Computer Science

This is content from the Catalog 2019–2020 back issue. Please visit the current catalog for current information.

Department Chair: H. Keith Edwards , Ph.D.


Professors Emeriti:

  • Bill H. Chen, Ph.D.
  • John M. Gersting, Ph.D.
  • Judith L. Gersting, Ph.D.


Associate Professor:

Assistant Professor:


  • Ted V. Shaneyfelt, Ph.D.

Administrative, Professional and Technical

Computer science is not the science of the computer–it is the science of problem-solving using a computer. If you are a computer science major, you will see this in many forms–the study of algorithms, of machine hardware, of programming languages, operating systems, database design, and more. The career opportunities are equally varied–software engineer, database manager, network administrator, project manager, and many others. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Labor, predicts that for 2006–2016, three of the six occupations that will be among the fastest growing and register the largest numerical growth will be computing related occupations.

Because computers are so pervasive, a computer science degree gives you the opportunity to make an impact in the world of science, business, health care, education, the law, art, entertainment, or almost anything else that interests you. Even if you are not a computer science major, taking computer science courses will improve your logical thinking and problem solving skills.


The mission of the Computer Science Department is to:

  • Educate computer science majors in a rigorous B.S. degree program so that graduates are prepared to enter high-quality technical professional positions or go on to graduate programs
  • Provide computer education that serves the needs of various student components of the University

Goals for Student Learning in the Major

The Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science is designed to prepare students for success as computer science professionals. Students graduating from this program should be able to apply their knowledge to a specific design problem, including detailing the specifications, analyzing the problem, and providing a design and implementation that functions as desired, while meeting criteria for performance, reliability, maintainability, and cost. A broad background in the humanities and social sciences, together with a course emphasizing professional ethics, provides students a basis for understanding the societal implications of work performed in their chosen profession.

Students finishing this program should also be prepared for graduate studies in computer science.

Special Features of the Computer Science Program

Computer Science at UH Hilo offers you small class sizes, very available faculty who take a great interest in student success, opportunities for team experiences, and a strong sense of community among the upper-division students. Students in this program generally score above the national average on the Major Field Achievement Test in Computer Science, and graduates are employed by major companies in Hawaiʻi and on the mainland.

The year-long software engineering sequence, CS 460-461 Software Engineering I (3), Software Engineering II (3) , provides a project-based capstone experience that draws on the knowledge and skills made available from previous courses and emphasizes the teamwork needed to solve real-world problems.

The Department also offers a number of courses designed for non-computer-science majors: CS 100 Prin Of Computer Sci (3) , CS 101 Digital Tools for Info World (3) , CS 102 MS Office Tools for Math & Sci (3) /MATH 111 MS Office Tools for Math & Sci (3) , CS 130 Beg Graphics, Game Programg (3) , CS 135 Animation Programming (3) , CS 137 Digital Media with Flash (3) , CS 200-201 Web Technology I (3), Web Technology II (3) , and CS 300 Web Site Management (3) . These courses are heavily laboratory-oriented, giving students considerable hands-on experience. In order to assist students in mastering the technologies they encounter in these courses, the Department has developed a number of learning aids, including specialized laboratory manuals, specialized software, audio-visual tutorial files, and carefully structured laboratory exercises.

The UH Hilo Computer Science Department occupies three labs, two classrooms, a network administrative office, and several nearby faculty offices. All laboratory and office workstations are part of a local area network and also have high-speed Internet connections. All workstations are set up with connections to both the department’s Windows servers and Linux servers, as instructional and research needs require.