2012-2013 Student Handbook

Welcome to the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department. We are glad that you are here! This guide is designed to help students in the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department plan and successfully complete a program of study leading to a bachelor’s degree with a major in computer science, software engineering, or engineering management with a concentration in systems analysis.


The Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Miami University offers three majors leading to a Bachelor of Science degree: computer science, software engineering, and engineering management with a concentration in systems analysis.

Computer science focuses on the structure and operation of computer systems, on the principles that underlie their design and programming, and on theoretical characterizations of their properties and limitations. 

Software engineering differs from computer science in that it emphasizes topics such as software design, software quality assurance, software requirements analysis, software project management, software maintenance, and formal methods for software development.

Engineering management offers an interdisciplinary approach to address complexities in today's workplace. This program provides a broad academic background including engineering, business, science, mathematics, and the liberal arts. The engineering management curriculum consists of an engineering and business core complemented by a concentration in one of the following technical specialties: Environmental Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Paper Science & Engineering or Systems Analysis. Systems analysis combines topics from computer science, information systems, and operations research. Information systems focuses on the integration of people, procedures, hardware, and software that is designed and built to collect, record, process, store, retrieve, and display information. Operations research is an applied field of study concerning decision-making using mathematical models and computers.

** For requirements see the Other Information Section **


The CSE department offers minors in Computer Science and in Computational Science and Engineering. Only non-CSE majors are eligible for the Computer Science minor, but all majors are eligible for the Computational Science and Engineering minor. CSE majors may also be interested in other related minors offered by various departments at Miami University. Contact the corresponding department to learn more about each of the following minors:

  • Computer Engineering minor (Electrical and Computer Engineering department)
  • Digital Game Studies minor (Interactive Media Studies department)
  • Interactive Media Studies minor (Interactive Media Studies department)
  • Management of Information Technology minor (Decision Sciences & Management Information Systems department)


Requirements and Electives:

When you look at the requirements for a major or minor you will see that courses are categorized as required or electives. A required course is one that you must take unless your advisor has approved an exception. An elective course is one that gives you a choice: you may take that course, but you may also take one or more alternatives in place of that course.

Prerequisites and Corequisites:

In many cases you may be required to complete “course A” before you can take “course B.” In this example course A is called a prerequisite course for course B. For example, you must complete CSE 174 before enrolling in CSE 271; you must complete MTH 231 and CSE 271 before enrolling in CSE 274. Course prerequisites are listed in the catalog description for every course. The prerequisite flow of CSE courses is also illustrated in the appendices. It is very important to follow the prerequisite requirements, because in many cases our courses build upon one another.

In some cases, you may be required to either take “course A” before or in the same semester as “course B.” In this example, course A is called a corequisite course for course B. For example, you must either complete CSE 274 before taking CSE 385, or take CSE 274 and CSE 385 during the same semester.

Degree Audit Report (DAR):

To help you to keep track of your progress toward your major and possibly your minor, Miami provides an automated system called the Degree Audit Report (DAR). This report lists departmental, Miami Plan, and other university requirements, and indicates which of these you have completed, which ones are “in progress”, and which still need to be completed. You can obtain a DAR report from the web. Go to http://bannerweb.miamiOH.edu. If you have questions about anything appearing on your DAR, you should contact an advisor.


Our faculty are here to help you to succeed in your studies. You can consult with any faculty member regarding questions about your course schedule or specifics about any course. However, the following faculty members are also here to help you:

  • Your faculty advisor
  • The chief departmental advisor
  • The assistant department chair
  • The department chair
  • Miami Advising Resource Center (MARC) – located in the Campus Avenue Building

For more information about departments, department chairs, etc., see “The Big Picture” sec- tion below.

