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We are actively recruiting new Computer Science PhD students to participate in the Quantitative Biology program. Related research areas are Machine Learning, Bioinformatics, and Biomedical Informatics.


Visit the Faculty Guide to explore the Computer Science faculty members' areas of research and credentials.


Dr. Rick Alterman

Rick Alterman, PhD, is a professor of computer science with a joint appointment in the Volen Center for Complex Systems. He describes his research as “interdisciplinary with a strong computational basis.” He states, “Early in my career my primary focus was in AI and cognitive modeling, but since then I have worked in other areas with different methods. Currently, my research group is doing research on engineering online collaborative learning environment. I have also started a project on training and skill acquisition. The common theoretical themes of my research are planning and activity, intersubjectivity, and communication.”

Doctoral Program in Computer Science

Brandeis has a thriving PhD program that enrolls approximately 20 students pursuing research with world renowned scholars in a variety of research areas. Areas of research interest include:

  • Database management
  • Networks
  • Distributed computing
  • Data compression
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Computational biology
  • Cognitive science
  • Human computer interaction
  • Programming language semantics
  • Computational linguistics

Course Requirements

The minimum degree requirements include an approved schedule of nine courses numbers 100 or above.

There is a three-year residency requirement for PhD students.


By the end of the first year, students must obtain the consent of a computer science faculty member to serve as adviser and dissertation committee chair.

Teaching Requirement

The mentoring, training, and evaluation of teaching fellows is an ongoing and important component of the graduate program. Students normally teach one course per year, beginning as graders of problem sets and assignments, then move progressively to higher levels of involvement with teaching in courses across the curriculum. They participate in the design and delivery of course lectures and each year, under the guidance of their faculty, they present several lectures. Whether students are preparing for an academic and research career or an industry position, the teaching fellow experience is valuable training in course preparation and technical communication.

Thesis Committee and Proposal

  1. Establishment by the adviser and the director of graduate studies of a thesis committee consisting of the adviser, two other Brandeis faculty, and one appropriate external member from outside Brandeis.
  2. An approved, written thesis proposal by the candidate that surveys the relevant literature and states the goals of the dissertation and topics to be investigated (including aspects already completed or underway), along with an oral presentation to the thesis committee that is open to computer science faculty who wish to attend.

Thesis Defense

Public defense of a completed dissertation will be announced three weeks in advance. Copies of the complete thesis will be available to the faculty during these three weeks.

Residency Requirement

You can find out more about application requirements here. The minimum residency requirement is three years.