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Information Science, Systems and Technology

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Undergrad Degree: BS

Digital information technologies have become pervasive in science, engineering, manufacturing, business, finance, culture, law, and government, dramatically changing the way people work and live. The proliferation and significance of these new technologies demands a new focus in engineering education — one that remains rigorous and technically oriented, but is simultaneously devoted to integrating engineering design, theory, and practice within the social and organizational contexts in which these complex digital information systems will be employed.

The major in Information Science, Systems, and Technology (ISST) studies the design and management of complex information systems. Just as structural engineers and nanofabricators use physics at radically different scales, so also is there a scale difference between the focus of ISST and the more traditional, look-under-the-hood majors in Computer Science and Operations Research & Information Engineering. Rather than focusing on the computing and communication technologies that underlie digital information systems, the ISST program of study emphasizes information systems engineering in broad application contexts, where issues at the confluence of information science, technology, and management are the primary concerns. Students in the major specialize in one of two options. The Management Science (MS) option teaches methods for quantitative decision making and their application to Information Technology (IT), as well as the broader role that IT plays in making these methods effective. The Information Science (IS) option educates students in methods for the creation, representation, organization, access, and analysis of information in digital form.

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