Information Technology in Today’s Learning
When Indiana University was founded in 1820, only Greek and Latin were taught. The curriculum has obviously changed over time, in response to both intellectual and practical needs. The most recent school to be established at Indiana University, the School of Informatics, responds to the world’s changing needs.
Today, one might say that programming languages and software tools are the Greek and Latin of our times, and no person can be called truly educated without mastery of these “languages.” It is not intended to suggest that the classical languages or any natural languages have been supplanted by C++ and Java. Indeed, making available the classical corpus in searchable digital form was one of the first applications of computing to the humanities. The point is to suggest the pervasiveness of information technology in all of civilized life. Much as Greek and Latin opened doors to the scholarship of the nineteenth century, so information technology opens doors to art and science in the twenty-first century.
The development of networks and distributed systems over the past several decades has changed forever the notion of a computer as something that merely “computes.” The computer is now an “information processor.” Arthur C. Clarke once said that “a sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Unfortunately, many people see computers and the Internet as magical. The mission of the School of Informatics is to educate citizens that advanced information technology is indistinguishable (or at least inseparable) from science and the arts.
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 for the foreseeable future. The School of Informatics prepares students to meet the continuing demand for information technology professionals who know how to grow and adapt to this environment of rapid technological change.
Informatics is focused on the best applications of technologies, and emphasizes the social and psychological aspects of information technology. Some have called informatics “technology with a human face.” Informatics prepares professionals to use information technology to solve problems in a variety of settings. The degrees emphasize the development of new uses for technologies, always keeping in mind the needs of people and the best and most appropriate uses for technology.
Informatics students have the following:
Degrees from the School of Informatics are unique because they involve students in learning how information technology relates to a traditional discipline in the sciences, liberal arts, or professions. In the School of Informatics, a student learns to use technology to solve problems in the chosen area of emphasis and is prepared to use technology to solve problems in a wide variety of career settings.
The undergraduate curriculum looks at information technology from a balanced perspective. It includes a technical core in the areas of mathematical foundations, distributed information, human-computer interaction, social/organization informatics, and new media. In addition to knowledge of core informatics and of informatics in the context of a traditional discipline, students 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; 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 the natural sciences.
The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Informatics degree, four specialized professional master’s degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree, the Professional Master’s Program in Computer Science, a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in New Media, and the Undergraduate Program in Health Information Administration. Informatics research is conducted at the Informatics Research Institute, which provides expanded educational opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.
The School of Informatics spans the IU Bloomington (IUB), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), IU South Bend (IUSB), IU Kokomo (IUK), and IU Southeast (IUSE) campuses. By combining the strengths of these five 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 disciplines 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.
Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) is a residential campus that offers undergraduate, professional, and graduate degrees in more than 70 fields of study. In the fall semester of 2007, the campus had a total enrollment of 38,386, including 29,608 undergraduates and 8,344 students in graduate and professional programs. More than 30 schools and departments at IUB are ranked among the top 10 nationally, with more than 100 ranked in the top 20 in their respective fields.
University Libraries at IUB
The University Libraries at IUB rank fourth in collection size among the Big Ten universities, fifth in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), and thirteenth in the nation among major research libraries. The libraries’ collections include 6.6 million bound volumes, 4 million microforms, and more than 70,000 current serials. The Herman B Wells Library houses a core collection especially for undergraduates and extensive graduate research collections—as well as reference services, technical services, government publications, and other essential library services. The Wells Library also is home to the Information Commons, which has more than 350 computer workstations. These facilities are complemented by the 14 campus libraries serving diverse disciplines, such as music, optometry, chemistry, geology, education, business, journalism, and other areas.
University Information Technology Services at IUB
University Information Technology Services (UITS) at IUB supports the application, use, and development of information technology for research, teaching, and learning. UITS makes available more than 1,200 computer workstations, located in 43 Student Technology Centers, for both scheduled instruction and individual study and more than 200 “InfoStations” and other limited-use workstations in locations across campus for access to e-mail and the Web. The Assistive Technology Lab, located in the Wells Library, offers programs and specialized information technology services for students with disabilities. Research computing facilities on campus include two high-performance supercomputers (a 47-processor IBM SP and a 64-processor SGI/Cray Origin2000), a multiterabyte massive data storage system, and a state-of-the-art campus backbone network. Another strength that UITS brings is the Network Operations Centers for both Abilene (Internet 2) and TransPac. More fully described in the next section, they are housed on the IUPUI campus, but scholars and students in Bloomington also benefit from these high-speed communication links.
IUB Hutton Honors College
The School of Informatics encourages superior students to take advantage of the variety of opportunities offered through the Hutton Honors College and is pleased to help honors students plan their individual programs.
