The UC Department of Computer Science (DCC UC) was made part of the UC School of Engineering following a decree signed by the Dean on May 16, 1983. However, its origin dates back to 1970, when the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile creates the Computer Science Center (CECICO), as part of the School of Engineering, to teach, research and provide computer services. At the end of 1981 CECICO is divided in two: the UC Management Computer Science Services Unit (SECICO) and the Department of Computer Science that, at the time, was part of the Faculty of Mathematics.
Two years into being part of the UC School of Engineering, the DCC UC is its ninth Department, with a faculty of eleven academics that include Álvaro Campos, Miguel Nussbaum, Ignacio Casas, Javier Pinto, David Fuller and Yadran Eterovic. This team, that initially occupied two offices on the third floor of the Raúl Devés building, was responsible for creating the Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, of the UC Faculty of Mathematics, the Degree in Industrial Civil Engineering, and the Diploma in Computer Engineering, of the UC School of Engineering.
From 1983 and during the next twelve years, many DCC UC faculty members traveled abroad to do postgraduate degrees at universities in the U.S.A., Canada, England and Switzerland. The professors that stayed in Chile were in charge of research, teaching and continuing education programs. It is worth highlighting that during the first years of the Department the latter resulted in the creation of the Eccompuc Training Center and the INGES Diploma (Postgraduate Degree in Computer Management), still taught in the evenings at the DCC UC.
During the 1990s, the group of department professors that had studied abroad takes on the task of addressing areas of non-traditional knowledge in computer science. This search, related to the international development of computing and the needs and opportunities that it presented in Chile’s technological development, gave rise to a new way of looking at this discipline in three specific areas: Computer Science, Software Engineering and Information Systems.
Due to the new perspective given to computing academically, a new specialty arises in 2002: Industrial Civil Engineering with a major in Information Technology. This specialty is added on to the already existing ones: Industrial Civil Engineering with a major in Computer Engineering – created in the early 1980s -, and Computer Civil Engineering, created in the mid 90s through the initiative of professor Leopoldo Bertossi.
The 1990s were marked by other milestones: Solex, the first company born from the School of Engineering, a product of research and development by Professor Miguel Nussbaum and Marco Sepúlveda; the first Doctoral student to graduate from the School of Engineering, now a DCC UC professor; and the creation of the Computer Civil Engineering program.
Today the DCC UC is responsible for three graduate and professional degree programs at the School of Engineering. During the last five years more than 400 students have graduated from these specialties. The areas of professional performance by our graduates include, from Master’s and Doctoral degrees, to professional careers and technological undertakings in Chile, as well as abroad. In terms of research, during the last four years Department academics and researchers have published approximately 80 papers in ISI journals and our postgraduates include 12 Doctorates and 30 Master’s degrees.
Moreover, apart from the continuing education evening program INGES, since 2005, we also offer the postgraduate program: Master’s in Information Technology and Management (MTIG), geared towards professionals interested in updating and deepening their knowledge in computing.
Lastly, the influence computing has in different aspects of our society is strongly reflected in DCC UC’s activity: our 15 academics have spearhead and are part of different projects, through teaching, development and research, with professors in areas such as Astronomy, Agronomy, Biology, Communications, Design, Education, Literature, Math, Medicine and Psychology.
“Treinta años del DCC de la PUC: Una visión muy personal”, written by Yadran Eterovic Solano for the magazine Bits de Ciencia, Nº8, second semester 2012.
Certificates and Awards
The National Certification Commission (CNA-Chile) has accredited the Doctorate in Engineering Sciences Program, with a major in Computer Science for the last five years, ending in 2016. The Master’s in Engineering Sciences with a major in Computer Science is in the process of being certified. CNA-Chile has certified our undergraduate programs in Industrial Civil Engineering, with a major in Information Technology; Industrial Civil Engineering, with a major in Computing; and Computer Civil Engineering, for seven consecutive years.
Furthermore, our Diploma in Industrial Civil Engineering and the Diploma in Computer Engineering are currently certified by the Engineering Certification Commission, EAC, of the Engineering and Technology Certification Board, ABET.
