Computer Science is one of the largest majors on the campus, and takes the undergraduate through a series of courses starting
with basic C programming at the 100 level all the way to theoretical analysis of algorithms at the 400 level. The upper level faculty in this department has generally gotten good ratings from
the students, and several undergraduates a year choose to remain with the department for their graduate studies.
Information Systems is another important department with large graduate and undergraduate programs. Specializations include
human-computer interactions, data and knowledge management, decision support systems, software engineering and management
Although relatively new, Computer Engineering is a rapidly growing program with nearly 400 undergraduate majors and a solid
core of graduate students. The program specializes in VLSI.
The Mathematics program at UMBC is almost exclusively focused on applied (as opposed to pure) mathematics, with every full
time faculty member working in the former field. Faculty specialties include ordinary and partial differential equations,
probability and Markov theory, numerical computation, functional analysis, optimization, and linear algebra. Part time faculty
from the nearby NSA also teach courses in pure mathematics including combinatorics, coding
theory, algebra, and number theory.
UMBC's art program is presented to students as being pre-professional, since this reflects the bias of the student body (and
as a consequence, style of education, at least in theory). Sub-programs of 'graphic design,' 'film/video,' and 'imaging and
digital arts' seem to serve as funnels into industry, while a fourth sub-program called 'new genre' exists as a nod in the
direction of a classically free-form fine arts department, independent of vocational considerations. Despite the administration's
presentation of the UMBC art program as being industry-centered, in fact the faculty is of a classical fine arts ilk, and
encourages students to approach their work as artists as opposed to industry workers, with limited success. The conflict between
fine art-oriented faculty and trade school-oriented students is a very real one, and is especially problematic in that these fine
arts professors' salaries are being paid by the tuition of students who are essentially seeking a state-subsidized ticket into
the design, film, or computer graphics industries.Other department descriptions here