Welcome Greetings from the CS Chair, Dr. Lynn Stauffer
August 14, 2009

Welcome to the Fall 2009 Semester in the Computer Science Department! I hope it's been a good summer for you and that you are looking forward to a challenging and productive fall semester.

Fall Schedule

Fall 2009 classes begin on Wednesday, August 26. Here is the final version of the CS schedule. If you have any trouble getting into a course please contact the instructor and attend the first class meeting. Note that the 16-unit cap will be lifted on the first day of classes (August 26). Contract courses which put a student above the 16-unit limit should be held until the 26th.

CS 375 (Graphics) and CS 385 (Special Topics: Adhoc Wireless Sensor Networks) were cancelled due to low enrollment. CS 480 (Artificial Intelligence, Fri 9-11:50) is the only three-unit CS major-elective course offered this semester. CS 390 (Colloquium, Thur 12-12:50) and CS 349 (Programming Team, Wed 5:30-7:20) are 1-unit courses being offered that can be combined to satisfy 3 units of the 9 unit upper-division CS major-elective requirement. Also, don't forget the importance and value in completing an internship (CS 497) before graduating. Internships are a terrific way to gain entry-level experience and are often a "foot in the door" for permanent positions. Check out the CS 497 webpage for more information.

Tutors are needed for CS courses. These are paid positions. Go by the Tutorial Center on the first floor of Salazar for more information.

Budget Cuts - Faculty and Staff Furloughs

Because of the severe state budget cuts to the California State University system, faculty and staff are taking 18-24 unpaid furlough days this year (9 this semester). Furlough days will be scheduled by employees and will likely be different days for different individuals. Faculty and staff are mandated not to work on furlough days (including teaching, preparing for classes, grading, responding to email, or meeting wtih students) so please do not ask or expect them to be available to you on those days. You will need to plan ahead of time to meet course expectations, deadlines, etc.. Keep in mind that the CS Office will be closed on Gina Voight's furlough days.

The official SSU response to these cuts is as follows: "your patience and understanding of inconveniences is very much appreciated. The Governor's budget finalized the CSU budget deficit for 2009-10 at $564 million, and employee furloughs are one element of a plan to address the cuts that also includes enrollment reductions, increased student fees and other cost cutting measures. Should you wish to contact your Legislator regarding this issue, there is a link on the SSU home page." You, your parents, and other supporters need to see the real impact of these cuts and the policies that follow them to SSU. It makes a real difference if you/they raise their voices to the politicians in Sacramento.

Computer Lab Access - Electronic Locks

The keypad locks on Darwin 24, 25, 26 and 28 have been changed to electronic locks. Student access codes no longer open these doors. If you want access to the computer labs and/or Darwin 26 outside of your scheduled lab times, you should go to Gina Voight in Darwin 116. Gina has the necessary "Student Key Request" form that must be signed by the appropriate adminstrators. Once the request is approved, you must take your student ID to Customer Services to be programmed. Student key requests are for no longer than one semester at a time. Keep in mind that losing your student ID will cost $25 for the electronic key reprogramming and $5 to replace the ID. Refer to the SSU Key Issuance Policy for more information.

Graduation Paperwork

Students planning to graduate this December must have their graduation papers submitted to Admission & Records before September 15. Students planning to graduate in May 2010 should submit their paperwork before the Priority Filing Date (also September 15, 2009) since students who file by the Priority Filing Date will have the benefit of receiving a Graduation Evaluation prior to registering for their final semester. See A&R's graduation page for more information. Stop by Gina's desk in the CS Department Office (Darwin 116) if you want to set up an advising appointment with Dr. Stauffer.

This is sure to be another exciting semester in the Computer Science Department. I wish you great success this semester and always!

Lynn Stauffer, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Computer Science Department
Sonoma State University