Computer Science Extended Learning Opportunities

Cutting-Edge Facilities

Access to the latest technology is the key to innovating solutions in a field that is constantly changing. Our students explore the limits of their imagination through resources in Science Hall, a state-of-the-art facility on the Canisius campus. Here are a few examples:

  • Project room – 17 brand-new dual-boot iMacs are reserved for students in computer science or bioinformatics
  • An advanced research laboratory – computer systems support research into memory management and data locality, cluster computing, graphics and three-dimensional visualization
  • LEGO Mindstorm robots – even first-year students can program some of these robots, which are based on LEGO blocks and include a large yellow programmable block that can control motors and check the status of sensors 
  • Six Sony AIBO robotic dogs – with built-in actions and the ability to respond to both spoken commands as well as touch, these robotic dogs move and perform actions based on user-written programs 
  • The Evolution Robotics ER-1 robot – equipped with a camera and a gripper arm, this robot is controlled by a mounted laptop computer. The camera allows the program running on the laptop to control the robot's motions based on what is being “seen” by the robot  

Student-Faculty Collaboration

Our students often work with faculty on research projects involving robotics, graphics, web development and software tool construction. Several of these projects are funded through the Canisius Earning Excellence Program (CEEP). A great example is Electroskip, a wearable footwear device that was designed by Jamie O'Neill, associate professor of digital media arts, and Jon Mrowczynski ’16, a physics major and computer science minor. 

To develop their communication and presentation skills, our students have the opportunity to attend professional conferences with faculty. They might be asked to present at a poster session or deliver an academic paper co-authored with a professor. 

Some recent conferences include:
AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) — Educational Applications of Artificial Intelligence workshop 
AAAI — participation in a robot exhibition, including booth display and demonstrations
CCSCNE (Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges), Northeastern Region
ISMB (Intelligent Systems in Molecular Biology) — poster presentation
Computer science students in our All-College Honors program are encouraged to explore a topic in-depth and write a thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. 

Computer Science Club 

This active group is made up of students and a faculty advisor from the department. Club activities are varied and include everything from competing in programming contests to building an early cluster computer. These fun interactions deepen the learning experience, and many of the bonds formed extend beyond club activities.