eBook form while physical copy should be available in late June of 2021. The book is published by the Pragmatic Bookshelf, run by the same people who wrote "The Pragmatic Programmer", a well known text that has been popular for the last 20 years; a rare feat in the technology field. The author appreciates his time at UWL saying that "Development first clicked for me in her [Dr. Mao Zheng's] class and I wouldn't be where I am without her"!

NSF Research Award

Professor David Mathias has received a National Science Foundation grant to fund his research group’s work on swarm intelligence.  Inspired by natural swarms, such as insects, artificial swarms consist of a large number of relatively simple agents.  Depending on the application, the agents can be hardware (small robots, for example) or software.  The large number of agents provide redundancy within the swarm.  If one agent is lost or damaged, another can replace it.  One reason that swarms are not yet used in real-world applications is that decentralization — having agents independently decide what tasks to perform in pursuit of the group’s goals — is a difficult problem.  Dr. Mathias’ research, in collaboration with Dr. Annie Wu at the University of Central Florida, seeks to develop effective decentralized task allocation.  That is, ensuring that agents self-select tasks such that all tasks are appropriately addressed.  The NSF grant will enable undergraduate student participation in the research for the next fiscal year.