- The project “Transforming the Classroom with Mobile Technology,” headed by professor Miguel Nussbaum, won the Innovation in Education of the Americas Award, given by the OAS (Organization of American States) in June 2004.
- Our students have won several Programming Competitions organized by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). To these distinctions we add the Doctoral thesis by professor Marcelo Arenas, “Design Principles for XML Data,” as one of the papers on databases prized by the ACM SIGMOD (June-2006); and the article “Data exchange beyond complete data,” by researchers Juan Reutter, Jorge Pérez and Marcelo Arenas.
- The articles “Simulation of Defects in Aluminum Castings using CAD Models of Flaws and Real X-ray Images” (2005) and “Active X-ray Testing of Complex Objects” (2012), by Domingo Mery and Vladimir Riffo, researchers from the UC School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science, were given the Ron Halmshaw Award in 2006 and 2013, respectively, for best research in the area of Industrial Radiology published in the ISI journal Insight, edited by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing, BINDT.
- The Executive Council of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling awarded UC Department of Computer Science (DCC UC) professor Jorge Baier an honorable mention for his thesis “Effective Search Techniques for Non-Classical Planning,” written during his Doctoral studies at the University of Toronto between 2004 and 2009.
- The paper “Semantics and Optimization of the SPARQL 1.1 Federation Extension,” written jointly by DCC UC researchers, Marcelo Arenas and Carlos Buil, was given the Best Research Paper Award by the Extended Semantic Web Conference 2011 (ESWC 2011).
- The educational web platform, Kimeltu, created by DCC UC graduate students Andrés Testón, Mauricio Ulloa, Matías Rojas and Guillermo Vargas, was chosen as the best Student Business Concept by the VT Knowledge 2011 Challenge, organized by Virginia Tech in the United States.
- The project “Eduinnova: Transforming the Classroom with Technological Support,” headed by DCC UC academic Miguel Nussbaum, was awarded the Avonni 2011, as one of the most innovative and high impact initiatives developed in Chile.
- The paper “LACCIR: A Collaborative Research Initiative for ICT Development in Latin America and the Caribbean,” written by UC Department of Computer Science academic and LACCIR executive director, Ignacio Casas, was granted the Best Paper Award at the IEEE conference, i-Society 2012.
- For their contribution to Chilean engineering, the papers “Data Exchange beyond Complete Data,” by researchers Marcelo Arenas, Jorge Pérez and Juan Reutter; and “A classroom Augmented Reality Game to Teach Electrostatics,” written by Francisca Gil, Alejandro Echeverría, Cristian García-Campo, Miguel Nussbaum, Marco Villalta, Matías Améstica and Sebastián Echeverría, where granted the “Ramón Salas Edwards” and “Roberto Ovalle Aguirre” awards, granted annually by the Institute of Engineers of Chile.
- Marcelo Arenas, professor of the UC Department of Computer Science, won the Scopus 2013 award for his numerous published papers and number of citations on the Scopus database, by the editorial house Elsevier.
- The article “Reconnecting with the Ideal Tree: An Alternative to Heuristic Learning in Real-Time Search,” by UC Department of Computer Science researchers Nicolás Rivera, León Illanes and Jorge Baier (together with academic Carlos Hernández Ulloa, from the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción) won the Best Student Paper Award from the Sixth Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search, SoCS 2013.
- The mobile digital platform “Enseña Chile” (Teach Chile), created by DCC UC graduate students Joaquín De La Maza, Tomás Arriagada, Diego Bravo, Andrés Chacón, Andrés Cifuentes, Matías Dib, Josefina Hernández, María Fernanda Mora, Gustavo Pizarro and Erick Vaclav Svec, under the guidance of project tutor, Andrés Teston, was awarded the 2013 Best Digital Application Award granted by the QuéVeo foundation.
- In Telford, England, UC Department of Computer Science academic Domingo Mery, and UC School of Engineering Doctoral student, Vladimir Riffo, received the Ron Halmshaw Award for the contribution their research paper “Active X-ray Testing of Complex Objects” made to the X-ray and radiology industry.
