2004-06 IUPUI Campus Bulletin
The policies, regulations, and course descriptions that appear in this edition of the Bulletin are for the academic years specified. Curricular requirements are for students who entered the university or were admitted to a degree program during these specific academic years. As the "bulletin year" (the student's entry year) will be defined differently from school to school at IUPUI, consult your academic advisor to be sure you are using the appropriate edition of the Bulletin.
While every effort is made to provide accurate and current information, IUPUI reserves the right to change without notice statements in this bulletin concerning rules, policies, fees, curricula, courses, or other matters. Consult your academic advisor to learn if changes have occurred that may affect you.
Informatics Degree Programs
Moore’s Law says that computing power doubles every 18 months. Regardless of whether that law is literally correct, it illustrates the rapid changes in information technology that will continue throughout the foreseeable future. The School of Informatics prepares students to meet the increasing demand for information technology professionals. The curriculum combines knowledge of a specific subject area (or cognate area) with the concepts in informatics that will help students adapt to technological changes throughout their careers. The proverb says that if you give people fish, you’ve fed them for a day, but if you teach them how to fish, you’ve fed them for a lifetime. Like the proverb, informatics teaches students how to adapt to technological changes while preparing them for lifelong learning in their careers and in their lives.
The undergraduate curriculum looks at information technology from a liberal arts perspective. It goes well beyond a “trade school” approach to educate students in the underlying science of information and information technology and to explore their human implications. The School of Informatics educates students in the technical, psychological, and social aspects of information technology and, at the same time, educates them in the application of information technology to another discipline or “cognate area.”
The curriculum is designed in two axes. One axis is the technical dimension, running from the logical and mathematical foundations of information technology to the issues of distributed information and knowledge systems. The other axis represents the human dimension, from the individual working with a computer and the area of human-computer interaction to groups interacting via computers with each other and the areas of social and organizational informatics. Where these two axes cross, we have the intersection of the human and the technical, of art and science. Also at that intersection we have “new media”—the use of computers and the Internet as multimodal communication devices that allow the expression of the human spirit through the visual arts, music, voice, and text. The curriculum includes: mathematical foundations, distributed information, human-computer interaction, social/organizational informatics, and new media.
The curriculum gives students a solid foundation while encouraging them to specialize their training through informatics electives and by applying their informatics skills in a cognate area. Bridging the specialization and cognate area is a year-long senior capstone project in which they will not only further specialize but learn practical skills, including teamwork. Central to the idea of the informatics major is that students learn how information technology relates to a traditional discipline in the liberal arts or the professions. Therefore, students take 15-18 credit hours in a cognate area that both grounds students in the discipline and emphasizes some combination of applications, implications, and foundations of information technology.
In addition to acquiring knowledge of core informatics and of informatics in the context of a traditional discipline, students also must take a set of general education courses to ensure that they can communicate clearly in both written and spoken English, read effectively, and reason quantitatively. They must be able to raise and rationally debate ethical concerns suggested by information technologies and their interactions with other people. Students also must have some knowledge of the world and its peoples, and their cultural, artistic, and scientific achievements. To this end, the general education requirement exposes students to the arts and humanities, social and historical studies, and natural and computer sciences.
The school offers a Bachelor of Science degree in informatics, media arts, and health information administration; five specialized professional master’s degrees, and a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in new media. Degrees in informatics not only combine existing course offerings, but also create innovative courses and curricula in new and emerging aspects of information technology. Informatics research is conducted at the Informatics Research Institute, which provides expanded educational opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.
The School of Informatics has grown out of years of planning and discussion, both at IUB and IUPUI. In the fall of 1997, a Taskforce on Informatics, chaired by Richard Shiffrin (Director of the Cognitive Science Program, IU Bloomington), was formed to study ways in which the university could capitalize on its strengths in information technology and to make a recommendation for further development. The membership of that taskforce came from both the IUB and IUPUI campuses and represented a wide range of disciplines involved in information technology. This taskforce report recommended that IU establish the School of Informatics.
