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Computer Science


Computer science courses provide students with a firm foundation of knowledge and practical experience in software development, computer architecture, and theoretical computer science. Scroll down to read descriptions of the computer science courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

  • CSC 1030

    Data Science I

    This class introduces students to the foundational skills needed for data analysis: data manipulation and visualization, statistical summarization, and problem-solving using data. No prior programming experience is needed, and students will become proficient at writing code in a modern computer environment.

  • CSC 1040

    Data Science II

    This class introduces students to the data structures and algorithms needed for complicated data analysis tasks. No prior programming experience is needed, and students will learn principles of computer science that will benefit them in future programming endeavors.
    Prerequisite: CSC 1030 with a grade of C or better

  • CSC 1100

    Introduction to Computing

    An introduction to the art and science of computer programming for the student without previous programming experience. Topics covered include the historical development of computing, the basic operating principles of computers, and an introduction to problem-solving using one or more high-level computing languages, such as Python. Intended for nonmajors/nonminors. Does not count toward major or minor in CSC.

  • CSC 1810

    Principles of Computer Science I

    A study of the fundamentals of writing computer programs and problem-solving, using structured and object-oriented techniques. Intended for future majors and minors in Computer Science and minors in Game Development. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in this call in the Fall term of their first year.

  • CSC 1820

    Principles of Computer Science II

    The emphasis of this course is on problem-solving. Students will mature as problem-solvers as they are presented with increasingly challenging problems to program.
    Prerequisite: CSC 1810 with a C or higher
    Spring, with limited Fall availability

  • CSC 2560

    Data Structures and Algorithms

    An examination of advanced programming techniques for problem-solving and manipulating data using primarily object-oriented approaches.
    Prerequisite: CSC 1820 with a C or higher

  • CSC 2710

    Game Development I

    Video games are serious work. Reaching far beyond the multibillion-dollar gaming industry, the lessons of video game development increasingly translate to disparate fields requiring simulation, training, and easy-to-use interfaces. This course introduces students to the game development and design process. Students will build games representative of a varity of genres. This is a project-based course.
    Co-requisite: CSC 1810 or instructor permission
    Alternating Fall

  • CSC 2720

    Game Development II

    A continuation of CSC 2710 Game Development I with an emphasis on three dimensional environments. This is a project-based course.
    Prerequisite: CSC 2710 with a C or better.

  • CSC 2730

    Game Development III

    A continuation of CSC 2720 Game Development II focusing on advanced topics such as save systems and multiplayer.
    Prerequisite: CSC 2720 with a C or better.

  • CSC 2810

    Database Design and Management

    An introduction to database methods including data models (relational, object-oriented, network, and hierarchical); database design and modeling; implementation and accessing methods; and SQL. Students will design and implement a database using a database management system.
    Prerequisite: CSC 1820 with a C or higher

  • CSC 2910

    Object-Oriented Programming

    An introduction to object-oriented design techniques including encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. Other features of modern object-oriented programming languages are covered as well, including exception handling, garbage collection, event handling, and threads. A modern object-oriented language such as Java will be used.
    Prerequisite: CSC 1820 with a C or higher

  • CSC 3210

    Computing Paradigms

    A survey of language-design issues and run-time behavior of several programming languages suitable for different problem-solving paradigms (structured, functional, object-oriented).
    Prerequisite: CSC 2560 with a C or higher

  • CSC 3510

    Computer Organization

    A study of the lower levels of computers. Machine and assembly languages, memory, addressing techniques, interrupts, and input-output processing are also studied. This course compliments CSC 4370 Operating Systems. Students are encouraged to take this course in Spring and CSC 4730 in the following Fall term.
    Prerequisite: CSC 2560 with a C or higher

  • CSC 3530

    Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Modeling

    This course explores the primary approaches for developing computer programs that display characteristics we would think of as being intelligent. Students will analyze how intelligent systems are developed and implemented with a focus on exploring how human behavior on cognitive tasks can be used to inform the development of these artificial systems, as well as how the performance and behavior of these artificial systems can inform our understanding of human cognition.
    Prerequisite: CSC 2560 with a C or higher or with permission of instructor

  • CSC 3600

    Network Programming

    An examination of data communications and communications networks including signal encoding, multiplexing, circuit and packet-switched networks, TCP/IP, WANs, LANs, and intranets. Particular emphasis is placed on Socket-based, multi-threaded programming.
    Prerequisite: CSC 2560 with a C or higher

  • CSC 3750


    This course studies various problem-solving strategies and examines the classification, design, complexity, and efficiency of algorithms.
    Prerequisites: CSC 1820 with a C or higher and either MTH 1060 or MTH 1240

  • CSC 3770

    Computer Graphics

    Given the ubiquity of computer graphics in modern culture (in forms such as computer gaming, motion pictures, and other kinds of visual entertainment), the deeply technical nature of its formulation and construction can be overlooked. This course provides an introduction to computer graphics covering aspects of linear algebra, geometry, color, vision, and the unique nature of modern graphics programming. This course is project driven.
    Prerequisite: CSC 2560 with a C or higher

  • CSC 3810

    Foundations of Computer Science

    This course examines various models of computation, including finite and pushdown automata and recursive functions. Language grammars, parsing, and complexity classes also are studied. Special schedule.
    Prerequisite: CSC 3750

  • CSC 4000

    Senior Seminar

    Students review and discuss current issues and trends in computer science.
    Prerequisites: Senior standing, completion of six CSC courses, and instructor permission

  • CSC 4350

    Software Design and Development

    An examination of the software development process from analysis through maintenance using both structured and object-oriented methods. Students work together on a team project.
    Prerequisite: CSC 2560 with a C or higher. Should be taken in the Spring term of junior year.

  • CSC 4500

    Independent Study

    Independent study in a topic of interest in computer science that does not duplicate any other course in the regular course offerings.
    Prerequisite: CSC 2560

  • CSC 4650

    Computer Architecture

    Students examine various computer architectures including the von Neumann mode, RISC/CISC, and parallel architectures.
    Prerequisite: CSC 3510 with a C or better

  • CSC 4730

    Operating Systems

    A study of the basic components and concepts of a multitasking operating system including processes, scheduling, resource management, I/O and file systems, virtual memory, security, and semaphores.
    Prerequisite: CSC 2560 with a C or higher

  • CSC 4900

    Research in Computer Science

    An opportunity to conduct research in computer science, culminating in a research paper.
    Prerequisites: CSC 1820 with a C or higher and instructor approval

  • CSC 4990

    Senior Thesis Completion

    Students should register for CSC 4990 during the semester that they intend to complete and present their Senior Thesis.

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    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Computer science students watch Prof. Mark Mahoney’s recorded lecturers in their free time, so he can nearby “when they do their real learning,” he says. He has company: Physics professor Brant Carlson’s quantum mechanics video playlist has been viewed more than 170,000 times. 

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …