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Cmu 76101 Topics For Essays

Students lack critical background skills

Writing is a complex task involving many component skills, some of which students may lack completely, some of which they may have only partially mastered. These skills involve, among other things:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Analytical skills
  • Writing skills, including:
    • writing mechanics: grammar, sentence structure, spelling, etc.
    • planning a writing strategy
    • communicating ideas clearly and concisely
    • constructing a reasoned, demonstrable argument
    • effectively marshaling evidence and using sources appropriately
    • organizing ideas effectively

When students lack skills in these areas, their writing may be unsatisfactory in multiple ways—from poor grammar and syntax to unclear organization to weak reasoning and arguments. Complicating matters is that students often lack the meta-cognitive skills to recognize the areas in which their prior knowledge and skills are insufficient—and thus which skills they need to work to improve.

Moreover, students may have learned bad habits in high school that they need to un-learn. For example, some students were taught in high school to avoid the first person in formal writing, and thus may use awkward grammatical constructions to avoid it.

Strategies:

A key challenge in helping students learn basic writing skills is doing so without overwhelming the students or overburdening yourself. Effective strategies thus involve (a) prioritizing which skills you value, (b) communicating those priorities (and your specific expectations) to students, and (c) giving students opportunities to practice and receive feedback. 

Use performance rubrics to break down the skills involved in writing.

Use a diagnostic pre-assessment to identify common writing problems.

“Scaffold” writing assignments.

Create multiple practice opportunities.

Use performance rubrics to break down the skills involved in writing.

Writing isn’t a single task; rather it involves many component skills (e.g. synthesizing information, articulating arguments, crafting sentences, engaging an audience). Furthermore, the nature of writing depends heavily on both the specific assignment (i.e., the purpose of the writing) and the conventions of particular disciplines. Developing clear grading criteria can help students learn to recognize the component tasks involved in particular kinds of writing and identify what they need to work on. Performance rubrics help to demystify the component tasks of writing.

Developing good performance rubrics is not easy. It requires the instructor to be extremely clear in articulating the objectives of the assignment as well as his/her own values vis-à-vis writing. While creating a high-quality rubric can involve an initial investment of time, instructors who have developed good rubrics generally find that they expedite the grading process and provide students with feedback that translates into better performance. 

Use a diagnostic pre-assessment to identify common writing problems.

Give your class an un-graded writing assignment early in the semester and use it to diagnose areas of weakness in student writing. A quick read-through of student writing should illuminate common writing problems (e.g., weak arguments, poor use of evidence, missing topic sentences, etc.). If the problems cluster in a few clearly defined areas, you might choose to address them in class.

If the problems are not ones you can or wish to address in class, you can point them out to students and/or direct students to appropriate resources, for example, Academic Development, the Intercultural Communication Center, or an on-line writing tutor.

“Scaffold” writing assignments.

Use assignments that break reading, analysis, and writing into component parts and give students practice developing mastery in each area, building gradually towards more complex, comprehensive writing tasks. For example, you might first ask students to summarize, in writing, the central argument of a reading and three pieces of evidence the author used to support it. At a second stage, you might ask students to write a critique of the argument in light of that evidence and alternative evidence. At a third stage, you might ask students to write an essay comparing two readings in terms of how compellingly the authors made their cases.

Create multiple practice opportunities.

Learning to write well requires considerable practice. However, many faculty members are—understandably—reluctant to assign a lot of writing because of the grading burden it imposes. Yet giving students more writing opportunities need not always entail more work for you. Here are some options to consider:

  • Have students read one another’s work and provide feedback to their peers in the form of “reader responses.” This not only relieves you of some of the grading burden, it provides students with the opportunity to develop editing and evaluation skills that they can apply to improve their own writing. Peer feedback is most effective when you give students specific instructions about what to look for and comment on. You can ask students to use the same performance rubric you use, or give them a set of questions to address, such as: Was the writing style engaging? Is there a clearly articulated argument? Is there good correspondence between argument and evidence? Are the ideas expressed clearly and unambiguously? What you ask students to focus on in a peer review, of course, depends on your discipline and your goals for the particular assignment.
  • Use “minimal grading,” or extremely targeted feedback for some assignments. For example, you might make it clear to students that on one assignment they will only receive feedback on the strength of their argument and evidence but not grammar and spelling. Alternatively, you might choose to focus on clarity, underlining clear or effective passages in blue and unclear or problematic passages in green, and limiting your feedback to that single dimension of writing. This not only makes the job of grading easier, it helps students focus on one aspect of their writing at a time. Once again, what you choose to emphasize in grading will depend on your learning objectives for particular assignments.
  • Assign more writing tasks of shorter length or smaller scope rather than fewer tasks of great length or large scope. This way, students get more opportunity to practice basic skills and can refine their approach from assignment to assignment based on feedback they receive.

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Faculty Program Director: Randy S. Weinberg

Office: Porter Hall 222
http://www.cmu.edu/information-systems/

Information Systems (IS), found within the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is an internationally recognized undergraduate major for students who want to design and implement effective solutions to meet organizational, societal and management needs for information and decision support.

In today's complex, interconnected world, the effective creation, distribution, and use of information via technology is central to daily life. Computer based information systems facilitate, enable and often define the relationships between corporations and consumers, buyers and suppliers, businesses of all sizes, social networks, and citizens and their governments. Understanding these relationships and effectively addressing the collection, flow, and distribution of information is vital to running a modern organization, enterprise or government agency.

Information Systems involves the effective design, delivery, use and impact of information and communications technologies in organizations and society. The importance of information technology and information systems to organizations and the need for well-educated professionals in the field is the basis for the Information Systems curriculum at Carnegie Mellon. Whether implementing applications, providing management or decision support, managing complex systems projects, or helping organizations design business processes or cope with rapid change, IS professionals fill an essential need across all sectors of society.

Information systems students at Carnegie Mellon learn to use, manage and deploy information technologies to address real problems or opportunities. They develop a solid foundation in computing, communications, as well as software development principles, languages, and methods. Since Information Systems generally operate within organizations, IS students study social sciences and organizational theory. IS students learn how to right-size information technology solutions to meet real-world economic and organizational constraints. Information Systems students also learn, through hands-on experience, the importance of professional communications, problem analysis, critical thinking and teamwork. Building on the multi-disciplinary strengths of the university and the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, graduates in Information Systems are ideally suited to take a leading role in shaping our information-based future.

The flexible nature of the program encourages students to explore their own interests through program electives, study in a contemporary content area or through optional second majors and minors. 

IS students are well prepared to pursue graduate work in a wide range of fields. For students interested in master's degree-level graduate work at Carnegie Mellon, there are many possibilities, including accelerated Masters degree programs in Information Systems Management, Human Computer Interaction, Information Security Policy and Management, Engineering Technology and Innovation Management, and Business Administration.

IS graduates continue to be in high demand in the information-age workplace. There has been a strong job market for IS students in recent years, and national trends indicate that this is likely to continue. IS majors often take jobs in consulting companies, major software firms, large corporations, and start-up companies. Internship opportunities closely parallel the job market.

In addition to the Dietrich College General Education Requirements and basic prerequisites in Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, IS students must complete the Professional Core, the Disciplinary Core and a focused Content Area. In the Professional Core (consisting of six courses), students learn the basic skills necessary to analyze, design, implement and test high-quality, cost effective information systems. Two of the Professional Core courses are project-based experiences in which small teams of students develop and deliver solutions to real information problems.

In the Disciplinary Core (consisting of three courses), students study key areas fundamental to understanding and solving problems in information systems: professional communications; quantitative analysis and research methods; and organizations, policy, and social science.

IS students also complete three courses within one Content Area. The content areas are designed to provide students an opportunity to gain additional depth in a focused area. Currently, twelve content areas are available: (1) Business / Enterprise Systems, (2) Computing and Information Systems & Technology, (3) Social and Global Systems, (4) Quantitative Analysis, (5) Game Design, (6) Animation and Special Effects, (7) Media Design, (8) Learning Media, (9) Sound Design, (10) Innovation and Entrepreneurship, (11) Intelligent Environments, (12) Physical Computing. Content areas (5) through (12) are offered through CMU's Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe) initiative combining arts and technology.

Study Abroad Options in Information Systems

Given the importance of globalization, we encourage students to consider expanding their international experience by spending a semester studying abroad. The IS program is very flexible in allowing students to pursue these opportunities. With careful planning, study abroad is possible during most semesters. Students interested in study abroad should talk with the IS Academic Advisor to help plan an appropriate course of study. With prior approval, study abroad courses may be applied to major requirements.

Information Systems as Additional Major or Minor

Information Systems is not available as either an additional major or minor.

Curriculum

The Information Systems major is offered only as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. In addition to major requirements outlined below, all Information Systems students must fulfill the General Education requirements for the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. A total of 360 units is required for the degree.

Requirements are subject to revision.  Advisor approval is required for each student's major curriculum plan.  Any proposed course substitutions to courses required for the IS major must be approved in advance by the IS Academic Advisor. 

Prerequisites

Information Systems requires completion of prerequisite courses in Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science.  All prerequisites must be successfully completed prior to the start of Fall semester, junior year.

Mathematics and Statistics

Complete one of the following calculus sequences:

Units
21-111Differential Calculus10
21-112Integral Calculus10

OR

Units
21-120Differential and Integral Calculus10
21-256Multivariate Analysis
(Required for advanced business courses)
9

OR

Units
21-120Differential and Integral Calculus10
21-122Integration and Approximation
(Required for advanced computer science courses)
10

AND also complete:

Units
36-201Statistical Reasoning and Practice9
Computer Science

Three Computer Science courses are required. To maintain normal progress toward the Information Systems degree, students must complete 15-121 Introduction to Data Structures prior to the start of Spring Semester, sophomore year.