- For its relevance to the area of web semantics, the jury of the ISWC 2013 Conference granted the Best Paper Award in the category of “Systems Evaluation” to the paper “SPARQL Web-Querying Infrastructure: Ready for Action?” written by UC Department of Computer Science (DCC UC) part-time professor Carlos Buil, with researchers Aidan Hogan, from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and Jürgen Umbrich and Pierre-Yves Vandenbussche, from IT Fujitsu,
- UC School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science (DCC UC) academic and researcher, Domingo Mery, received the John Grimwade medal for Best Publication 2013 by the scientific journal Insight-Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring. This prize, granted annually by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing, BINDT, honored the research paper “Detection of Regular Objects in Baggages using Multiple X-ray Views”, by the DCC UC academic, his Doctoral students Vladimir Riffo, Irene Zuccar and former Master’s student Germán Mondragón.
- With the research paper “Recognition of Facial Attributes using Adaptive Sparse Representations of Random Patches”, UC School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science academic, Domingo Mery, was awarded the best research paper at the Soft Biometrics workshop, at the European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2014. The paper, written with Kevin Bowyer, an academic from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Notre Dame, presents a general method of how to automatically recognize facial attributes (such as emotions, gender and race) from photos of people’s faces.
- Academic Marcelo Arenas, was granted the Best Student Research Award at the International Semantic Web Conference 2014 for his paper “OBDA: Query Rewriting or Materialization? In Practice, Both!,” written with Doctoral student Juan Sequeda from the University of Texas at Austin.
- Professor Juan Reutter received the Cor Baayen Award, granted by the European Research Commission on Informatics and Mathematics, ERCIM, for his distinguished work as a young researcher in the areas of Databases, Automata Theory, Computability and Logic in Computing, with nine published research papers in scientific journals, for book chapters and fifteen papers presented at international workshops and conferences.
- Professor Juan Reutter also received the BCS Distinguished Dissertations Award, granted by the British Computer Society to the best Doctoral thesis presented in the United Kingdom. The paper was published as a special volume and the distinction was awarded at the 2014 BCS Roger Needham Lecture in London, England.
- IEEE CIS Task Force on Process Mining awarded professor Jorge Munoz-Gama for his PhD thesis entitled “Conformance Checking and Diagnosis in Process Mining” (September 2015).
- The British Computing Society and The Council of Professors and Heads of Computing awarded professor, Domagoj Vgroč, for his PhD thesis entitled "Querying graphs with data" (March 2016).
- The firm "NotCo", cofounded by professor Karim Pichara was awarded the Avonni prize 2016 as one of the most innovative and high impact initiatives developed in Chile.
- Academic Marcelo Arenas was awarded the Semantic Web Science Association (SWSA) Ten-Year Award at the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2016) in recognition of the considerable impact of the paper "Semantics and Complexity of SPARQL", written with Jorge Pérez and Claudio Gutiérrez. Since its original publication at ISWC 2006, the paper outlined a formal framework for SPARQL that has been cited and reused in hundreds of subsequent works studying the query language.
- Pontifical Catholic University of Chile awarded professor Hans Löbel for his PhD thesis entitled "A Visual Recognition Approach Based on Efficient And Compact Deep Hierarchical Compositional Models And Structurally Regularized Max-Margin Techniques" (December 2016).
- Professor Andrés Neyem was awarded the SIGCSE 2017 Exemplary CS Education Research Paper for his paper "Understanding Student Interactions in Capstone Courses to Improve Learning Experiences” written with Jorge Muñoz, Jaime Navón and Juan Diego Díaz (March 2017).
- Professor Denis Parra was awarded the WWW2017 Outstanding Reviewer Award for his contribution to the 26th International World Wide Web Conference in Perth, Australia (April 2017).
- Professor Jorge Munoz-Gama was awarded the Celonis Process Mining Thesis Award 2017 for his PhD thesis entitled “Conformance Checking and Diagnosis in Process Mining”.
There are different alternatives for financing postgraduate studies at the UC Department of Computer Science. There are scholarships that are awarded by the Chilean government, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, international cooperation agencies and the private sector. Scholarships are primarily directed towards Doctoral students, although there are options for Master’s in research programs. The PUC Computer Science Department offers scholarships to postgraduate students who participate in International Congresses. Review rules and application form.
