Mission Statement

Computer Science / About / Mission Statement

Departmental vision

To advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ by equipping our graduates with the knowledge, skills and virtues required to pursue vocations in computing in a competent and socially responsible way, as informed by a reformed Christian world-view

Departmental mission

To pursue our vision by building and maintaining the best possible undergraduate programs in computer science, with an emphasis on service in the areas of education, scholarship, and community. We focus on the science and practice of computing, as opposed to the ephemeral details of specific systems, taking care to support one degree program that is accredited by a reputable accreditation organization.

Mission in education

To serve...

  1. Our departmental majors, by equipping them with the concepts, skills and virtues required to meet the vocation-related challenges of today and tomorrow. Our focus will be on a broad theoretical framework – a foundation of the timeless “science” of computing – as opposed to the ephemeral details of specific systems. The specific objectives for each of our degree programs can be found at the following places:
  2. Non-departmental majors, by providing training in the use of technologically-current operating systems, application software and hardware
  3. Our department, by providing opportunities, incentives and encouragement for life-long learning in our chosen discipline
  4. Calvin University, by providing resources, expertise and opportunities for on-going learning about computing
  5. The broader community of computing professionals, by training graduates who are equipped to research and solve the outstanding problems of computer science and their applications
  6. The world, by providing interns and graduates who are equipped to pursue their vocation in computing in a socially and ethically responsible way.

Mission in scholarship

To serve...

  1. Our students, by modeling and encouraging inquisitive exploration of computing and information technology—specifically:
    • Cultivate a spirit of curiosity about computing and information technology that encourages self-discovery and experimentation at student initiative.
    • Provide an environment that encourages students to learn through experimentation by allowing them to make non-catastrophic mistakes and receive constructive feedback to help them learn from them.
    • Train students in the tools and techniques for research problem-solving and leadership, emphasizing self-learning and discovery.
    • Maintain a professional program of scholarship, and integrate such scholarship into our courses, where appropriate.
  2. Ourselves, by working to extend our dominion over this part of God's creation, and thus fulfilling the Cultural Mandate (Genesis 1:28), and by keeping abreast of and contributing new developments to our chosen areas of expertise, we pursue this mandate
  3. Other departmental faculty, by keeping them informed about our area of expertise, through informal discussions, colloquium talks, conference presentations and journal articles
  4. Our department and Calvin University, by enhancing the reputation of the department and the university through active participation in professional organizations, conferences and journals
  5. The broader computing community, by engaging in challenging scholarship that upholds the highest standards of professionalism and ethics
  6. The world, by engaging in scholarship whose ultimate goal is to extend the Lordship of Jesus Christ into the endeavors of computing

Mission in community

To serve...

  1. Our departmental students, by building a departmental community in which they can feel emotionally safe and intellectually challenged – specifically:
    • Model Christian love and compassion toward our students.
    • Build relationships with students to know how to serve and advise them better.
    • Provide an environment that encourages group interaction among students, and discourages the social isolation that frequently haunts computing and information technologists.
    • Encourage our students to see themselves as a part of a community whose aim is service.
  2. Other departmental faculty, by providing an encouraging and supportive environment that models Christ's command to love one another
  3. Calvin University, by providing a group of faculty and students who can serve as a resource when computing-related problems confront the university
  4. Our strategic partners, by providing access to our educational process, our expertise and our students
  5. The local community, by incorporating service-learning into our coursework, where practical
  6. The broader community of computer scientists, by being “salt and light”—specifically:
    • Maintain the highest standards of professionalism and ethics in our own work.
    • Identify and speak out against socially and ethically problematic technologies or applications of technologies.
  7. The world, by providing young men and women who are competent to provide leadership and problem solving in those situations that warrant technological solutions (and who are able to distinguish these situations from those which do not), and who are equipped with the values and culture to recognize and address the social and ethical problems that accompany technological change.

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