Computer Science and Computer Engineering | Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Computer scientists specialize in the software side of computing, focusing on writing new programs that
allow computer applications to run faster and more efficiently. You might work for
a security company, creating technology that reduces the risks of viruses and hackers,
or develop flight simulation exercises that allow airline pilots to practice managing
flight problems.

What is Computer Engineering?

Computer engineers deal with both software and hardware. As a computer engineer, you could design entire
computer systems and networks, making sure that the hardware, or physical equipment,
is capable of running the appropriate software. You might build devices such as retinal
scanners that identify people by checking their eyes, or you could design computers
that are incorporated into prosthetic devices to aide people with disabilities.

Those who continue onward to obtain a graduate degreestrong> in either computer science or computer engineering learn to advance the frontiers
of science. With an MS or PhD, you will invent the new technologies that enable the
next generation of software and computing devices.

To learn more about Computer Science check out the links below from

Women in Computer Science

Computer Science Programs in Arkansas

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Computer Science Doctoral Student Wins Best Paper at Cybersecurity Conference

Dr. Brajendra Panda and doctoral student Mohammed Alshehri

From left to right: Brajendra Panda, professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering,
and doctoral student Mohammed Alshehri.

A computer science doctoral student earned a “Best Paper” award at an international
cybersecurity conference earlier this year.

Mohammed Alshehri Sr. took home the top honors from the 12th International Conference
on Security, Privacy and Anonymity in Computation, Communication and Storage in Atlanta.

His advisor is Brajendra Panda, profesor of computer science and computer engineering.

Alshehri was honored for his research into fog node protection.  Fog computing is
the name for multiple cloud systems linked together to reduce the response time for
users to retrieve data from the cloud. 

“What I like about fog computing is it will make the communication between end users
and the cloud faster,” Alshehri said.  “It’s in the middle between the cloud and the
end users.”

The danger with linking multiple cloud storage devices together is if one is infected
by malicious software, it could spread to others, potentially compromising huge amounts
of data.  Alshehri’s research explores a solution to isolate a rogue fog node when
it is identified.

The idea is to group the different nodes into smaller groups, which Alshehri calls
“fog federations.”  Pieces of data with similar attributes would be grouped into the
same federation, for example, it could group data based on the city it comes from
and the type of institution that created it.

Those federations would still increase the speed for end users, because the computer
wouldn’t have to search through as many places to retrieve data, but it minimizes
the threat of a virus infiltrating an entire network.

The implications of Alshehri’s work are far-reaching.

“This research is general,” he said.  “you can apply it to hospitals, universities,
to a corporation – any organization with sensitive information to protect.”

Earning the “Best Paper” award was a gratifying moment for Alshehri.

“Sometimes in Ph.D. life, it can be a lot of ups and downs,” he said.  “After working
for two years on my research, I’m proving I’m on the right track.”

Arkansas Researchers Developing Prediction Models for Coronavirus

Justin Zhan & Governor Hutchinson

From left to right: Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Chancellor Joseph Steinmitz, Professor Justin
Zhan, and Jerry Adams, president and CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance, at the
Capitol Building in Little Rock.

Fayetteville, Ark.  – Data Science professor Justin Zhan is collaborating with University
of Arkansas for Medical Sciences professors David Ussery and Xuming Zhang to develop
accurate predictions of genomic variation trends of coronavirus.

Their work will help public officials monitor the outbreak and adapt to changes. 
It could also provide valuable information for the design of vaccines.

“To control and prevent COVID-19, public officials need highly robust models for predicting
how and where the virus will spreak,” Zhan said. “This project will assist that effort
and lead to better detection and prevention strategies.  We think it could have colossal
social and economic impacts.”

Zhan’s research focuses on big data, blockchain technologies, information assurance
and biomedical informatics.  For this project, he will use a novel, blockchain-based
artificial intelligence system, which integrates information on the relationships
of biological systems, to predict trends and changes as the coronavirus spreads. 
The system will be evaluated and tested through various coronavirus benchmark datasets.

Ussery and Zhang will provide expertise in the areas of bioinformatics, microbiology
and immunology.

A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography. 
Each block contains a cryptographic has of the previous block, and timestamp, and
transaction data generally represented as a Merkle tree.  By design, a blockchain
is resistant to modification of the data.  It is “an open, distributed ledger that
can record transactions efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.”  As the
fundamental component and functional element of blockchains, Merkle trees allow for
efficient and secure verification of large data structures and potentially boundless
data sets.

With a large grant from the Army Research Office, Zhan is building a graphics processing
unit at the U of A.  The unit is a computer cluster of big data research and education.

Justin Zhan and David Ussery are Arkansas Research Alliance scholars.

Engineering Professors to Develop Technology Aimed to Fight Breast Cancer

Alex Nelson & Magda O. El-Shenawee

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Two University of Arkansas engineering professors received a
$19,145 grant from the University of Arkansas Women’s Giving Circe to develop technology
that could help fight breast cancer.

The award was given to Magda O. El-Shenawee, professor of electrical engineering,
and Alexander Nelson, assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering.

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Data Science Professor Is Newest U of A Arkansas Research Alliacne Scholar

From left, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, professor Justin Zhan and Jerry Adams, president and CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance, at the Capitol Building in Little Rock.

From left, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, professor Justin Zhan and
Jerry Adams, president and CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance, at the Capitol Building
in Little Rock.

Dec. 05, 2019


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Justin Zhan, professor of data science in the Department of Computer
Science and Computer Engineering, was formally inducted today into the Arkansas Research
Alliance Academy during a ceremony with Gov. Asa Hutchinson at the Capitol in Little

Zhan’s research focuses on big data, blockchain technologies, information assurance,
social computing and biomedical informatics. He has published more than 230 articles
in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and delivered more than 30 keynote speeches
and invited talks.

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