For graduates of Chilean universities. This is one of the best scholarships, as it covers 100% of university student fees. View details here.
DIPUC and DIPEI Scholarships
For students admitted into a Doctoral program. DIPEI and DIPUC scholarships are awarded by the UC School of Engineering and the UC Postgraduate Office. Benefits include 90% discount of the registration fee and grants monthly allowances, the amount depends on the number of students awarded the scholarship.
For Latin American students. The International Cooperation Agency (AGCI) offers different types of scholarships that, depending on the initiative, benefit students from the majority of the countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. These scholarships are convenient as they cover university tuition and grant students a monthly allowance of approximately USD $ 700.00.
Proffesor Javier Pinto Scholarship
For PUC graduates. Exempts students from paying their registration fee.
School of Engineering Scholarship
For students granted a Padre Hurtado Scholarship interested in a Master’s in research.
Educational Agreements with Outside Entities
Our department has signed agreements with different institutions (universities, companies, government offices, etc.) to develop its research projects.
The Computer Science Department (DCC UC) is located on the fourth floor of the San Agustín Building of the School of Engineering at the entrance of the San Joaquín Campus. The department has large offices for our professors and postgraduate (Master’s and Doctoral) students, conference rooms, two multi-media classrooms, UC institutional WiFi and public WiFi implemented by the DCC UC for non-university students and professors.
We also have virtual servers that our students can access remotely to test and develop software. Plus, we have Microsoft Research LACCIR, Turing, Times Series Center, Notebook Friendly, Tablet PC HP computer labs for classroom activities and research projects by undergraduate and postgraduate students. For further information on connectivity and our installations, contact Juan Pablo Gastovic (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The PUC Computer Science Department has implemented a service that provides Wi-Fi wireless coverage to its facilities. This Wi-Fi network is connected directly to the internal network of the DCC and its use has no cost to the user.
If you have a personal computer with a built-in or peripheral Wi-Fi card or a PDA, all you need to do is locate in a place with coverage or "illuminated" by wireless antennas (Access Point) and enter the network without having to use identification keys.
Under normal conditions, the wireless connection (Wi Fi) to Internet should be automatic, so you should be able to open the browser with your usual home page without the need for additional configurations. However, in case you have any difficulty, please contact the IT coordinator, Juan Pablo Gastovic (email@example.com).
Microsoft Research LACCIR
Located on the second floor of the San Agustín Building of the UC Engineering School, it has 16 machines equipped with communications ports for activities related to computer architecture laboratories.
Located on the fourth floor of the San Agustín Building of the UC Engineering School, office 4 Poniente. It has 10 machines equipped with communications ports for activities related to computer architecture laboratories, data mining, BPMS and mathematical calculation.
Times Series Center (TSC)
Located on the fourth floor of the San Agustín Building of the UC Engineering School, office 4 Oriente. Its main orientation is to meet the needs of students who need to work with mobile teams in development and research tasks. The monitors are available to students to expand the visual field of mobile equipment and to facilitate programming tasks.
Located on the fourth floor of the San Agustin Building of the UC Engineering School, 5 Oriente office. Its main orientation is to meet the requirements of students who need to work on development and research tasks. In addition, it has a large group work table and the possibility of using the blackboard as a projection surface.
Tablets PC HP
HP mobile cloister structure. It has 20 touch-screen notebooks with the following characteristics. Its use is mainly aimed at collaborative dynamics and broad-spectrum laboratories.
Known as organizations created by students and professors from the same department or center from the UC School of Engineering, student chapters aim to generate opportunities for the sharing of opinions and the promotion of technological and technical innovations between the different engineering specialties.
The student chapters linked to the UC Department of Computer Science are:
MECOLAB UC: a student initiative of UC Department of Computer Science and UC Department of Electrical Engineering of the UC School of Engineering to provide students with equipment in order to develop applications for mobile and embedded devices.
ACM PUC: a student initiative of the UC Department of Computer Science to organize extra curricular activities to integrate students, professors and administrative staff.