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 well-equipped lab areas for research in computer graphics, computer-aided digital design, computer vision, databases and digital libraries, data mining and knowledge discovery, distributed systems, mobile and wearable computing, natural-language processing, networking, operating systems, programming systems, robotics, user interfaces, real-time multimedia, and speech research.

The labs for research in image processing, vision, graphics, and robotics contain specialized equipment such as Baxter Research Robot, PR2 mobile robot manipulator, Staubli RX-60L Robotic arm, Kinova, MICO arm, custom-built overhead XYZ gantry robot, Toshiba RMA manipulator, Barrett Technology robotic hand, 2 RWI Pioneer mobile robots, 1 Evolution ER-1 robot, 1 RWI ATRV-2 mobile robot with RTK GPS, Leica HDS-500 and HDS-3000 100 meter range scanners, real-time Imaging boards, a number of 3D printers (such as UPrint, Autodesk Ember) and professional audio recording devices; a networking testbed with Cisco backbone routers, traffic generators; an IDS testbed with secured LAN, Cisco routers, EMC storage, and Linux servers; a simulation testbed with several Linux servers and Cisco Catalyst routers. The department uses a SIP IP phone system. The protocol was developed in the department.