Students entering the program as freshmen will have the option to complete a Computer Science Placement Test. Depending on appropriate Advanced Placement credit and/or results of the Computer Science Placement Test, entering students may place directly into 15-112 or 15-121.   15-110 is taken as the first Computer Science prerequisite unless a student places directly into 15-112 or 15-121. Most students entering the program will begin the sequence with 15-110.

Units
15-110Principles of Computing10
15-112Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science12
15-121Introduction to Data Structures10

Note: Students cannot receive credit for both 15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice and 15-110 Principles of Computing.

Professional Core

The Professional Core consists of six courses (five core courses and one core elective).

Complete all five of these courses:

Units
67-250The Information Systems Milieux
(Spring Semester Only)
9
67-262Database Design and Development
(Offered Annually)
9
67-272Application Design and Development
(Offered Annually)
9
67-373Software Development Project
(Spring Semester Only)
12
67-475Innovation in Information Systems
(Fall Semester Only)
12

Note: Students transferring into Information Systems as sophomores or juniors substitute 67-344 Organizational Intelligence in the Information Age (or other pre-approved courses) 67-250 The Information Systems Milieux.

Professional Core Elective

Plus, complete 6 to 12 units chosen from the following options:

Units
19-402Telecommunications Technology, Policy & Management12
19-403Policies of Wireless Systems12
67-240Mobile Web Design & Development9
67-279Introduction to Geographical Information Systems6
67-306Special Topics: Management of Computer and Information Systems6
67-308Innovation Studio: Health Care Information Systems9
67-319-67-331Global Technology Consulting Groundwork - Technology Consulting in the Global Community
(these two courses are taken sequentially)
6
67-324Accelerating Innovation and Entrepreneurship9
67-327Web Application Security6
67-328Mobile to Cloud: Building Distributed Applications9
67-329Contemporary Themes in Global Systems9
67-344Organizational Intelligence in the Information Age9
67-353IT & Environmental Sustainability6
67-364Practical Data Science9
67-442Mobile Application Development in iOS9
88-223Decision Analysis9
88-275Bubbles: Big Data for Human Minds9

OR Any Computer Science course above 15-121 with prerequisite of 15-112 or higher.

OR Any Human-Computer Interaction course (05-xxx).

OR other pre-approved 67-3xx or 67-4xx which may be offered from time to time. Students wishing to apply such courses to their Professional Core requirement must complete a course substitution application through the IS Academic Advisor. 

OR other pre-approved courses offered by the Engineering & Public Policy Department (19-xxx). 

NOTE: 67-1xx and 67-2xx courses may not be applied to this requirement.

Disciplinary Core

Complete one course (9 units) from each of the three Disciplinary Core categories.

Professional Communications

Information systems professionals communicate with a wide range of people in most organizations and often facilitate communications between diverse groups of stakeholders. Consequently, the most successful professionals typically are those with strong communication skills. These courses help students see that the structure and presentation of information affects how well (and how easily) it can be understood and used.

Complete one course (9 units).  It is recommended that this requirement be completed by the end of junior year: 

Units
05-341Organizational Communication9
36-315Statistical Graphics and Visualization9
51-261Communication Design Fundamentals: Design for Interactions for Communications9
or 51-262 Communication Design Fundamentals: Design for Interactions for Communications
70-321Negotiation and Conflict Resolution9
70-340Business Communications9
70-341Organizational Communication9
70-342Managing Across Cultures9
76-270Writing for the Professions9
76-272Language in Design9
88/70/85-341Organizational Communication9
Quantitative Analysis and Research Methods

This area focuses on decision making and data analysis — essential to development of useful information systems. this area exposes students to analytic methods in the social sciences and quantitative methods for approaching complex methods.

Complete one course (9 units).  It is recommended that this requirement be completed in the sophomore year: 

Units
21-257Models and Methods for Optimization9
21-325Probability9
36-202Methods for Statistics and Data Science9
36/70-208Regression Analysis9
36-217Probability Theory and Random Processes9
36-225Introduction to Probability Theory9
36-303Sampling, Survey and Society9
36-309Experimental Design for Behavioral and Social Sciences9
67-364Practical Data Science9
80-305Choices, Decisions, and Games9
80-405Game Theory9
88-223Decision Analysis9
88-251Empirical Research Methods9
88-275Bubbles: Big Data for Human Minds9
Organizations, Policy, and Social Science

The focus of this area is on how organizations function in modern social and economic environments. Students will develop a greater understanding of how social policy and technology influence organizations and how they operate.

