UMBC tops in computer and information science degrees
Update: In this post, originally published Friday, Jan. 15, I initially omitted the University of Maryland, College Park in the table below. I updated the table to include UMCP figures. Also, on the jump, you'll find a letter from two deans from UMCP who were distressed with my omission. It was an honest oversight made in manually transferring the data into a new table; my apologies, folks. -Gus
The CyberMaryland report released this week by Gov. O'Malley is chock-full of interesting factoids and charts, one of which I republished (and modified a little) below.
You'll see a list of Maryland colleges and universities in alphabetical order, followed by the number of bachelor's and graduate degree students they have in computer and information sciences.
I added the "percent of total" column to give us all a sense of each school's computer/info science geeks relative to their entire student body.
As you can see, UMBC in Catonsville stands well above the rest, and churns out many, many undergraduates in the fields.
Hopkins, on the other hand, has a good number of graduate students. Now, who wants to see some statistics on how many of these students actually stick around and work in Maryland after they get their degrees?
HERE’S THE DEANS’ LETTER:
Friday’s [BaltTech] blog offered a somewhat misleading “factoid” from the Maryland report on Governor O’Malley’s Cyber Security Initiative. First, you neglected to include the University of Maryland, College Park in the table. The original state chart rightly included Maryland’s Flagship University. Second, this particular metric itself offers a very limited snapshot of the state’s educational resources in the area of cyber security.
Adding College Park to the mix increases the total number of graduate and undergraduate computer and information science degrees by a total of 239. Indeed – as we believe the state’s table intends to show – Maryland has truly impressive assets in cyber research and workforce development to offer the nation.
But, it’s important to remember that “cyber” graduates and research cross many disciplines, including engineering, math and physics, not just computer and information science. For example, cryptology requires a mathematics background. The National Security Agency (NSA), based in Maryland, notes on its Web site that it is the largest employer of mathematicians in the nation.
Another example: quantum computing research may ultimately provide technology with a dramatically higher standard of security. College Park just won a major federal award to build one of the nation’s most advanced quantum science labs.
To more accurately reflect what the state will need to become the “epicenter” of cyber security, we really should look at STEM degrees – physical sciences, engineering and mathematics. Government and industry will principally need workers with these kinds of background as they ramp up to meet the cyber security challenge.
In this arena, the state’s Flagship University plays a leadership role. The state’s cyber report notes that College Park “produces the largest number of STEM graduates in the state and is the only public university on the East Coast with top 20 programs in math, physics, computer science and engineering.” Last year, more than 1,000 of our undergrad, graduate and PhD. students earned STEM degrees. No other university in the state came close.
As for quality, College Park’s graduate computer science program is ranked #13 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. The graduate physics and math programs are at the top among east coast public universities. The Clark School of Engineering is ranked 9th in the nation among public universities and is the top public graduate engineering program in the Mid-Atlantic area.
The high quality of College Park’s advanced research and education in a wide variety of fields adds great value to the state’s cyber dreams: http://www.umresearch.umd.edu/VPRPubs/cyber%20security.pdf
Look at the NSA Web site and you’ll see the backgrounds that the Agency puts at the top of its recruiting list: computer/electrical engineering; computer science; mathematics; foreign language; and intelligence analysis. It will take a lot of teamwork and all the state’s assets to achieve leadership in a competitive field such as cyber research. As the state’s Flagship University, College Park is gearing up to do its part.
Dean Darryll Pines,
A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland
Dean Steve Halperin,
College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Maryland
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