Your Faculty Advisor:

Your faculty advisor is a member of the department who is assigned especially to help you to plan your course of study. You are encouraged to visit with your advisor each semester prior to registering for classes. Your advisor is:

Advisor Name: 

Advisor email address:

Advisor phone number:

Advisor office number:

Chief Departmental Advisor:

For questions about transferring credit, selecting a minor, or solving difficult advising problems, you may contact the department’s chief advisor. Our chief departmental advisor is:

  Prof. Norm Krumpe
  Email: krumpenj@miamiOH.edu
  Phone: 529-0351
  Office: 205L Benton Hall

Department Chair and Assistant Chair:

The department chair and assistant chair are responsible for the overall operation of the department. They are available to assist you with difficult problems that can’t be resolved by your faculty advisor.

The department chair is: 

  Prof. Jim Kiper
  Email: kiperjd@miamiOH.edu
  Phone: 529-0340
  Office: 205M Benton Hall

The assistant chair is:

  Prof. Norm Krumpe
  Email: krumpenj@miamiOH.edu
  Phone: 529-0351
  Office: 205L Benton Hall

Computer and Information Technology (CIT) Chair:

The CIT chair oversees the CSE classes that are offered on the Hamilton and Middletown regional campuses (see “The Big Picture” below for information about regional campuses). The chair of CIT is:

Prof. Cathy Bishop-Clark
Email: bishopcu@muohio.edu
Phone: 727-3436
Office: 203C Johnston Hall in Middletown, and 301D Mosler Hall in Hamilton

** Prof. Bishop-Clark is no longer the current CIT Chair, for the most up to date information please see the most current handbook **

Department Mission, Program Objectives, and Educational Outcomes

The Global Miami Plan and, for students in Miami's Honors Program, the Honors Framework for Liberal Education, form the foundation of liberal education at Miami University. These plans are guided by four principles: critical thinking, understanding of contexts, engaging with other learners, and reflection and action.

Our program emphasizes critical thinking by promoting the scientific principles, analysis techniques, and design methodologies that form the basis for critical thinking in computer science. We promote understanding of the social context and broader impacts of technology, which is necessary for leadership and for integration of computing into business. By requiring students to engage with other learners, we develop their abilities to communicate clearly, and work in teams responsibly. This pattern of deep reflection, broad understanding, and engagement with others is transformed into action through coursework that emphasizes a mixture of theoretical foundations and hands-on application.

  1. Depth. Computer Science graduates will have acquired a sufficient knowledge and under- standing of the field of computer science including scientific principles, analysis techniques, and design methodologies to:
    • Be successfully employed, pursue a graduate degree, or continue their professional education.
  2. Breadth. Computer Science graduates will have a broad liberal education enabling them to:
    • Demonstrate adaptability or leadership by, for example, being promoted, moving up to a better job, or by taking a leadership role in a team. Demonstrate an understanding of the context and broader impacts of technology in their organization.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the context and broader impacts of technology in their organization by, for example, engaging stakeholders outside their immediate team, or by identifying ethical, economic, cultural, legal or environmental issues related to work projects.
  3. Professionalism. Computer Science graduates will be prepared for modern work environments, where they will:
    • Apply their skills in clear communication, responsible teamwork, and time management by, for example, managing a team or project, working on multidisciplinary project teams, or communicating with external stakeholders.
    • Demonstrate professional attitudes and ethics by, for example, assisting colleagues in professional development (e.g. mentoring), engaging in continuing education or training, participating in professional societies, engaging in service to the community, or contributing to an employer’s efforts to comply with software licensing, protect privacy, or assure quality and safety.

Program Outcomes:

Graduates of the computer science major shall be able to:

  • CS.1: Explain and apply the key facts, concepts, principles, and theories of computer science 
  • CS.2: Analyze problems, and select and apply appropriate techniques from computer science and mathematics to solve them
  • CS.3: Effectively use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice 
  • CS.4: Design, implement, and test software systems of varying complexity that meet the needs of a client
  • CS.5: Think critically in evaluating information and solving problems
  • CS.6: Work effectively as a member or leader in a team
  • CS.7: Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continuing professional development
  • CS.8: Communicate technical information effectively, both orally and in writing
  • CS.9: Recognize the social, professional, cultural, and ethical issues involved in the use of computer technology and give them due consideration in decision making
  • CS.10: Learn independently through the use of research papers, technical documents and tutorials

Graduates of the software engineering major shall be able to:

