Research

The department maintains a number of active research and scholarship programs, including the following.

Faculty Research

  • Computational Science — The department actively participates in Calvin’s Integrated Science Research Institute. Serita Nelesen, in particular, conducts research in computational biology and bioinformatics.
  • Digital Libraries — Harry Plantinga built and maintains the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, a digital library of well-known Christian literature, and Hymnary.org, a comprehensive repository of Christian hymns, that are two of the most commonly visited Christian websites on the world-wide-web. This work is funded by a variety of sources and employs a number of students throughout the year.
  • High-Performance Computing — Joel Adams designs and builds high performance Beowulf clusters (see Dahl & Microwulf), and applies their computational power to hard problems in the sciences. This work has been funded by the NSF, employs student interns, and serves as the basis for the high-performance computing course (see CS 374).
  • Human-Computer Interaction — Keith VanderLinden studies the effectiveness of information delivery systems and has been a consultant on the design of fielded websites, including this website (!) and elements of the Australian Department of Human Services website.
  • Software Engineering - Patrick Bailey is an experienced software engineer who has made regular contributions to software development publications, including Better Software Magazine, and is the editor of the Dynamic Link.

Student Research

In addition to participating in faculty research projects (listed above), students run their own research projects. One common place for this work is the senior projects course. For details, see CS 396/398.

Computing Outreach Programs

The department has established a number of programs dedicated to the introduction of computing to the general community, and, in particular, to under-represented groups.

  • Computer Camps — Joel Adams runs animation camps, focusing on both Alice and Scratch.
  • After-School Programs
    • Vic Norman ran Tecreate, an after-school program for secondary school students.
    • Keith VanderLinden ran Project Connect, a program for at-risk high school students in Grand Rapids.

Computer Science Education

The department has written books and lab materials for courses using a variety of programming environments.

Christian Scholarship in Computing

The department studies the Christian underpinnings of computing. For details, see the materials available at Christianity and Computing.