Resources and Opportunities


Computer Science Lab

Most of the work in computer science courses is done in the computer science lab, a sunny spot with 24 workstations with 22-inch flat screens and running Ubuntu Linux.

The CS lab, along with the adjacent CS student lounge, also serves as the social center for the CS majors and friends. CS majors are often found doing homework for their classes in the lab—or simply taking a break or even a nap.

Programming competitions

Computer Science students have the opportunity to participate in programming completions, which can be a lot of fun--ask anyone who has participated.

Most competitions use a similar format: each team is provided with a single computer and a stack of problems; whoever can write programs solving the most problems in the allotted time wins. For teams solving the same number of problems, the times at which the solutions were submitted are added together--plus a penalty for each incorrect submission on those problems--with the tie going to the lower total time.

Wheaton students compete in annual contests organized by ACM and by ACCA. We also sometimes join competitions hosted by other schools in the region.

ACM Intercollegiate Programming Competition

The ACM competition is international in scope, with hundreds of schools participating. The first round for us is the Midwest Regional contest, which is held at several different locations, usually in early November. Top finishers in the regional competition advance to the International Finals.

ACCA Contest

The Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA) sponsors a competition among its members each winter.

The ACCA competition includes a novice division for students in their first year of computing course work, and so it is a great place for beginners to get some experience. Sign-up for teams typically will be at the beginning of the spring semester.

Ice Cream Social

We kick off each school year with an ice cream social for students interested in computer science is held shortly after the start of the fall semester.

Recent special events

A Hitchhiker's Guide to Supercomputers and Big Data

Dr. Pete Beckman
Argonne National Laboratory

  • Thursday, April 18, 2013
  • 7:30 p.m.
  • Meyer Science Center
  • Lecture Hall, room 145

Dr. Pete BeckmanJoin Dr. Pete Beckman of Argonne National Laboratory in this general audience lecture on how supercomputers and big data are changing our lives.  Computer simulation and modeling are being used to inform key climate-related policy questions for our nation, understand brain aneurysms, design more fuel efficient jet engines, and explore the influence of dark energy in the universe. The presentation will include an overview of computing, from simple computers, Moore's law, and physics-based games such as Angry Birds to the design of one of the world's fastest computers, Mira, recently installed at Argonne National Laboratory.  We will also look into the future of big data with things like Watson, the Jeopardy! winning computer, augmented reality, self-driving cars, and the quantified self.

Dr. Beckman, a leader in the development of high-performance supercomputers, is a Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Director of Exascale Technology and Computing Institute, and Co-Director of Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering. 

Dr. Pete Beckman

Dr. Pete Beckman


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