About the CS Department

CSAS Department Group Photo

The Department of Computer Science and Applied Statistics was formed around 1999, when the former Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science was divided into the Department of Computer Science and Applied Statistics  and the Department of Mathematical Sciences.  One of the main reasons for the creation of our department was the four-year Bachelor of Science in Computer Science programme, which was being introduced.   With the statisticians joining the campus mathematicians in 2016,  we became the Department of Computer Science.

Our involvement with teaching and research in CS  goes back further, however. (See slides from a 2011 celebration of 40 years of CS at UNB Saint John.)  The Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science was formed in the early 1990s from the Division of Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science.  MECS included early CS professors such as Dr. Larry Garey, who came to the campus in the early 1970s and taught the first programming courses offered in Saint John.  Many technology pioneers in the Saint John area have fond memories of Dr. Garey, who retired in 2006, and less fond memories of the early punchcard technology used.

The first CS-ish degree offered at the Saint John campus was the Bachelor of Science in Data Analysis (BScDA), which was approved in 1978 and had its first graduates a few years later. The BScDA was a challenging mixture of computing, statistics and mathematics, which required an outside area to which the technical tools could be applied.  Interest in the BScDA decreased through the 1990s, and eventually the degree was revised to become the Bachelor of Information Sciences (BISc) and the new Certificate in Data Analytics. The BISc degree also combined mathematics, statistics and computer science, but the areas of application are  business and economics.

Meanwhile, around the year 2000 the Department received Senate and MPHEC approval to offer the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.  This degree has been the mainstay of our department since then.

Graduate students in CS  have been present in our department since at least the 1980s.  Several PhDs in CS have been granted.