Contact Information

Computer Science Department
Colgate University
McGregory Hall, 3rd Floor
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
(tel) 315.228.7719
Charlotte Jablonski, Administrative Assistant
cjablonski@colgate.edu

Teaching and Research in Computer Science at Colgate University

The computer science department is presently conducting tenure-stream faculty searches. View our advertisement and application information at https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/14420.

Colgate University is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts universities. Our mission is strongly focused on undergraduate education. The computer science department offers BA degrees in computer science and a joint computer science/mathematics degree, and we do not offer graduate degrees. Teaching and pursuing research with undergraduates is exciting and rewarding. We know, however, that potential candidates may be unfamiliar with the opportunities and expectations at predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUI), or how to best showcase their experiences when applying for such a faculty position. Thus, we have prepared the following document to clarify key items when considering a faculty career at Colgate University and when applying for our position.

Teaching

We seek an aspiring scholar-teacher to join our department of committed educators. Colgate faculty love to teach in the classroom, instructional lab, research lab, and in all sorts of informal settings. We have the pleasure of teaching bright and motivated students, and we are dedicated to ensuring that all students receive a top-notch education in a welcoming, inclusive, and diverse environment (https://www.colgate.edu/about/offices-centers-institutes/provost-and-dean-faculty/equity-and-diversity). The following items describe specific aspects of teaching in the computer science department at Colgate.

Courses, Course Load, and Class Size

The successful candidate for one of our tenure stream positions will teach courses in their specialty, as well as a variety of courses at the foundational and advanced levels. They will also develop and teach a course in the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum (https://www.colgate.edu/academics/core-curriculum). Laboratory sections are offered with each of our courses, and you will also teach some labs as a faculty member here.

The normal teaching load at Colgate is five course credits per academic year. Lecture classes count for one course credit and instructional lab sections count for one-third credit. The five courses are divided roughly evenly between the two semesters, which typically means that you'll have two courses each semester plus labs (typically one lab in one semester, and two in the other).

Our introductory courses are taught in multiple sections, with each section having 20-24 students and each lab section have 12-14 students. Our upper-level courses are a bit smaller, depending on the interest of the students in taking various advanced courses. The department graduates roughly 45-55 majors each year, and we have a robust group of computer science minors, as well as non-majors who take our introductory courses.

Colgate does not offer regular courses in the summer. The summer months are reserved for research activities which includes many Colgate undergraduates working full time with a faculty member for 8-10 weeks.

Teaching Support for Faculty

We understand that many competitive candidates may not have had extensive teaching experience as graduate students or as post-doctoral fellows, and may never have had full responsibility for a course. Perhaps you have served as a TA in recitation sections or labs, or mentored undergraduates in a research setting. Colgate provides a good deal of support for new faculty (and established faculty as well).

Chief among the support for teaching is the Center for Learning, Teaching and Research (https://www.colgate.edu/about/offices-centers-institutes/centers-institutes/center-learning-teaching-and-research), which sponsors many events including lunchtime teaching tables, symposia on teaching and learning, reading groups, and informal breakfasts to discuss pedagogy. Colgate’s Faculty Development Council oversees the allocation of funding for professional development for teaching and pedagogy, course development, and faculty travel related to course and professional development. There are many opportunities to meet with other faculty members, both within the department and outside, particularly during the faculty-wide retreat every spring to discuss the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum. Senior colleagues mentor junior members of the department and lend advice or a sympathetic ear.

Showcasing Your Teaching Experience in Your Application

The teaching statement is an excellent vehicle for you to share your ideas about teaching and the experiences you have had that will inform how you would teach at Colgate. We realize that you may not have had full responsibility for a course, but tell us about the teaching that you have done and what you learned from it. Be sure to highlight any workshops or training on teaching and learning that you have completed. Let us know the subjects that you are most passionate to teach. Let us know why you want to teach in an undergraduate setting. We are eager to learn more about your experiences, interests, and how you plan build on them in your classes at Colgate.

