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Grinnell's computer science curriculum has several special strengths, including:
Computer science recognizes at least four problem-solving approaches as being fundamental to work in the discipline. Each approach involves a distinct way of thinking, and each is supported by a range of computer languages. These paradigms may be outlined as follows:
Since different approaches have advantages for different problems, people involved with computing should be comfortable with several of these paradigms.
Grinnell's introductory courses provide students with considerable practice and insight for each of these approaches early in the curriculum, introducing the functional, object-oriented, and imperative paradigms.
Grinnell's curriculum identifies both theory and systems as core areas, and the overall curriculum has achieved international recognition for four-year, undergraduate computer science programs.
People use computers because they can provide services and help in the solving of problems. Thus, many courses and much research throughout the College utilize various aspects of computing. The computer science curriculum includes two upper-level courses with a strong software-development orientation.
The computer science curriculum includes several electives, in addition to courses already mentioned. Students choose electives as well as foundational courses, as they work with their adviser about appropriate alternatives to support their interests and career goals. The following list of electives illustrates the range of topics offered regularly.