Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Computer Science Department at UCSB!

Computer Science combines the best of science and engineering. The discipline blends deep mathematical and philosophical questions of complexity and intelligence with game-changing technologies that have radically transformed our lives. Who can imagine life today without Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, streaming movies, texting, tweeting,or e-banking, just to name a few examples? Our department's mission is to play a leadership role in computer science research, to educate our students with a balance in theory and practice, and to create technologies that benefit society.

We are a medium-sized department, with about 34 faculty, 175 graduate and 400 undergraduate students. Since its founding in 1979, the department has climbed rapidly in reputation and influence. The most recent ranking by the National Research Council (NRC) places the department among the top 10 in the country. Our faculty have received highest honors and awards from professional societies, including membership in the National Academy of Engineering, and Fellowships of ACM, IEEE, and SIAM. Four of our young colleagues have been included in MIT's TR35 list of top innovators under the age of 35.

Teaching and mentoring students is a lifelong passion for our faculty, many of whom have won awards for excellence in teaching. Our undergraduate students learn not only the what, but also the why and how, of computer science through a well-planned sequence of core courses along with electives of their choice on advanced topics. Our undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to engage in research with the faculty and experience first-hand the thrill of solving real-world technological problems. Our popular Capstone project-oriented course offers students an opportunity to work on advanced projects in collaboration with industry.

The research climate of the department is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary,and has led to several highly visible research efforts and centers. We are fortunate to have an excellent group of PhD and MS students, whose research accomplishments continue to propel the department to greater heights, and who upon graduation are eagerly sought after by the leading technology companies and universities of the world. Our colleagues and their graduate students have also been remarkably successful at founding startups inspired by their academic research, demonstrating their entrepreneurial leadership and vision in addition to their academic excellence.

The department's web site has a wealth of information about our programs and faculty. I encourage you to explore the site. If you have questions or comments, please contact me at


Subhash Suri
Professor and Chair
Computer Science Department
University of California, Santa Barbara