Computer Engineering and Science Programs

Computer equipment for gaming inside the gaming lab
  • 1956: An IBM 650 is installed in the old chemistry building—forming our first computing center. The computing center then moves to the Quail building, which also holds Numerical Methods classes sponsored by engineering faculty. These included courses in Engineering, Mathematics and Operations Research—all of which have students using the center facilities. The computing activities then move to the Crawford Building with Professor E. L. Glaser as department chair. In subsequent years, the program sees a large number of majors. Faculty and students are involved in language development, artificial intelligence, numerical methods, logical design, graphics, operating systems design and analysis, and database design and research. The department then becomes the Department of Computer Engineering and Science.

  • 1971: The Case Western Reserve University computer engineering program becomes the first accredited program of its type in the nation.

  • 1986: Although not directly associated with the Computer Engineering and Science department, the CWRU Community Telecomputing Laboratory establishes the CLEVELAND FREENET Community Computer System, a free public computer network that allows dial-in users Internet access. The Freenet is the first of its kind and helps inspire an international trend.

  • 1987: The BS degree in Computer Science is approved. Additionally, an off-campus MS in Computer Science is offered to AT&T in Columbus, through which Case School of Engineering faculty go to Columbus to teach courses. This sizable program—over 60 students—encourages AT&T to create a Unix Workstation Lab for the department. 

  • 1991: The BA degree in Computer Science is approved, and in 1996 the CES department created a Windows NT lab. Prior to this, almost everything is done on Unix Workstations.

  • 1996: The Computer Engineering and Science department moves to its current quarters in the Olin Building. The Univac 1, 1107 and 1108 in the CES department are fondly remembered. Later the Univac 1108 moved to the newly formed Chi Corporation to provide computing resources to the university and to offer these services to other organizations.

  • 1998: Case Western Reserve Board of Trustees approves the merger among the Systems, Control and Industrial Engineering department, the Computer Engineering and Science department and the Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics department to form a new department in the Case School of Engineering: the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

  • 1999: CWRU continued as the sponsor of the Freenet until September 30, 1999.

  • 2003: A significant review and revision of the departmental mission, vision, and objectives takes place, resulting in a restructuring of the department into divisions: the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division (ECE) and the Computer Science Division (CS). This clarifies responsibilities for curricula and gives a sense of "ownership" and responsibility within the divisions by providing an identity for faculty and programs.  Faculty members may be in both divisions.

  • 2011: In Spring 2011, the Department voted to rename the ECE division to "Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering (ECSE)."

  • 2019: As technology is ever advancing and enrollment in technology fields is growing, the EECS department decides to become two separate departments. Approved by the Board of Trustees June 1, 2019, the former EECS department now operates as the Computer and Data Sciences (CDS) and the Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering (ECSE) departments.

What will we accomplish in the next 50 years? Check out our current research initiatives.