  • SE.D.1: Demonstrate an understanding of the key facts, concepts, principles, and theories of software engineering
  • SE.D.2: Analyze real problems, and select and apply appropriate techniques from computing, mathematics and engineering to solve them
  • SE.D.3: Demonstrate an ability to use software development tools
  • SE.D.4: Model, design, build, and evaluate software systems of varying complexity based on client requirements, and subject to realistic constraints
  • SE.B.1: Design experiments and think critically in evaluating the design choices made and tradeoffs considered when developing software-based systems
  • SE.P.1: Work effectively as a member or leader in a multidisciplinary team
  • SE.P.2: Describe the need for and an ability to engage in continuing professional development SE.P.3: Communicate technical information effectively, both orally and in writing
  • SE.P.4: Recognize the social, professional, cultural, and ethical issues involved in the use of computer technology and give them due consideration in decision making

The Big Picture: Where We Fit into Miami University

Miami University is organized into four main units:

  • Business Affairs – collects fees and pays bills
  • Advancement – does fundraising
  • Student Affairs – runs student programs, such as residence hall advisors
  • Academic Affairs – provides majors, minors, and courses

Miami also has four campuses:

  • Oxford – the most students and classes are on this “main” campus
  • Hamilton – this is a “regional” campus in Hamilton, Ohio
  • Middletown – this is a “regional” campus in Middletown, Ohio
  • Luxembourg – this is a small “study abroad” campus

Academic Affairs is where courses, majors and minors are offered. Academic Affairs is organized into “Colleges” and “Schools”:

  • College of Arts and Science
  • Farmer School of Business
  • School of Education, Health, and Society
  • School of Fine Arts
  • School of Engineering and Applied Science

Each college or school is organized into departments. There are five departments in the School of Engineering and Applied Science:

  • Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department (MME)
  • Chemical and Paper Engineering Department (CPE)
  • Computer Science and Software Engineering Department (CSE)
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)
  • Nursing (NSG)

Therefore, our department (CSE) fits under Academic Affairs on the Oxford campus. However, the CSE department also offers courses, mainly those taken by firstand second-year students, on the Hamilton and Middletown campuses.

The CSE department offers majors and minors that we call “programs of study.” Our department is made up of:

  • Students like you who are majors or minors in one of our programs
  • Faculty who teach courses
  • Support staff (full time and students) who work in our office or as student aides, supplemental instructors, or in other capacities

The faculty are responsible for all programs and courses that are offered. Our faculty have committees that carry out these functions. Students are also involved as they serve on advisory councils (see the section “Opportunities for students” below for information about these councils).

Some of our faculty are “administrators” who create the course schedule and coordinate the operation of the department. Our administrators are:

  • Chair – overall department administrator
  • Assistant department chair – oversees daily operations of the department
  • Chief departmental advisor – oversees advising of students
  • Course coordinators – oversee offerings of “service courses” such as CSE 141, 148 and 151


Computing Support Organizations:

There are two primary organizations that support student computing:

  • Miami University Information Technology (IT) Services
  • School of Engineering and Applied Science Information Technology (SEAS-IT)

The Miami IT Services provides campus-wide services like the telephone system and the MUNet campus network. Miami IT provides a help desk that you can use if you are having computer problems, such as problems connecting to the Internet:

  • IT Services Support Desk: 529-7900

SEAS-IT provides services for our school and department, mostly in Benton Hall. SEAS-IT maintains the computer labs (see below) and the network and servers that we use to support teaching and research in our school. The next section explains more about the SEAS-IT re- sources.

School of Engineering and Applied Science Computer Labs:

SEAS-IT maintains the following labs and computer classrooms in Benton Hall:

  • 16 Benton – An open computer lab for any student taking SEAS courses. You are wel- come to use this lab anytime that you need access to a computer in Benton Hall.
  • 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 24 Benton – Computer-equipped classrooms. These rooms are used for classes only.

The SEAS-IT support staff are located in 109 Benton Hall. Support staff are available for help with using the computers in 16 Benton or in one of the computer classrooms.

