September 23-24, 1999

ITEM 104-1005-R0999 Approval of Proposal to Establish a Joint Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences; The University of Montana-Missoula

THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes The University of Montana-Missoula to establish a joint Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences. Currently, the Department of Computer Science offers a Bachelor of Science Degree and the Department of Mathematical Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree, but no combined program in the two allied disciplines exists.

EXPLANATION: The purpose of this proposal is to establish a combined major in computer and mathematical sciences, offered jointly by the Departments of Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences. The requirements for this new degree are outlined in the attached full proposal. This new degree is being sought for the following reasons.

In recent years, there has been growing anecdotal evidence of student interest in such a degree. Numerous computer science and mathematical sciences students have expressed a strong interest in pursuing a combined major in the two fields. Additionally, computer science and mathematical sciences students take numerous courses in both areas to fulfill individual departmental requirements. Hence, the additional effort required of students in these two areas for this combined major is not unreasonable.

As faculty from both departments will be involved with students seeking the combined major, this proposed program also extends the opportunity for collaboration among faculty in the two allied departments, both in research and teaching.

Finally, it should be emphasized that due to the great overlap of topics in computer science and mathematical sciences, similar joint degree programs are developing at universities around the nation. Most notably in the Pacific Northwest, the University of Oregon recently began offering a combined degree in mathematics and computer science.