Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur was the first Institute in India to start Computer Science education. The initial "computer-related" courses were started at IIT Kanpur in August 1963 on an IBM 1620 system installed in the nation's first "computer classroom," a novelty then even in many North American and European universities. Gradually, the Institute drew upon some of the brightest young Indians in Computer Science to serve on its faculty and initiated an independent academic program in 1971, leading to Ph.D. and M. Tech. degrees. The undergraduate program started later, with the first batch graduating in 1983. The department was formally established in 1984. Many of the nation's leading experts, educationists and consultants in computer science today are the alumni of this department. Currently, the department has a faculty of 33 whose interests span almost all areas of Computer Science.
The department admits about 78 students every year in the B.Tech. program and 50 students in the M.Tech. program. 27 students are admitted to the dual-degree program, which results in students getting both a BTech and an MTech degree at the end of 5 years. There are about 15 students registered in Ph.D. program at a time. The department has recently started M.S. program, which is mainly focussed in research in various domains of Computer Science. There is one software engineer and five other staff attached to the laboratory facilities. Besides, there are a number of research engineers working in various sponsored projects.