The university serves as a catalyst for economic development and quality of life in the El Paso del Norte region. Located on the border of the United States and Mexico, UTEP students live and study in the world’s largest bi-national metropolitan area, unlike any other university setting. UTEP has set a goal to become the first national research university serving a 21st century student demographic while maintaining a strong commitment to access. Evidence of UTEP’s achievement of this goal is its #1 ranking by the Brookings Institute for public, research-granting universities with the highest level of social mobility. In 2019, UTEP achieved an extraordinary milestone by being awarded a coveted R1 designation (top tier doctoral university with very high research activity) in the Carnegie Classification, making it one of only 130 universities among the 2,883 four-year higher education institutions across the U.S. to earn this prestigious distinction. This R1 distinction is a strong validation of UTEP’s success in delivering on its innovative access and excellence mission. It also powerfully affirms the stature of UTEP faculty researchers.
The Computer Science Department contributes to UTEP’s history of excellence by providing programs of the highest quality through a participatory approach to education, research, and service to the community. The undergraduate program has been accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Commission since October 1, 1988. UTEP is designated by the NSA and DHS as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, and in 2016 a National Center of Academic Excellence in CyberOperations.
The department has broad expertise in the following research areas: data analytics, development of theory for practical applications, secure cyber systems, intelligent and interactive systems, computer vision and machine learning, and robust autonomic systems. Many of the department’s faculty serve on national advisory boards, editorial boards for prestigious journals, and program committees for national and international conferences. Two of our current faculty are past or present National Science Foundation CAREER awardees, NSF’s most prestigious award for early career faculty. In education, faculty members contribute to national models for STEM learning. UTEP leads the NSF-supported Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), a consortium of Hispanic-Serving Institutions committed to Hispanic and female student recruitment, retention, and advancement in computing, and its Affinity Research Group model is being adopted by numerous institutions across the nation. In additon, in 2016 UTEP CS became one of nineteen departments that is leading the nation in Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Education by focusing on a model of change for creating inclusive environments that prepare students for professional practice in CS.
The mission of the Department of Computer Science is to serve our binational region, the nation, and the world by providing access to excellence through:
Innovative educational programs that provide inclusive and effective learning environments and prepare graduates to be ethical professionals, leaders, and innovators in computer science (Student Success),
Pioneering research programs that foster the creation of computing knowledge and invention of new technologies (Research and Innovation),
Design, development, and potential commercialization of technologies to solve socially-relevant science and engineering problems (Commercialization), and
Active local and global partnerships and collaborations with educational, government, non-profit, and commercial organizations that align with our commitment to diversity (Collaboration).