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Launched in 1978, the Computer Science (CSCI) programme has gained an international reputation for its excellent research and teaching. The programme has a wide coverage of studies, including algorithms, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, computer and network security, database systems, machine learning, programming languages, etc. Students will progressively learn from the introductory courses to the more advanced topics, accompanied with tutorials and projects for hands-on experience, and develop a problem-solving mindset to tackle any possible challenges in the computer-related fields.

Studying in the CSCI programme is not just about academics. The programme encourages students to participate in various activities, such as ICPC, to broaden their horizons. The Work-Study programme and internships are also available for students to gain practical experience in the industry, equipping them with the necessary skills and career tactics for employment.

Computer science in constantly creating new opportunities in various fields. The CSCI programme will empower you to gain knowledge of state-of-the-art technologies. You will be the next computer scientist who innovates and changes the world.

Major Allocation

Starting from 2022-23, the CSCI programme will be under the department-based admission scheme. By the end of the first year of study, students who are admitted to the Computer Science and Engineering programme will be invited to declare their programme choices, either CSCI or Computer Engineering (CENG). The Department shall give due consideration to students’ preferences and try to accommodate students with their most preferred programme.

Computing and Problem Solving

Maxwell Chan is one of the technology lovers fascinated by how computers shape our daily livings. ‘Computer programming has been one of my favorite studies since secondary school. Amazingly, we can use a few lines of simple code to solve complex problems and perform various works. Thus, I have no doubt to place Computer Science at CUHK as my first choice,’ said Maxwell.

Established in 1978, the Computer Science programme has developed a comprehensive curriculum with courses covering various areas, including theory, AI, machine learning, database techniques, computer graphics, distributed systems, big data analytics, computer and network security, etc. Six optional streams are available for students to choose according to their own interests:

  • Intelligence Science
  • Database and Information Systems
  • Rich Media
  • Distributed Systems, Networks and Security
  • Algorithms and Complexity
  • Data Analytics

A double-degree programme in Computer Science and Integrated Business Administration offers an option for students to broaden their horizons if they can fulfil the admissions requirements of both programmes. Students can use an additional year to gain the BBA degree upon completion of the BSc degree in Computer Science. Apart from having a double degree, students are also welcome to minor in other subjects according to their interests.

Like most of the newcomers, Maxwell had thought that computer science would be tantamount to repetitive software programming. However, he gradually realized that it could cover more disciplines than he expected. ‘This programme grants a high degree of flexibility in learning. I could explore my study interests and strengthen relevant technical skills in various fields, such as artificial intelligence, database, rich media, network security, etc. I could then proceed to more advanced topics for in-depth learning. Although the courses were challenging and demanding, they helped build up my problem-solving mindset and self-confidence, which are of critical importance to my personal and career development in the future.’

Every year, the programme admits over 100 students who are curious about all kinds of computer systems and programming, including computer-aided design, multimedia, information retrieval, data science, and bioinformatics. The curriculum is designed with levels of difficulties to help newcomers adapt. Beginning with introductory courses and hands-on projects, students then advance to more challenging courses that combine theories and practical knowledge well. The ultimate goal of the courses is to nurture students’ critical thinking towards ethical, professional and societal issues associated with information technologies.

Supported by 39 devoted teaching staff, Maxwell enjoyed his fruitful journey in the programme, ‘They have made a great deal of efforts in teaching and discussing the complicated contents with us. Given the dynamic nature in computer fields, they always inspire us to explore and learn new things outside the classroom.’

Students are always encouraged to participate in placement and internship programmes, and some of them may choose to spend up to a year to work on a real industrial setting. They can apply their knowledge into real life situations under the supervision and the guidance of the advisers and the companies. Maxwell joined a six-week IT internship programme in Melbourne when he was in Year 2, ‘It was a real eye-opener. Apart from acquiring hands-on experience in workplace, it was also a valuable opportunity for me to learn to be more independent and explore the cultural differences between Hong Kong and foreign countries.’

According to Prof. Irwin Kuo Chin King, Chairman of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, most of the graduates would become software engineers or system designers for computer or product system advancement. ‘Many of them have taken up important positions in various organizations and companies, such as the HKSAR government, HSBC, Intel, Microsoft, IBM and Google. Our graduates are highly sought after in different sectors. With the shift from a traditional to a technological and digitized society, computer scientists and software engineers are in high demand for every sector. Apart from choosing to work in the industry, some graduates have entered postgraduate programmes in CUHK or in other world-renowned universities overseas,’ said Professor King.

‘The programme helped me to build up a strong and comprehensive foundation, from conceptual to application level, which is increasingly important in this ever-changing domain,’ said Maxwell, who is now serving as an IT graduate trainee in a flight company. ‘I want to become an all-round expert in application development one day.’

Published: Summer 2020
Last Updated: Summer 2021