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Computing and Information Studies

Professor: Hannon

Associate Professors: Fee, Holland-Minkley (chair), North

Visiting Assistant Professor: Lombardi

Designed to be an interdisciplinary program, the Computing and Information Studies curriculum comprises aspects of history, sociology, psychology, communication, art, design, science, and mathematics. The program stresses problem solving and effective communication skills while addressing issues in computational thinking, visual culture, interaction design, information management and analysis, systems development, and security. 

The major and minor in CIS have been designed to give students a strong background in a breadth of approaches to computing; students with an interest in a particular subfield within computing are encouraged to consider other programs or concentrations associated with the program as well, such as Environmental Studies; Film and Video Studies; Graphic Design; Mind, Brain, and Behavior; or Professional Writing. Students majoring in other fields looking for a computing course to complement their studies are encouraged to consider CIS 100, CIS 112, CIS 246, CIS 271 or CIS 275.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS: 11 CIS courses, including CIS 100, 102, 112, 271, either CIS 301 or CIS 310, and CIS 400 (the capstone experience). In addition, students must take at least one additional course with each of the following designations: Coding and Production, Design and Interaction, and Analysis and Modeling. At least four of the eleven total courses must be at the 300-level or higher.

Notes: These requirements allow students significant flexibility in course selection. Majors should work closely with their advisor to select a path through the curriculum that best fits their long-term career or graduate study goals. Elective courses may carry multiple designations but students may not use a single course for more than one category. Students completing a senior honors project may have the CIS 400 requirement waived, with the approval of the department, but still must take 11 CIS courses total, including independent studies. Majors are strongly encouraged to pursue at least one professional summer or intersession internship during their course of study.

MINOR REQUIREMENTS: Six courses, including CIS 100, two of CIS 102, 112 or 275, one additional course designated Design and Interaction, and one additional course designated Analysis and Modeling. At least one of these six courses must be at the 300-level or higher. While minors do not have official academic advisors within the department, they are also encouraged to consult with one of the CIS faculty in planning their coursework.

AP Policy: Students scoring a 4 or 5 on the Computer Science A or AB test will receive credit for CIS 102 upon successful completion of CIS 221.

CIS Elective Designation Descriptions

Coding and Production
These courses require students to undertake significant implementation or construction projects that strengthen their development skills. This may include programming projects, database implementations, film development, or other courses where at least half the student's time is spent on creation and development.
 CIS 221, CIS 275, CIS 349, CIS 351, CIS 361, CIS 365, CIS 380, CIS 425

Design and Interaction
These courses require students to focus on designing content or systems that are both aesthetically pleasing and intuitively useful to varying audiences. Students will focus the bulk of their time on understanding user audiences and then designing user experiences, content or systems such as digital media, web sites, mobile applications, or information systems that effectively meet the needs of those users.

CIS 246, CIS 271, CIS 275, CIS 301, CIS 349, CIS 361, CIS 365, CIS 380, CIS 425

Analysis and Modeling
These courses engage students in using various tools and techniques for understanding authentic problems and creating functional information technology solutions. Students will use methods from data mining, networking, artificial intelligence, systems analysis, or related disciplines to test, evaluate, document and recommend solutions to real-world problems.
 CIS 207, CIS 221, CIS 241, CIS 246, CIS 310, CIS 330, CIS 335

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