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Department of Computer Science

M. Knee, Subject Librarian

I. General Purpose

The University Libraries' collection of materials in computer science supports the teaching and research of the Department of Computer Science to the Ph.D. level. The department offers B.A., B.S., combined B.S./M.A. and B.S./M.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. There is also an interdisciplinary major (B.S.) in computer science and applied mathematics, and an honors program. Members of the department participate in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in information science. The collection also supports the research activities of the Institute for Informatics, Logics and Security Studies and the Center for Technology in Government. The Department of Computer Science's areas of specialization are: algorithms and data structures; architecture; artificial neural networks; artificial intelligence; automated deduction; automated theorem proving; combinatorics; computer algebra; computational complexity; computational geometry; data mining; database systems; distributed systems; fault-tolerant computing; hardware and software specification and verification; high performance computing; information processing and retrieval; logic programming; machine learning; mobile computing; natural language processing; object-oriented methods; performance and reliability measurement; scientific programming; software engineering; and VLSI.

II. Subject and Language Modifiers

Languages: Almost all materials selected are in the English language; this includes items translated from other languages into English. Very few titles are acquired in other languages.

Geographical Areas: This is not a consideration for computer science.

Chronological Periods: Emphasis in this rapidly developing field is on acquiring materials before the content is obsolete. Only highly selected retrospective acquisition is required.

III. Description of Materials Collected

Types of Materials Collected: The major types of publications collected are monographs, serials, periodicals, conference proceedings, technical reports, abstracts, indexes, dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, handbooks, specifications and standards, dissertations, tutorials, videotapes and videodiscs, electronic media, electronic databases, and Internet resources.

Types of Materials Excluded: Reprints and preprints are not collected in print format. Equipment manuals are not collected. Textbooks are not usually acquired, except for course reserve purposes. Computer language texts and graduate level texts are acquired selectively. Basic computing texts are not collected.

Interdisciplinary Factors: Since there is an interdisciplinary major in computer science and applied mathematics, the collection development statement for mathematics and statistics is closely related to this statement. The Department's involvement in the information science Ph.D. program must also be considered. For computer applications in specific subject areas such as the biological sciences, social sciences, education, business, geography, economics, and information science and policy, see the collection development policy for the subject area.

IV. Subject and Collection Levels [Collection Level Descriptions]

Most of the materials for computer science are classified in the Library of Congress class QA 76 (computer science), Q 327 (pattern recognition), Q 335-336 (artificial intelligence), QA 267-268 (machine theory), TA 1630-1650 (image processing), TK 5105 (computer networks), and TK 7880-7895 (computer electronics). The overall collection level for computer science is at or near the Advanced Instructional Support Level.

The following subjects are collected at or near the Research Level: algorithms, artificial intelligence, artificial neural networks, automated deduction, automated theorem proving, combinatorics, computational complexity, computational geometry, computer architecture, data mining, data structures, database systems, distributed systems, fault-tolerant computing, hardware and software specification and verification, high performance computing, information processing and retrieval, logic programming, machine learning, mobile computing, natural language processing, object-oriented methods, optimization, performance and reliability measurement, scientific programming, simulation, software engineering, theoretical computer science, and VLSI.

The following subjects are collected at or near the Instructional Support Level: computer networks, computer programming languages, expert systems, image processing, pattern recognition, and operating systems.

The following subjects are collected at the Basic Information Level: history, biography, computers and society, economic aspects, standards and specifications, computer literacy, computers and children, and computer graphics.

V. Other Significant Collections and Resource Sharing

The collections of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the New York State Library (NYSL) augment the University's collection in computer science. The University Library depends on RPI and NYSL for approved standards and specifications from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and other organizations. The University Library relies on NYSL for National Technical Information Service (NTIS) reports. Since the University Library has only a modest number of journal subscriptions in computer science, we must rely on interlibrary loan (ILL) and document delivery services to obtain requested articles. We also rely on ILL and direct borrowing to obtain books and other research materials. Locally, this includes RPI; in New York, the other SUNY University Centers; and nationally, other research libraries.

VI. Internal Notes

Journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports are the most important types of publications for computer science. Numerous conference proceedings from the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Computer Society are available online via subscription to their respective digital libraries. The digital libraries also provide online access to all of their respective journals, transactions, and magazines. Additional conference proceedings are received as part of the standing order to the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series, which is available both in print and online. Other conference proceedings are ordered by the Computer Science Subject Librarian. Many technical reports are free and are made available via the Internet Resources in Computer Science Web page. The BNA approval plan provides adequate coverage for computer science. However, materials from several publishers, not covered by the approval plan, must be reviewed and selected by the Computer Science Subject Librarian. Standing orders are necessary to assure that the Library receives certain publications and to strengthen the monographic collection; the University Libraries maintain approximately 25 standing orders for computer science.

Collecting materials on the application of computing in specific subject disciplines is the responsibility of the subject librarian for that subject discipline. Collecting basic computing books and application-specific books is the responsibility of either the subject librarian for general works or general science.

October 2003

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