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IST Mission and Objectives

Mission: The mission of the College of Information Sciences and Technology is to educate students to meet the challenges of the 21st century information age, to conduct leading-edge research which integrates people, information and technology, and to perform service to address global problems and challenges.

Manifesto: At IST, we’re about creating intelligence. The digital age has made the world smaller, faster, more interactive and increasingly mobile. But no matter how fast and smart machines become, they still rely on the power of human creativity. It’s people that create new ways to look at and evaluate the infinite opportunities of the digital age. IST draws on a variety of knowledge disciplines to help individuals unlock the power of their own creativity and fuel the world’s most powerful problem solving machine—the human mind.

Current State of the College: The first 14 years of the College have been one of significant growth and maturation.   Starting with five key faculty members at University Park and an initial enrollment of less than 100 undergraduate students, the College has grown to be offered at 19 campus locations around the Commonwealth, supported by 153 faculty members, with an undergraduate student enrollment of 2100 students (with an additional 500 non-resident, degree-seeking  undergraduate students).  In addition, there are 120 resident M.S. and Ph.D. graduate students at the University Park campus and an additional 400 degree seeking graduate students pursuing on-line masters of professional studies via the World Campus program.    Current academic offerings include: a two-year undergraduate program, two Bachelor of Science degrees (in Information Sciences and Technology and in Security and Risk Analysis), a Bachelor of Arts degree in Information Sciences and Technology, a resident, academic Master of Science (M.S.) degree and Ph.D. degree in Information Sciences and Technology.  Non-resident Professional Master of Science (M.P.S.) degrees are offered in Information Sciences and Technology, Homeland Security (with emphasis on information security and forensics), and Enterprise Architecture.

Strategy and Objectives: From inception, the college has focused on understanding the interplay of information, technology and humans. We believe four major trends will create both educational and research opportunities: 1) The Internet of things, 2) Mobile computing and sensing, 3) Big Data - The explosion of online heterogeneous data, and 4) New forms of risk – cyber insecurity and information privacy. Research opportunities include blending of human and computer-based cognition, fusion of sensor data with human observations, big data informatics and analytics, and modeling the interplay among the physical, cyber and human landscapes.  Interdisciplinary research will lead to major advances in areas such as medicine, energy, environmental monitoring and crisis management, but will require transcending academic boundaries, linking lab-based data with online global data sets, and leveraging expertise of practicing professionals and citizen scientists.

In the short term, IST will continue to expand online learning to achieve a level of 500 graduate students and 750 undergraduate students while increasing the number of resident undergraduates at University Park to 1200 students.  We will develop service-based on-line materials in areas such as computer security, data analytics, and entrepreneurship resources.   Research efforts will focus on improving our leadership in cyber-security, human computer interaction and the science of design, computational informatics, health and bio-informatics, discovery informatics and big data analytics.

In the longer term, we will focus on new educational initiatives blending of on-line, in-class, and hybrid learning, creating a new university level research center in Discovery Analytics and Big Data Analysis, and growing our faculty to meet the added demands of online and resident programs.   Major opportunities exist in cross-discipline collaboration with the Institutes of Cyber Science, the Huck Institute for the Life Sciences, and the Institute for Personalized Medicine.

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