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Why Rice?

Master of Computer Science Online Program

Letter from the Faculty Director

We are in the midst of a revolution driven by automation and artificial intelligence. This is fundamentally changing a diverse set of industries, from manufacturing to retail, and enabling exciting new technologies, such as home automation and self-driving cars.  Throughout these fields, there is an increasing reliance on computers to collect, analyze, and act upon data. Computer Science is at the core of this revolution and is the lifeblood of modern and future industries.
Rice University has long provided high quality Computer Science education.  The Computer Science department also has extensive experience with developing critically acclaimed online courses.  We have combined these historical strengths to deliver a flexible Online Master of Computer Science Degree Program.
Online programs are emerging as an important option in modern education. However, not all programs are created equally. At Rice, we are known for our rigorous education, small class sizes, and student-faculty interaction. These are the guiding principles around which our online degree program is built.  Classes in the program will have around 25 students in them, allowing you to get to know both the instructor and your classmates. Further, the faculty are all located at Rice and are available to you both online and in-person if you are able to travel to Rice.
Our classes are designed to set you up for success.  They are not impersonal, rather you will engage with the instructors and work together with your classmates to deeply learn the material.  Every course you take will be a rewarding, interactive learning experience! This is what makes our program stand out.
Our Alumni have gone on to lucrative careers across a wide variety of fields.  For example, past graduates of our MCS program have gone on to careers at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Halliburton, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Schlumberger, Two Sigma, Uber, and many other leading companies. We invite you to join these ranks of Rice-educated Computer Scientists.  Together, we can impact the world.
Come experience the difference a Rice education can make!

Scott Rixner

Faculty Director,
Master of Computer Science - Online Program
Professor, Computer Science
Rice University


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Scott Rixner is a Professor of Computer Science at Rice University. His research spans virtualization, operating systems, and computer architecture, with a specific focus on memory systems and networking. He has been actively involved in curriculum development and oversight at Rice, having actively served on the curriculum committees for the University, School of Engineering, and Department of Computer Science. He has taught or co-taught many of the introductory computer science courses at Rice, including Computational Thinking, Algorithmic Thinking, Introduction to Program Design, and Introduction to Computer Systems. He has also co-developed two online Coursera specializations on Python programming. Prior to joining Rice, he received his Ph.D. from MIT.