Computer Science

The graduate programs in computer science prepare students for careers at the forefront of computing research, teaching, and industrial progress. Computer science has become a highly active and fast-changing discipline, and students at Boston University have the opportunity to work at the cutting edge of this fundamental and exciting field. The computer science faculty is composed of leading researchers in many central areas of computer science. All are involved in graduate education. Areas of current faculty interests are theory of computing, complexity theory, algorithms, optimization, artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, data science, data management, distributed systems, cloud computing, parallel computing, operating systems, real-time computing, performance evaluation, information theory, large-scale networked information systems, cryptography, security, privacy, computer graphics, computational fabrication, image and video computing, programming language theory, software engineering, pattern recognition, and bioinformatics.

The Department of Computer Science has a wide range of computing resources and laboratories available to support its educational and research missions. In addition to an estimated 200 computing workstations, the department has several high-end shared-memory multiprocessor computer and file servers, with over 220 terabytes of disk space. Students access this infrastructure through several laboratories and classroom workspaces. In spring 2023, we will be moving into our new home in the Center for Computing & Data Sciences building on Commonwealth Avenue. In this new space, we will have state-of-the-art classrooms, master’s student meeting spaces, formal and informal collaboration spaces on each of our floors, and multiple specialized labs for individual research groups. Students involved in specific research projects or courses have access to dedicated facilities, including the Image and Video Lab, Internet Lab, Database Lab, Fabrication Lab, and three systems labs encompassing embedded, real-time, distributed and operating systems research. The Fabrication Lab houses equipment ranging from 3D printers to laser cutting tools, while embedded systems facilities provide work areas for developing and testing mobile robots, drones, and other cyber-physical computing equipment. The department’s research labs are funded in great part through industrial grants, faculty research grants, and a $1.2M National Science Foundation Research Infrastructure grant. A student access area within our data center is used to host experiments that require both enterprise-class data center infrastructure as well as direct hands-on access.

CS students have access to an array of additional computing facilities at Boston University. The Shared Computing Cluster (SCC) is a heterogeneous Linux cluster that currently includes over 21,000 CPU cores, over 330 GPUs, and over 7 petabytes of high-performance storage for research data. Systems consulting is available to help researchers learn how to work with the various systems. The Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC) provides campus-wide fabrication facilities, while the BUild Lab innovation center supports student-initiated collaborative projects. CS researchers also have access to the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC), which is a collaborative effort with Harvard, UMass, MIT, and Northeastern U, led by Boston University. The MOC supports thousands of users and currently has 3,000 cores of Intel compute and 1.2PB of Ceph storage. Services deployed include OpenStack, OpenShift, Open DataHub, and the bare-metal Elastic Scalable Infrastructure service. The MOC is constantly growing; 400 Power9 cores with 40 NVDIA Tesla V100 GPUs and 5TB of RAM were added to the MOC in 2019.