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London, England

Program Description

What do robot arms, origami models, spider webs, satellite arrays, bridges, and proteins all have in common? Each is a physical structure whose rigidity and flexibility is important to its use and function. The modern field of rigidity theory, a subfield of computer science, studies what sorts of structures give rise to flexible configurations (like a robot arm) and what sorts of structures give rise to rigid configurations (like a spider web or a suspension bridge). In this program we will study rigidity theory and computer science in the birthplace of rigidity theory--the UK--which began with the work of physicist James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish mathematician and physicist who held faculty positions at both Kings College, London and the University of Cambridge. As part of a special topics CS 480 course in rigidity theory, we will have the opportunity to interact with current researchers in the field of rigidity as well as visit sites and museums related to the history of both rigidity theory and computing in the UK, including Bletchley Park where Alan Turing, one of the fathers of computer science, lead a team working to hack the German Engima machine during WWII.

This program is designed to fulfill two upper level CS requirements for rising junior and senior computer science students. Classes will be held on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday with day trips planned on Wednesdays and three day weekends set aside every week for longer excursions and travel.

Location Description

The program is centered in London, a truly international city with an immense amount of history and culture. We will also take trips to other notable UK sites including Cambridge and Oxford, as well as a weekend getaway to the beautiful Lake District to experience the English countryside.


John Bowers | | Computer Science


Students will share two bedroom flats at the Florida State Study Centre in the Bloomsbury neighborhood of London. The neighborhood is walking distance from a host of London sites including the British Museum, Parliament, Oxford Street, Regents Park, and the Seven Dials and Theatre District. It is also adjacent to a Tube stop and has easy access to London's fantastic bus network.

Students will be allocated a weekly meal stipend that will cover approximately 14 meals per week.

Additional Items to Consider

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Students must be accepted to the computer science major and have completed CS 240, CS 261, and CS 227 with a grade of C- or better. Completion of CS 327 prior to the program is preferable but is not required.

Rising juniors or seniors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay
  • Interview with Program Director 

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 


Space Available. Apply Now for Priority!

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


CS 480: CS 480 Selected Topics: Rigidity Theory (3 credits)

CS 430: Programming Languages (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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