School of Engineering and Applied Science Servers:

SEAS-IT also maintains a number of servers, including Windows and Linux servers that are used to support teaching and research.

Miami University IT Services Servers:

Miami provides multiple computer services and resources for all students. Among these are centralized email, file storage, printing, wireless services and wired internet connections. Every student has a central Miami ID login that provides access to these and other services. More in- formation is available from ithelp.muohio.edu, the centralized IT knowledge base and from the SEAS and CSE IT staff located in Benton 109 and Benton 015.

Web Pages of Interest:

Opportunities for Students

Student Research:

The CSE department and Miami offer several opportunities for you to work with a professor on a research project. Opportunities include:

  • CSE 491 – Undergraduate research. This course is specially designed for a research project. This course is available for any student who has the support of a professor to supervise the research project.
  • CSE 480 / Departmental Honors. Outstanding students in the department have the opportunity to earn the distinction of “Departmental Honors” at graduation. This is accomplished by the student carrying out a significant independent study project un- der the supervision of a faculty member during the student’s senior year. The re- quirements for admission to the program and for completion of the program are out- lined in the Other Information section.
  • Miami University Undergraduate Summer Scholars (USS). This is a summer program of 12 credits in which you work over the summer on a research project with a profes- sor. The USS program is available, by application, for any student who has the sup- port of a professor to supervise the project.

Interested in research? See your favorite professor or your faculty advisor for more infor- mation!

Undergraduate Student Advisory Council:

This is a group of students representing all categories of our students, whose purpose is to advise and assist the department with the aim of improving the programs and climate for stu- dents. The council typically meets with the department chair twice per month. The council has student officers who work with the chair to organize and carry out meetings and activities. This council has been responsible for significant improvements, including the creation of Miami’s Living/Learning Community Technology and Society. If you are interested in learning more about this council, please contact the department chair, Prof. Kiper, at kiperjd@muohio.edu or visit him in person at 205M Benton.

Job Opportunities:

Many students work part-time in the following capacities:

  • Member of B1TS – Benton Information Technology Solutions (B1TS) is a student-run consulting practice that develops websites and other solutions for Miami clients. Stu- dents are paid by B1TS for the work that they do in B1TS. Contacts for B1TS are locat- ed on http://www.mu-bits.com.
  • Graders – assist a faculty member with grading homework or lab assignments. Con- tact one of the departmental secretaries for more information about grading, or talk directly with a professor.
  • SEAS computer laboratories – assist with the operation and maintenance of the com- puter labs. Contact SEAS IT in 109 Benton for more information about these oppor- tunities.

Programming Team:

The CSE department regularly participates in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) academic programming contest. The faculty advisor is Prof. Mike Zmuda. Contact Pro- fessor Zmuda, zmudam@muohio.edu, for more information about this fun and challenging op- portunity!

Professional Societies: ACM, ACM/W, AWC:

The CSE department sponsors student chapters of the following professional societies:

  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • Association for Computing Machinery/Women (ACM/W)

Each chapter has student officers and members who organize and sponsor professional- related activities. For example, the ACM helps to sponsor a programming contest for high school students in the spring semester of every year. The ACM/W sponsors events supporting women in computing such as the Ohio Women in Computing Conference. For more infor- mation, please contact the faculty advisor, Dr. Keith Frikken at frikkekb@muohio.edu.

** Note the advisor has changed, for the most updated information. See the current version of the Handbook **

Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree in Computer Science:

This program provides high-achieving students with the opportunity to complete a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in an accelerated manner. If you are interested in this opportunity, please ask your advisor for help in developing your plan of course work.

Other Information

If you are interested in departmental honors, visit the CSE Departmental Honors page


Computer Science Curriculum

Software Engineeirng Curriculum

Systems Analysis Engineering Management Curriculum


Computer Science Curriculum

Computation Science and Engineering Curriculum

Computer Science and Software Engineering double major:

If you are interested in double majoring check out the double major page and meet with your faculty advisor.

Combined Bachelor's/Master's Degree in Computer Science:

If you are interested in the combined bachelor's/master's degree program, check out the combined program page in Graduate Studies.