Grants and Scholarships at IUB
The School of Informatics is developing new sources of funding, and students are encouraged to review the Informatics Web site for up-to-date information.
Grants and scholarships also are available through other IU offices, such as the Hutton Honors College. Students are encouraged to consult with the Office of Student Financial Assistance (www.indiana.edu/~sfa) for additional funding opportunities.
IUPUI is an urban campus that combines IU and Purdue programs. In the fall semester of 2005 its schools had a total enrollment of 29,933, including 21,438 undergraduates and 8,495 students in graduate and professional programs. IUPUI currently ranks among the 10 largest campuses in the nation that offer graduate professional degrees.
IUPUI University Library
The IUPUI University Library is a technology-based learning center that supports teaching and learning in a new Information Commons; at hundreds of workstations in the library; at computers throughout the campus; and in the homes of students, faculty, and staff.
The collection covers a wide range of academic disciplines—from liberal arts to science, engineering, and technology. The collection contains 4,145 subscriptions to electronic and print periodicals, more than 25,000 e-books, more than 1 million print and online volumes, and the Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library and Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives. The University Library also creates and hosts digital resources about the state of Indiana, including an electronic atlas and image collection.
The University Library information system hosts more than 350 computer workstations, permitting patrons to search for information through an extensive and sophisticated online research system. Word processing and other electronic applications are also available on these machines. The University Library has more than 500 general and graduate study carrels; 40 group-study rooms with seating for approximately 180; and class and meeting rooms, including a 100-seat auditorium.
University Information Technology Services at IUPUI
University Information Technology Services (UITS) at IUPUI supports the application, use, and development of information technology for research, teaching, and learning. Students have access to more than 500 public workstations on campus. UITS partners with academic schools on campus to provide consulting support in 16 student technology centers and operates another 2 centers as campus-wide resources. The network operations center for Abilene, the high-speed Internet2 backbone network, is located on the IUPUI campus, as is the network operations center for TransPAC, a high-speed network connecting the United States with countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim. The IUPUI campus also is home to the Cisco Networking Academy Training Center and the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Practice Lab. One of two such labs in the nation, the CCIE lab provides a testing environment for networking professionals worldwide who are candidates for certification as Cisco Certified Internetwork Experts.
Because Indiana’s government, business, industry, finance, health, service, and nonprofit organizations are centered in Indianapolis, the urban environment plays an important role as a learning resource for students enrolled in the informatics programs. Many of the state’s communication industries are concentrated in the capital city, and the larger organizations based here have made commitments to improve their communication and business processes through the use of information and information technology. IUPUI has established strong working relationships with both industry and government agencies in communications, information technology, and media arts and sciences.
IUPUI Honors Program
The IUPUI Honors Program offers special opportunities for academically superior students to do honors work or pursue department or general honors degrees. Undergraduates may enroll in independent study, H-Option courses, graduate courses, or designated honors courses. Students should check the Schedule of Classes for course offerings.
Students who have SAT scores of 1100 or above, rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class, or have a 3.30 grade point average are eligible to enroll in honors courses. For additional information on honors degrees, contact the Honors Office, University College 3140, at (317) 274-2660.
Indiana University South Bend provides all the services and opportunities of a large university combined with the advantages and atmosphere of a small college.
Information on the School of Informatics degree programs offered at the IUSB campus can be located on the Web at www.iusb.edu/~majors/inform.shtml.
The Bachelor of Science in Informatics is offered on the Kokomo campus under the Department of Natural, Information, and Mathematical Sciences. Information on the Informatics degree program can be located on the Web at www.iuk.edu/~konims/Programs/BS_Info.shtml.
The Bachelor of Science in Informatics is offered on the Southeast campus under the Department of Natural Sciences. Information on the Informatics degree program can be located on the Web at www.ius.edu/NaturalSciences/Informatics/index.cfm.
For those graduating in the top 10 percent of their undergraduate class, the School of Informatics awards bachelor’s degrees with three levels of distinction: Distinction (3.5 GPA); High Distinction (3.75 GPA); and Highest Distinction (3.9 GPA). The level of distinction is determined by the overall Indiana University grade point average. Students must have taken 60 graded credit hours at Indiana University.
The level of distinction is printed on both the final transcript and the diploma.
The School of Informatics recognizes exceptional academic performance in baccalaureate degree programs. The Dean’s Honor List contains the names of students who have achieved a GPA semester index of 3.5 or higher during any semester in which the student completes 12 or more graded credit hours.
Research and theory in informatics move rapidly to application and development. The faculty who teach 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 at both IUB and IUPUI with the formation of the Informatics Research Institute (IRI). The IRI conducts 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.