From The Chair

Christopher Jermaine, Interim Chair, Department of Computer Science
Chris Jermaine, Interim Chair, Department of Computer Science; Professor of Computer Science; Director of the Rice Data Science Initiative


Perhaps you've reached this page because you are interested in joining our family as an undergraduate major, a professional MS student, or as a PhD student. Or perhaps you are thinking of taking a class or two from our world-renowned faculty. Perhaps you are interested in a position as an administrator, or as a member of our faculty. Maybe you are just curious what "computer science" is. No matter how or why you got here, welcome to the Department of Computer Science at Rice!

Computer science is the study of computation: how to develop algorithms to solve problems, and how to get those algorithms to run well on computers. When many people think of computer science, they think of coding, but computer science is so much more than just coding. It is machine learning and artificial intelligence, it is robotics, it is the development of computer networks and computer systems and security, it is data science, it is applications such as bioinformatics and medical informatics.

At Rice, we have one of the top academic computer science departments in the world. If you are thinking of joining us as a PhD student or as a tenure-track faculty member, I'd like to encourage you: our faculty thought leaders who produce cutting edge research that is changing the world, and we regularly collaborate with the Texas Medical Center, NASA, and the local energy industry. If you are thinking of joining us as a Rice undergraduate or a Master's of Computer Science or Master's of Data Science student, I'd also encourage you: our faculty are excellent teachers, winners of multiple teaching awards.  Further, our department is diverse and welcoming, as is Houston, our home.  34% of our undergraduate majors are women, and Houston tops multiple lists as the most diverse big city in the USA.

If you have a chance, come and visit us at Rice.  It's especially nice in the winter, when the Houston days are spring-warm, and everyone is outside enjoying the park-like campus.  We hope to see you soon!


Chris Jermaine
Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Computer Science
Director, Rice Data Science Initiative