Information about the University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Computer Science website is provided in the following areas
for those interested in its design and construction:
Each page on the site has a standard header, a standard footer, and may
also use several common methods of representing its content.
At the top of each page is a standard header, which includes
Popular CU Links
-- links to frequently accessed pages within the
University of Colorado website, such as the College of
Engineering and Applied Science website, myCUinfo, and
CU search pages.
Popular CS Links
-- links to frequently accessed pages within the
Department of Computer Science website, such as the
calendar of events, departmental phone directory, course catalog,
class schedules, and general contact information.
Global Navigation Links
-- links to several key pages for navigating the website,
such as the Computer Science home page, collections of quick
links to information organized by user type, a site map, and
an alphabetical index to the site.
-- a field for performing a quick keyword search of
the site, along with a link to a more general site search page.
Site search is provided by a
Google Custom Search Engine.
-- a set of links from which to begin drilldown into
the site hierarchy, providing information about the department,
events, the undergraduate and graduate programs, research, courses,
people, and the site itself.
- Page Content
While the main content of each page is of course page dependent, pages on
the site do often use some common concepts in presenting their content:
Title and Page Path
-- the general topic of the page, along with links to each
ancestor of the page in the site hierarchy.
-- links to pages below this page in the site hierarchy, or
sometimes links to content within the current page.
-- links that allow "filtering" of some larger set of data, for
instance selecting only courses related to "Software Engineering"
from the set of all Computer Science courses.
See Also Links
-- links to other pages, both internal and external to the
Computer Science site, that may be of interest to a user
visiting the current page.
Just as each page in the site has a standard header, each page has a
standard footer, which includes the following:
-- more specific information identifying the Department, College,
and the University.
Page Content Owner
-- email address of the owner of the page content, the best person
to contact for questions about information found on the page.
Department Location and Phone Numbers
-- main Departmental office location, as well as the main phone and
FAX numbers for the Department.
Web Standards Links
-- links to validation services for web standards used on the page.
-- copyright year.
Page Modification Date
-- date the page was last modified.
The intrinsic organization of the site is hierarchical and
includes several types of core pages.
However, several navigation concepts allow for both hierarchical
and non-hierarchical navigation of the site.
- Site Hierarchy
The site is organized as a hierarchy that, at the highest level, is
composed of eight subhierarchies, each containing a collection of pages
related to a broad topic.
-- information about the Computer Science Department in general,
including how to get here and find buildings and offices, what to
do once you are here, departmental news and publications, contact
information, and generally useful links to the community beyond
-- a Departmental calendar of events, along with announcements of
various talks and lectures that are conducted within
-- information related to the undergraduate degree programs
(BS in Computer Science, Minor in Computer Science,
and Concurrent BS/MS in Computer Science) available in the
Department, including information for prospective undergraduates,
degree requirements, sample curricula, and frequently asked
questions. Also includes information on the two capstone courses,
Senior Project and Senior Thesis.
-- information related to the graduate degree programs
(MS in Computer Science, ME in Computer Science,
and PhD in Computer Science) available in the Department,
including a prospective graduate student guide, information
on graduate admissions, financial aid, and housing. Also
includes a handbook for current graduate students in Computer
-- links to the websites for various research groups within
-- information on courses offered by the Department, including
a Computer Science Course Catalog, class schedules, a comprehensive
course prerequisite list, links to instructor's course websites,
and faculty course questionnaire (FCQ) results. Also includes
links to course info pages for every course taught in the
-- information about people related to the department, including
faculty, staff, and student directories, departmental committees,
advisory board, and alumni directories. Also includes links to
information pages for each faculty and staff member of the
-- information related to the Computer Science website itself,
including an alphabetical index into the site, a site search page,
a site map, a comprehensive site outline, and this page.
- Core Pages
Since courses are a key component of the Department's role in the
University, a core design concept of the site was to collect all
information related to a given course in a single page specific to the
course. Similarly, since people are also key components of the Department,
a core design concept was that all information related to a given faculty
or staff member be collected in a single page for that faculty or staff
member. And, of course, the home page is a core page of the site.
Course Info Pages
-- pages for each course taught in the Department, providing a
course description, class schedules for the course, and FCQs
related to the course, e.g. the course page for
Faculty and Staff Info Pages
-- pages for each faculty and staff member in the Department,
providing contact information, research interests, a photo,
teaching schedules, and FCQs, e.g. the info page for
-- contains, in addition to standard navigation features available
on all pages, information on upcoming events (What's Happening),
news items (What's New), and quick links appropriate to various
user groups (What's Here).
- Site Navigation
In addition to traditional hierarchical drilldown site navigation, several
other navigation mechanisms are also provided.
-- a collection of links near the bottom of many pages that move
the user to pages of related information likely to be of interest
to visitors to the current page.
CS A to Z
-- an alphabetical index of information found on the site,
with links directly to the pages containing the information.
-- a high level representation of the site hierarchy,
with direct links to the major pages of the site.
-- a comprehensive outline of the entire site,
with direct links to nearly every page on the site.
People Cross Reference
-- an index listing all references to individuals on the site,
with links directly to the pages containing the references,
as well as links to individual home pages and email addresses.
