The Department of Computer Science was established in 2020 after separating from the Mathematics. The original department was one of the first in the University of Missouri-St. Louis, initially known just as the Division of Sciences. In the first year of the Residence Center of the University of Missouri (1960), there was a total of four full-time and eight part-time faculty in the division, one of who taught Math.
In 1964, the Department of Mathematics and Accounting split from the Division of Sciences to establish itself as an independent department. The first Chair was Emory Turner who later became UMSL Chancellor. A year later in 1965, Mathematics split from Accounting and Ed Andalafte, who joined in 1964, became the first Chair.
In 1968, the department got approval to add a degree in Computer Science, submitted a list of Computer Science courses for the catalog in October 1971, and became the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The first Computer Science graduate was Joe Epplin in 1983. In 1998, the department added a Ph.D. program in Applied Mathematics. In 1999 the department added a Master’s in Computer Science, and expanded the Ph.D. program to include a Computer Science option soon afterwards.
Starting around 2013, the department went through rapid modernization and expansion of its computer courses, culminated with multiple new courses and certificates and a recognition by NSA/DHS for excellence in cyber education. In 2016, Cezary Janikow became the first Computer Science faculty to Chair the entire department.
In 2019 the department added BS in Computing Technology, and BS and MS in Cybersecurity, and was designated by the University of Missouri System to start both cybersecurity programs online by fall 2020.
In the summer of 2020, the department was separated, and the Computer Science department was born as a separate unit with Cezary Janikow becoming the first (interim) Chair. At that time, the department had 15 full time faculty members, almost all with terminal degrees in Computer Science or related, and was processing about $500k/year in external research grants, specializing mainly in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.
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