Research

As articulated in the university’s Vision Statement (https://www.colgate.edu/about/leadership/president-brian-w-casey/vision-statement), “Some believe there is a trade-off between faculty members who are productive scholars at the forefront of their fields and faculty members who are good, supportive teachers and community members. At Colgate, we would not be true to our institutional ethos if we accepted this position. The high-quality liberal arts education that we will offer to future generations of students must be built upon lively and active scholars who bring new ideas and perspectives into the classroom and transform students with their own enthusiasm for their work.” As with teaching, Colgate values research highly and the department expects new faculty members to become independent scholars who actively engage undergraduate students in research, present at regional and national meetings, and publish in peer-reviewed conferences and/or journals.

Thus, we are also seeking an aspiring scholar-teacher to join our department of active scholars committed to scientific discovery through research. Colgate faculty love to tackle meaningful research questions. To get a feel for the ongoing research in our department, please sample our faculty profile pages (https://www.colgate.edu/academics/departments-programs/department-computer-science/faculty-and-staff-computer-science). Much of the research in the department is done in collaboration with our students. Colgate students are eager to contribute to research projects, and they are exceptionally capable. The following items describe specific aspects of conducting research in the computer science department at Colgate.

Research Support for Faculty

The department offers state-of-the-art facilities, with a dedicated machine room and spaces for faculty to conduct research and engage students in research. Faculty offices have specialized power and are wired to connect directly to the machine room and other spaces within the department. The department has a dedicated laboratory computer systems administrator, and research computing support is also available through campus Information Technology Services. The university operates a compute cluster and faculty may obtain access to run compute-intensive experiments there.

Colgate provides annual funds to each faculty member for professional needs. Faculty members receive up to $2000/year to cover travel to conferences ($3000 for internationally held conferences), professional books, professional society memberships or other expenses related to scholarly work. Modest additional funding for laboratory research supplies/equipment or research travel is available via application to the Colgate Research Council (https://www.colgate.edu/about/campus-services-and-resources/find-faculty-research-grant-opportunities).

Colgate has a generous sabbatical program, including a two-semester (full academic year) assistant professor leave, which is typically taken after the 3rd year of teaching. Post-tenure, faculty earn sabbaticals at the rate of 0.5 SLA (Scholarly Leave Account) credits for every 2 semesters taught. Faculty may also receive SLA credit for mentoring research students in the summer. Faculty members apply to take a sabbatical and typically use 2 to 3 SLA credits for a one-semester sabbatical. Faculty may accumulate 5 SLA credits to take a two-semester sabbatical.

Funding for Research Students

Students as early as their first year are often interested in participating in research activities during the academic year or during the summer. Funding is available from a variety of sources including the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the Faculty Research Council, and through external grants. Typically ~200 undergraduates across all disciplines conduct summer research at Colgate. In the computer science department, there are on average about 15-20 students engaged in research during the summer.

External Research Funding

Although external research funding is not a requirement for tenure, Colgate expects that new faculty members will establish active research programs that will be attractive to external funding agencies and that faculty will apply for funding. Colgate has a grants office (https://www.colgate.edu/about/offices-centers-institutes/institutional-advancement/corporate-foundation-and-government) to assist faculty in identifying potential funding opportunities and submitting competitive grant proposals. Faculty members in the department have had very good success over the years securing funds from many foundations and government agencies.

Showcasing Your Research Plans in Your Application

Your proposed research plans should be written for a non-specialist, while including sufficient detail to show that the research is well thought out. The research plans should be ambitious and address a significant area of computer science. Your research plans should also be mindful of Colgate’s undergraduate setting, taking into consideration ways in which students can be involved in the proposed research.

Credits

This overview of teaching and research in the sciences at Colgate was derived from one developed by the department of chemistry.

(Updated Sept. 5, 2019, 8 a.m.)
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