-- keyword search available directly from every page, as well
as advanced search capability available from a search page,
allowing direct navigation to pages that match the search criteria.
-- collections of links directly to pages that are likely to be
of interest to various user groups, such as current and prospective
students, faculty and staff, industry reps, alumni, and general
visitors to the Department.
- Standard Links
Due to the nature of the website, there are a number of items that occur
frequently on the site that have natural links to other information on the
site. These links are treated consistently throughout the site.
-- links to course info pages on references to courses taught
in the Computer Science Department, or links to appropriate
University of Colorado Boulder catalog entries on reference
to courses taught outside the Department, e.g.
CSCI 3753 and
-- links to faculty and staff info pages on reference to faculty
and staff, or links to home pages for people outside the
Michael Eisenberg and
-- links to floor plans showing the location of rooms on reference
to rooms within the Engineering Center, Discovery Learning Center,
and Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory, or links to maps
showing building location on reference to rooms away from the
engineering complex, e.g.
ECOT 717 and BESC 185.
Class Schedule Links
-- links to the general class schedule for a particular semester,
or links to schedule entries for a particular class section, e.g.
Spring 2004 or
Fall 2003 CSCI 4308-010.
The Computer Science website is automatically generated from backend data
and strives to maintain compatibility across a wide range of browsers and
platforms, all while providing a reasonable level of accessibility.
- Site Generation
The website currently (as of May 5, 2012)
consists of more than 14,100 files, including
- 796 directories
- 9,525 XHTML files
- 92 style sheets
- 2246 images
- 74 vCard files
- 25 videos
- 4 audio files
- 1289 documents
- 8 archive files
While automatically generated, files are static XHTML with no
use of frames, making them search engine visible and easily bookmarkable.
The site is built and maintained using inhouse software, as well as other
tools, to ensure appropriate consistency, standards compliance, and
spelling of the more than 5.5GB of data
and the integrity of the more than 1,509,000
- Browser Compatibility
The site complies with the
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
(Extensible HyperText Markup Language) and
CSS Level 2
(Cascading Style Sheets)
standards and provides a high level of compatibility with modern browsers.
The site should be very compatible with all but possibly older versions of
Microsoft Internet Explorer,
A browser with a correct CSS2 implementation, as well as most browsers with
a correct CSS1 implementation, should display a typical page on the site
similar to the image below. Click on the image for a full scale version.
- Printed Media Support
While the site is primarily intended for online browsing, users may
often want to print pages from the site. Banners, background images and
navigational constructs are quite beneficial while browsing online, but
are usually not only unhelpful but also unwanted on the printed page.
The site uses media-specific style sheets to allow each page to be printed
in a manner more suitable to print media.
- Mobile Device Support
The entire site can be browsed on any mobile device supporting
XHTML 1.0 and
CSS Level 2,
just as it can be browsed from any desktop with an appropriate browser.
However, mobile users operate in a different context with different
needs and constraints than "fixed" users.
Mobile devices have more limited speed, connection bandwidth
and display size. Navigation can also tend to be more tedious on
Mobile users typically need quick access to time- and/or
location-based information such as contact information, time and
location of an event and directions to venues, and less need for
more general browsing of the entire site.
A mobile subsite
is explicitly constructed to provide an improved experience to users
in a mobile context with a modern device supporting
XHTML 1.0 and
CSS Level 2, such as the
Apple iPhone and the
This subsite provides easy access to departmental contact information;
faculty and staff directories; a calendar of events; campus maps,
floor plans and building locations; class schedule information; and
a course catalog. Information is presented with device limitations in mind.
Examples of some of these pages are shown below.
An attempt has been made to provide a reasonable level of accessibility
on the site. In particular, images are used only where appropriate
(i.e., in general only for the representation of inherently graphical
information and not for the representation of text), text is
rendered based on user browser preferences rather than on fixed font
sizes, and no particular assumptions are made relative to screen size
or aspect ratio.
A number of people have contributed to this version of the website, in design
of the user interface, visual design, implementation and maintenance and
administration of the site.
- User Interface Design
The organization and navigation of the site is based on work by a team
in Tamara Sumner's Spring 2002
CSCI 6838 User Interface Design course. Team members were
- Dan Feng
- Saul Mora Jr.
- David Robb
- Sameer Totey
- Yanyan Wang
- Visual Design
The visual design of the site is based on concepts of a team working under
David Schaal in a
Fall 2002 design project course as part of the
(Technology, Arts and Media) certificate program.
The TAM program is administered by the ATLAS
(Alliance for Technology Learning and Society).
Team members were
- Nick Cummings
- Nicole Evans
- Scott Ginsberg
- Fatih Kizilgok
- Luke Lamborn
- Zane Lyon
- Kendall Pata
Stephen Dowdy and
Laura Vidal played a major role in
making Engineering Center floor plans available.
The site was implemented by Bruce Sanders,
building on and extending the ideas of these two teams, as well as
developing the tools used to generate and maintain the site.
- Maintenance and Administration
The site is generally maintained and administered by
Various others contribute to content maintenance as appropriate.