Miami computer software engineering students earn No. 2 national ranking behind MIT

Earning national rankings in a variety of national academic measurements is nothing new to Miami University. But recently coming in second – right behind internationally acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – was a welcomed surprise, say Miami officials. Pictured are students studying in Miami's Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. Journal-News
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Earning national rankings in a variety of national academic measurements is nothing new to Miami University. But recently coming in second – right behind internationally acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – was a welcomed surprise, say Miami officials. Pictured are students studying in Miami's Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. Journal-News

Credit: Jeff Sabo

Earning national rankings in a variety of national academic measurements is nothing new to Miami University.

But recently coming in second – right behind internationally acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – was a welcomed surprise, said Miami officials.

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Eric Bachmann, professor and chair of Miami’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC), said Miami’s high national ranking in programming and computer science knowledge is important and deserved.

“In the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, all majors begin their studies with rigorous hands-on experiences that develop strong programming skills,” said Bachmann.

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“Once students are masters of both ‘reading and writing,’ they move on to advanced courses in areas such as graphics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, high performance computing, security, robotics, and image processing,” he said in a statement released by Miami.

The annual rankings come from CodeSignal, a digital job candidate assessment company created in 2015 to help the tech industry use an objective skills-based assessment platform that can be used as a standard for technical hiring.

CodeSignal’s General Coding Assessment (GCA) is a standardized test for core programming and computer science knowledge that is shared by most software engineers and is taught in most computer science undergraduate programs in the US.

CodeSignal’s GCA is used by over 150 top-tier companies such as Facebook, Asana, Uber, and eBay, as their primary technical assessment for early talent.

But computer science and software engineering are about far more than coding and programming, said Bachmann.

“A computer scientist or software engineer that does not know how to code is similar to an English major that does not know how to write a sentence. From sentences flow paragraphs, chapters, and novels,” he said. “Likewise, solid coding skills are the foundation on which computing technologies that are transforming society are built.”

Bachmann said students apply their skills in both design and programming to implement the next generation of algorithms.

“While some schools may take the view that beginning and intermediate programming courses are of lesser importance than advanced senior level courses, at Miami University, the faculty consider them to be very important and many of our best instructors teach these courses.”

Miami’s College of Engineering and Computing has 1,881 undergraduate students in four CEC departments on the Oxford campus, including 641 in computer science and 150 in software engineering.

CEC’s overall success rate for job placement was 96.7%, according to Miami’s Institutional Research’s “First Destinations of 2019-2020 Miami University Graduates” report.