Aug 12, 2022  
2020-2021 SDSM&T Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 SDSM&T Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science and Engineering Department

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Contact Information

Dr. Christer Karlsson, Program Coordinator
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
McLaury 211A
Dept: (605) 646-3130
Department website:


Professors McGough; Associate Professors Pyeatt, Qiao, Riley; Assistant Professors de Castro, Hinker, Karlsson, Rebenitsch; Lecturer Schrader. 

MS in Computer Science and Engineering

The MS in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) provides an interdisciplinary master’s degree in an emerging technical area. Students in the program are required to take courses in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The primary objective of the CSE program is to give students a basic understanding of the mechanical, electrical and computing systems needed to participate in advanced mobile intelligent robotics applications.

The program covers the essentials of robotics, artificial intelligence, control, communications, sensors and signal processing. Students gain advanced knowledge in focus areas such as pattern recognition, computer vision, non-linear control, digital signal processing, and communications. Upon graduation, the student will be able to participate in commercial, military and NASA projects to design and build intelligent autonomous systems capable of interacting with the environment and performing complex tasks.

Research Areas

Currently active research areas include: Autonomy, Computer Vision, Controls, Localization, Mapping, Motion Planning, Cybersecurity, High Performance Computing, Parallel Computing, and Navigation.

Some of the active research projects include: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Unmanned Ground Vehicle, 3D Printing, and Intelligent Controls.

The CSE program has a variety of computing platforms available. Resources include an extensive PC network, a Linux lab, a Tablet PC lab, the L-3 Communications Embedded Systems and Robotics Lab, a 3D Printing Lab, Robotics Lab and a Mobile Computing Lab. The Linux lab is fully equipped with multi-core desktops.  In addition, the interdisciplinary nature of the research and project teams allows students to utilize a variety of resources from around campus.  Please see the CSE website for additional information:

Degree Options

The program offers a thesis option and a non-thesis option. Both options have a core curriculum and elective courses. Electives are selected with consultation of the student’s advisor and normally are directed towards career goals.  Both the thesis and the non-thesis option are available as an accelerated degree.

Accelerated MS option

The Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) program and the Computer Science program have partnered to provide a five year degree program resulting in a BS in Computer Science and an MS in CSE. The student will begin by completing the requirements for the undergraduate degree in Computer Science. Students accepted into this special program are given the opportunity to apply a maximum of 10 credits of their undergraduate program to their graduate program of study. These courses must be taken at the graduate level.

The CS undergraduate degree has some free credits (depending on catalog year). Students following this program will obtain a BS in Computer Science after the fourth year. Admission into the CSE program will be done in the late Junior or Senior year. Thesis research work may begin during the summer following the Senior year and a research relationship with a faculty member should be established in the senior year (through a research group, Senior Design or CAMP). The student needs to be thesis-ready at the end of the fourth year.


  • First - Fourth year: follow the traditional Computer Science curriculum
  • Summer prior to Fifth year: 3 thesis credits
  • Fifth year Fall: 12 credits
  • Fifth year Spring: 9 credits coursework, 3 credits thesis research
  • Summer following Fifth year: 3 thesis credits

Interested students should contact Dr. Karlsson or Dr. Riley as soon as possible.

Additional policies concerning accelerated MS degrees can be found in the requirements and policies applied to all graduate degrees  by the Council of Graduate Education.


At the time of graduation, all students will:

  1. Demonstrate a strong foundation in computational sciences and robotics,
  2. Be able to gather relevant research from technical sources to address problems in computational sciences and robotics,
  3. Have specialized in-depth knowledge in at least one area of computational sciences or robotics, and
  4. Have experience working in teams along with demonstrated ability to communicate with others.

Financial support

A limited number of fellowships and assistantships are available to qualified students. All applicants are automatically considered for assistantships.

Background requirements

The Computer Science and Engineering degree is an interdisciplinary program that is project based, and students can come from a variety of undergraduate programs. Entering students will normally have a four year degree (BS) in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering or some other technical program.

Mathematics Background

  • Two semesters of calculus (Calculus I & II)
  • One semester of multivariate calculus (Calculus III)
  • One semester of differential equations
  • One semester of probability and statistics is strongly suggested but not required.

Physics Background

  • Two semesters of calculus-based physics is strongly suggested but not required.

Programming background

  • Introductory programming course (C/C++ preferred)
  • A course in data structures

Admission requirements

A cumulative GPA at or above 3.0 does grant a very favorable consideration provided candidates have sufficient technical background. A student can be admitted on a probationary status if he/she has a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8. A student who is not initially accepted into the program can apply to the Graduate School as a special non-degree seeking student. A non-degree seeking student can reapply to the CSE program if they have demonstrated sufficient competency in the courses they take at SD Mines.

The GRE is recommended but not required.  Note that the graduate school application implies that the GRE is required, but this is not the case.

Transfer credits

Policies for transferring credits from outside institutions can be found in the requirements and policies applied to all graduate degrees  by the Council of Graduate Education. All transfers are subject to approval by the student’s advisor or advisory committee.

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