computer science


The relationship between COSC, INFO, and SENG

Like computer science, information science is about the use of computers. A computer science major can benefit by including thoughtfully selected INFO papers, but care must be taken to avoid overlap. Care should also be taken not to fill up your degree with papers that all involve computing, since a degree should achieve more than merely training you for a job.

In computer science, we place a great deal of emphasis on programming. Instead of looking at ways to use existing software to solve your problems, we teach you to produce your own software for the purpose. For example, in the graphics paper COSC342, you program your own ray tracer before using it to produce images. Thus the spine of the COSC major consists of the sequence of core programming papers COMP160, then COSC241, then COSC242, and then COSC326. This programming core may be augmented by specialised programming papers like COSC346 (object-oriented programming).

How does one choose between COSC, INFO, or SENG as majors? Listen to your inner voice when you do COMP160 and COMP101. Students tend to prefer one of these to the other. If you prefer COMP160, you'll enjoy COSC. If you prefer COMP101, you should choose INFO. Of course, some students like both. If you have a strong interest in combining COSC and INFO, you should consider the BAppSc in Software Engineering.

The Department of Computer Science is in the Division of Sciences, while the Department of Information Science is in the School of Business.

Which offers better employment prospects, COSC or INFO? It doesn't matter which you major in, since there is demand for both. Choose the subject that feels right to you, and if you need more information, you could send an e-mail to the adviser of studies for computer science.

You should also consult the adviser of studies if you want to add INFO papers to a COSC major.