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About the Site


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:

Page Layout

Each page on the site has a standard header, a standard footer, and may also use several common methods of representing its content.

Standard Header

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 CU Links
  • 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.

    Popular CS Links
  • 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.

    Global Navigation Links
  • Quick Search -- 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.

    Quick Search
  • Navigation Bar -- 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.

    Top Navigation Bar
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.

    Title and Page Path
  • Drilldown Links -- links to pages below this page in the site hierarchy, or sometimes links to content within the current page.

    Drilldown Links
  • Filters -- 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.

    See Also Links
Standard Footer

Just as each page in the site has a standard header, each page has a standard footer, which includes the following:

  • Organization Info -- more specific information identifying the Department, College, and the University.

    Organization Info
  • 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.

    Page Content Owner
  • Department Location and Phone Numbers -- main Departmental office location, as well as the main phone and FAX numbers for the Department.

    Department Location and Phone Numbers
  • Web Standards Links -- links to validation services for web standards used on the page.

    Web Standards Links
  • Copyright -- copyright year.

    Copyright Year
  • Page Modification Date -- date the page was last modified.

    Page Modification Date

Site Organization

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.

  • Department -- 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 the Department.

  • Events -- a Departmental calendar of events, along with announcements of various talks and lectures that are conducted within Computer Science.

  • Undergraduate Program -- 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.

  • Graduate Program -- 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 Science.

  • Research -- links to the websites for various research groups within the Department.

  • Courses -- 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 Department.

  • People -- 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 Department.

  • Site -- 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 CSCI 3155.

  • 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 Elizabeth Bradley.

  • Home Page -- 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.

  • See Also -- 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.

  • Site Map -- a high level representation of the site hierarchy, with direct links to the major pages of the site.

  • Site Outline -- 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.

  • Search -- 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.

  • Quick Links -- 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.

  • Course Links -- 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 APPM 3310.

  • People Links -- links to faculty and staff info pages on reference to faculty and staff, or links to home pages for people outside the Department, e.g. Michael Eisenberg and Eugene Myers.

  • Room Links -- 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.

Site Construction

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
  • 5 JavaScript files
  • 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 links.

Browser Compatibility

The site complies with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XHTML 1.0 (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, Safari, Camino, Mozilla, Chrome, and Opera.

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.

A Typical Window Rendered Correctly
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.

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.

For example,

  • Mobile devices have more limited speed, connection bandwidth and display size. Navigation can also tend to be more tedious on mobile devices.

  • 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 Palm Pre. 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.

Scaled Text


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 graduate students

  • 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 TAM (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 Bruce Sanders. Various others contribute to content maintenance as appropriate.

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
Send email to

Engineering Center Office Tower
ECOT 717
FAX +1-303-492-2844
XHTML 1.0/CSS2 ©2012 Regents of the University of Colorado
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May 5, 2012 (14:40)