The School of Computing and Information Sciences was formed in 1987 from the former Department of Mathematical Sciences. The mission of the School has several dimensions, consistent with the overall mission of the University and consistent with its role as part of the College of Engineering and Computing.
To offer an undergraduate degree program leading to the BS in Computer Science which includes high quality teaching by properly trained and experienced faculty. This program prepares students for either continued graduate education or for BS level careers in business, industry, or government. The program includes a mix and balance of application oriented course work and study of the underlying theory and principles of Computer Science. The program is designed to educate students whose technical knowledge and skills will not become rapidly outdated upon leaving the University. Towards those ends, all faculty in the School are involved in undergraduate education, including teaching beginning courses. Effective quality teaching is an essential part of the responsibilities of all faculty in the School, and special efforts are made to find ways of increasing that quality and effectiveness. Consistent with our status as part of the College of Engineering and Computing, the education of Computer Science majors should not only include up-to-date technical material utilizing contemporary equipment but also should provide opportunity for students to take advantage of their educational opportunities to become broadly educated as citizens and individuals. Consistent with the mission of the University, the School of Computing and Information Sciences offers its undergraduate program to full and part-time degree seeking students and accommodates the special needs of mature students and lifelong learners. Because students from minority and other disadvantaged and/or underrepresented groups have been historically underrepresented in technological areas, the School has a special responsibility to recruit, encourage, and support undergraduate major students from those groups.
To offer graduate degree programs leading to both the MS and PhD degrees. The MS program provides professionals now working in the field to update their knowledge and skills, as well as providing traditional students the opportunity to increase their abilities, knowledge, and value to future employers. The PhD program will prepare students for research and teaching at universities and/or to conduct basic and applied research in industry or government agencies. Because of a national shortage of PhD level researchers and faculty in Computer Science, the recent development of the PhD program in Computer Science provides the responsibility as well as the opportunity to make an especially significant contribution.
To conduct basic and applied research in Computer Science. Computer Science is a major component of almost all new technological development. By conducting high quality research in a variety of sub-areas of this field, the School of Computing and Information Sciences will make a contribution not only to this area and this nation, but to the entire world. Successful research will also enhance the reputation of the University and, therefore, its ability to successfully achieve all aspects of its mission. It is through our active research program that faculty maintain the knowledge and expertise necessary to provide quality education, especially at the graduate level. Research is conducted in areas relevant to the expertise of our faculty and is an inseparable part of doctoral education. In support of the research component of our mission and our graduate education mission, the School maintains laboratory facilities which are kept up to date with contemporary research quality equipment and software, and are supported with adequate and properly trained staff.
To provide course work and support for students in other fields who need and want to learn computer skills and to understand and utilize computers either in their chosen careers or for personal intellectual growth and stimulation. As computer knowledge and skills become an important part of higher education for students in all areas, providing appropriate courses and instruction has become an increasingly important part of the mission of the School of Computing and Information Sciences, just as courses and instruction for non-majors has historically been part of the missions mathematics and English department. Because of the importance of these skills and this knowledge to success in higher education, this aspect of our mission carries with it a special component of responsibility to minority and other educationally disadvantaged students.
Consistent with the mission of the University, to respond to the needs of local and regional industry and government. This includes cooperation with research and development efforts of local industry, sharing information through joint seminar participation, providing specific training and technical information to them. Cooperative research efforts with industry enhance the research mission of the School of Computing and Information Sciences and also help to promote economic development in our region. Similarly, joint activities with government agencies such as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in topics such as massively parallel computation provides opportunities for faculty and graduate student research as well as an opportunity for the School to provide a valuable service toward the solution of problems important to the entire world.
To provide technical expertise to the entire University community so as to help with the integration of computers throughout all aspects of the University. The University of the future will have a distributed computer network at its center, linking and supporting a wide range of instructional, research and administrative activities. The School of Computing and Information Sciences, by virtue of having knowledge and expertise concerning both computer technology and also educational needs, has a special role to play in leading the development of such a University-wide integrated computer network and in deciding on how it is to be used. Working in cooperation with University Academic Computing Services and with other academic units, the School of Computing and Information Sciences should help lead the University in utilizing this technology in all phases of its educational mission.