Our mission is to educate students who can meet the challenges of the 21st century information age; conduct leading-edge research integrating people, information and technology; and carry out service activities that address global problems and challenges.
Welcoming its first students in 1999, IST has grown and matured significantly, with currently more than 2200 resident students statewide, and just over 1000 students taking IST courses online through World Campus. These students are mentored by more than 150 faculty members, who provide instruction at many levels and in a variety of formats. Academic offerings include a two-year IST associate degree; two B.S. degrees (Information Sciences and Technology; Security and Risk Analysis, available in both residential and online education formats); a student-customizable B.A. degree; resident M.S. and Ph.D. research degrees in Information Sciences and Technology; and non-resident Masters of Professional Studies degrees in Information Sciences, Homeland Security, and Enterprise Architecture.
From its inception, IST has focused on leveraging the interplay of information, technology and humans. In the next five years, four major trends will drive the College’s progress in education, research and outreach: 1) The Internet of things; 2) Mobile computing and sensing; 3) Big data—the explosion of digital heterogeneous data; and 4) New forms of risk involving cyber insecurity and information privacy. Research opportunities include the blending of human and computer-based cognition; fusion of sensor data with human observations; big data search and retrieval, aggregation and analytics, and modeling the interplay among the physical, cyber and human landscapes. The resulting interdisciplinary research will drive major advances in areas such as medicine, energy, environmental monitoring and crisis management, but will require transcending academic boundaries and the linking of lab-based data with online global datasets that are complex, multimodal and evolving. Meeting these challenges will require the complementary expertise and efforts of researchers, practicing professionals and citizen scientists. IST’s education and outreach programs will prepare individuals within each of these population segments.