In the summer of 1998, then-President Myles Brand created an Informatics Planning Committee chaired by Dennis Gannon (Chair of Computer Science, IUB). The committee was charged with developing a detailed implementation plan for this metaschool. The committee document outlined how an undergraduate degree in informatics could fruitfully require a substantial number of courses in an area outside of the core informatics courses. It also called for the creation of a research institute and for a small core faculty. The Informatics Planning Committee gave the following motivation for the new school:
The movement of society into the information age involves developments in information science and technology, distributed information processing, computer and cognitive science, social aspects of dealing with distributed information, knowledge retrieval, distributed teaching and learning, information dissemination, and many related themes. All academic and research programs at IU are (or shortly will be) affected by these developments. This taskforce recommends that a new school, tentatively titled “School of Informatics,” be formed to promote teaching, training, and research in these areas, and thereby play a catalyzing role in this ongoing evolutionary process.
On January 1, 1999, Brand appointed an interim dean, J. Michael Dunn (Computer Science and Philosophy, IUB) and an interim associate dean, Darrell Bailey (Music and New Media, IUPUI). With the guidance of a multidisciplinary faculty advisory committee of more than 50 members, the school began to take shape. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education formally approved the school in November, authorizing IU to admit its first informatics majors in the fall of 2000.
The School of Informatics spans the IU Bloomington (IUB) and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campuses. By combining the strengths of these two campuses, the School of Informatics is able to create a unique environment that enables students to earn degrees with strong information technology components in arts, humanities, science, and the professions. The expert faculty and excellent technological resources foster a synthesis of academic disciplines and cultures. Faculty from varied departments share developments in the fast-moving information technology areas through the School of Informatics and its degree programs. The school is actively forging cooperative arrangements with employers in the state and region and creating internships, cooperative education programs, and opportunities for learning through service.
Research and theory in informatics move rapidly to application and development. The faculty teaching in the School of Informatics participate in research activities and new applications of technology. As a result, faculty can transmit state-of-the-art knowledge to their students. Indiana University is capitalizing on this great research strength in informatics with the formation of an Informatics Research Institute (IRI). IRI will conduct research in areas of emphases shared with the School of Informatics, including: fundamental research in human-computer interaction; fundamental research in capturing, managing, analyzing, and explaining information and making it available for its myriad uses; and expanding research into policy and socioeconomic issues arising from information technology.
The School of Informatics offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Informatics, a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Arts and Science, a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Administration, and an Associate of Science degree in Media Arts and Technology.
The very nature of these degrees, with the changing technologies and applications, requires that the content of each degree be continuously assessed and revised. Therefore, the faculty of the School of Informatics will periodically review and revise the curricula to ensure that students are prepared to meet contemporary workplace and intellectual demands. Please contact the School of Informatics office, or refer to our Web site at www.informatics.iupui.edu, to confirm current program requirements.
Probationary Admission to New Media
Individuals who do not qualify for a direct admission or whose college grade point average is lower than 2.0 on a 4.0 scale (C) may petition the New Media Program for probationary admission. Special consideration is given to adult learners and students returning after five or more years. Petitions are available from the Informatics Student Services Office, phone (317) 278-7666.
Deadline to enroll for the fall semester: July 15
Deadline to enroll for spring semester: November 15
Deadline to enroll for summer session: April 15
At the discretion of the dean, the New Media Program may admit on a probationary basis those students who do not meet the minimum requirements for direct admission. To be considered for probationary admission, students must be in the upper two-thirds of their high school graduating class and have combined SAT I math and verbal (critical reading) scores of at least 650. Such students are counseled through the Informatics Student Services Office and remain on probation until they have successfully raised their cumulative grade point average to 2.0 (C) and satisfied any other limitations set. Students admitted on probationary status become eligible for dismissal if they fail to achieve a minimum GPA of 2.3 during each semester until they have reached a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C). Students who do not achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) after two semesters, or 24 credit hours, will be dismissed.