50 Years of Computer Science

Since 1973: Computer Science at Michigan Tech

VAX 11750 Computer

A Vax 750 superminicomputer, purchased in 1984, was located in the Center for Experimental Computation (CEC) in Fisher Hall.


At its first meeting of the 1973 winter quarter, the Michigan Tech Faculty Senate approved the university’s first undergraduate Computer Science (CS) curriculum, and in 1974 the first Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degrees were awarded.

At that time, students used an IBM System/360 mainframe computer. Computer science majors prepared their class programming assignments on noisy keypunch machines, turned in their decks at batch stations, and waited eagerly for minutes or hours to get back the listing containing the results of their runs—from a machine with less computing power than the average smartphone today.

Today’s computing methods and technologies are radically different, but the value of an MTU computer science degree remains constant, as related in these alumni memories.


To help celebrate 50 years of Computer Science at Michigan Tech, all Department of Computer Science alumni are invited to a gathering at Alumni Reunion 2024.

Thursday, August 1:

7:30–9:30 p.m. College of Computing Reception—Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts (10), Lobby. Join new and old friends from the College of Computing at an informal reception with the College of Computing faculty. There will be brief remarks about both the 5 year anniversary of the College and the 50 year anniversary of computer science.   No charge


Friday, August 2:

1–4 p.m. 50th Anniversary of Computer Science at Michigan Tech Celebration —Kanwal and Ann Rekhi Hall (28), 214. Join us as we review our 50 year history of computer science at Michigan Tech.  Events will include a panel of alumni reflecting on their days at Michigan Tech, short presentations by faculty and students highlighting current research activities in the Department, and tours of our facilities.  Feel free to come for all or part of our activities.   No charge


CS alumni are also invited to share their memories and thoughts on the impact of their education.