Solving society’s most challenging problems—from responding to natural disasters to improving human health and well-being, from protecting national security to making sense of big data, from exploring the connections between gender and technology to utilizing GIS for humanitarian efforts—calls for approaches that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. Precise computational models are needed to learn from the vast datasets available. Scientific theory needs to describe the complex relationships we encounter in the ecosystem we live in, networked with an increasing number of virtual friends, collaborators, and customers.
At Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), you will receive multidisciplinary training to prepare you to address complex issues related to technology and society. Our graduate students come from a variety of backgrounds, including computer science, engineering, psychology, sociology, economics, philosophy, visual arts, and math.
The College of IST’s faculty and graduate students engage in cutting-edge research in areas such as human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence and cognition, health- and bio-informatics, and psychology of terrorism, to name just a few. We excel in security informatics (or cybersecurity) research, exploring how we can better protect companies from cyber-attacks and nations from cyber war. We examine information retrieval, search engines, and big data as means to understand complex knowledge and societal and economic relationships. We study cognition and human-computer interfaces in order to comprehend how an individual’s abilities and limitations fit into a connected world full of technology. To succeed in all of these areas, as a graduate student in IST you will develop important skills in math, computer science, and social and behavioral sciences. You will learn how to analyze qualitative and quantitative effects in data; and be able to understand, test, and contribute to scientific theory.
Penn State is ranked by Times Higher Education in the top 1 percent of higher education institutions worldwide. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks highly Penn State’s graduate schools in disciplines relevant to IST. Among iSchools, a consortium of information schools dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st century, IST at Penn State is unique in its focus on social technology, cognition, and business.
As a graduate student in the College of IST, you will gain the knowledge and skills needed for success in a career in academia, industry, or government.