Computer Science

450 Computer Science, MC 0401
Phone: 212-939-7000

The function and influence of the computer is pervasive in contemporary society. Today’s computers process the daily transactions of international banks, the data from communications satellites, the images in video games, and even the fuel and ignition systems of automobiles.

Computer software is as commonplace in education and recreation as it is in science and business. There is virtually no field or profession that does not rely upon computer science for the problem-solving skills and the production expertise required in the efficient processing of information. Computer scientists, therefore, function in a wide variety of roles, ranging from pure theory and design to programming and marketing.

The computer science curriculum at Columbia places strong emphasis both on theoretical computer science and mathematics and on applied aspects of computer technology. A broad range of upper-level courses is available in such areas as artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer graphics, computer vision, robotics, computational complexity and the analysis of algorithms, combinatorial methods, computer architecture, computer-aided digital design, computer communications, databases, mathematical models for computation, optimization, and software systems

Laboratory Facilities

The department has a dedicated computing work space for students with dedicated workstations as well as audiovisual equipment for group meetings, specialized office hours, and small seminars. The department also has its own 120-seat lecture hall featuring flexible seating, a dedicated podium computer, and presentation equipment, as well as video conferencing capabilities.

The department maintains its own dedicated Data Center for computational research, storage, and administrative systems. It houses several computer clusters for research and student use and several hundred research systems, all supported by more than a petabyte of storage. Services offered to the department utilize virtual machines (VMWare supporting more than 500 instances) and containerization (100 Docker containers).

In addition, the department has numerous individual laboratories with specialized hardware dedicated to particular research areas, including, but not limited to, robotics, computer vision, computer networks, computer security, computer architecture, speech processing, machine learning, and natural language processing.