Complete one course (9 units): 

Units
08-200/19-211Ethics and Policy Issues in Computing9
15-390/70-421Entrepreneurship for Computer Science9
19-402Telecommunications Technology, Policy & Management12
19-403Policies of Wireless Systems12
19-411Global Competitiveness: Firms, Nations and Technological Change9
67-308Innovation Studio: Health Care Information Systems9
67-321Social Informatics6
67-344Organizational Intelligence in the Information Age9
67-353IT & Environmental Sustainability6
70-311Organizational Behavior9
70-318Managing Effective Work Teams9
70-332Business, Society and Ethics9
70/85/88-341Organizational Communication9
70-342Managing Across Cultures9
70-414Entrepreneurship for Engineers9
70-415Introduction to Entrepreneurship9
70-416New Venture Creation9
70-420Entrepreneurship for Scientists9
70-437Organizational Learning and Strategic Management9
80-341Computers, Society and Ethics9
88-223Decision Analysis9
88-260Organizations9
88-275Bubbles: Big Data for Human Minds9

Content Area

Complete a minimum of 27 units from one of the Content Areas below. No Content Area course may also be used to fulfill a Disciplinary Core or Professional Core requirement.

Business/Enterprise Systems

This content area broadens a student's knowledge in the business, economics and policy aspects of large scale information systems. 

Units
19-402Telecommunications Technology, Policy & Management12
19-403Policies of Wireless Systems12
19-411Global Competitiveness: Firms, Nations and Technological Change9
67-240Mobile Web Design & Development9
67-306Special Topics: Management of Computer and Information Systems6
67-308Innovation Studio: Health Care Information Systems9
67-319-67-331Global Technology Consulting Groundwork - Technology Consulting in the Global Community
(these two courses are taken sequentially)
6
67-324Accelerating Innovation and Entrepreneurship9
67-328Mobile to Cloud: Building Distributed Applications9
67-330Technology Consulting in the Community9
67-344Organizational Intelligence in the Information Age9
67-353IT & Environmental Sustainability6
67-442Mobile Application Development in iOS9
70-318Managing Effective Work Teams9
70-332Business, Society and Ethics9
70-366Intellectual Property and E-Commerce6
70-371Operations Management9
70-414Entrepreneurship for Engineers9
or 70-415 Introduction to Entrepreneurship
or 70-420 Entrepreneurship for Scientists
or 70-421 Entrepreneurship for Computer Scientists
70-437Organizational Learning and Strategic Management9
70-438Commercialization and Innovation9
70-443Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy9
70-449Social, Economic and Information Networks9
70-455Modern Data Management9
70-460Mathematical Models for Consulting9
70/73-465Technology Strategy9
70-471Supply Chain Management9
73-359Benefit-Cost Analysis9
73-469Global Electronic Markets: Economics and the Internet9
76-391Document & Information Design12
76-487Web Design12

Computing and Information Systems & Technology

This content area allows students to focus on current and emerging technologies. 

Units
05-391Designing Human Centered Software12
05-410User-Centered Research and Evaluation12
05-430Programming Usable Interfaces15
05-431Software Structures for User Interfaces15
05-432Personalized Online Learning12
05-433Programming Usable Interfaces OR Software Structures for Usable Interfaces6
05-499Special Topics in HCIVar.
16-311Introduction to Robotics12
16-362Mobile Robot Programming Laboratory12
19-411Global Competitiveness: Firms, Nations and Technological Change9
60-415Advanced ETB: Animation10
67-240Mobile Web Design & Development9
67-327Web Application Security6
67-328Mobile to Cloud: Building Distributed Applications9
67-364Practical Data Science9
67-442Mobile Application Development in iOS9

Social and Global Systems

This content area exposes students to key themes in globalization and global systems . management, policy, international business, and technology.

Units
19-402Telecommunications Technology, Policy & Management12
19-403Policies of Wireless Systems12
19-411Global Competitiveness: Firms, Nations and Technological Change9
67-319-67-331Global Technology Consulting Groundwork - Technology Consulting in the Global Community
(these two courses are taken sequentially)
6
67-321Social Informatics6
67-329Contemporary Themes in Global Systems9
67-330Technology Consulting in the Community9
67-353IT & Environmental Sustainability6
70-342Managing Across Cultures9
70-365International Trade and International Law9
70-430International Management9
70-480International Marketing9
73-372International Money and Finance9
76-318Communicating in the Global Marketplace9
76-386Language & Culture9
79-318Sustainable Social Change: History and Practice9
79-381Energy and Empire: How Fossil Fuels Changed the World9
88-371Entrepreneurship, Regulation and Technological Change9
88-384Conflict and Conflict Resolution in International Relations9
88-411Rise of the Asian Economies9

 Additionally, other pre-approved courses offered by the Engineering & Public Policy Department (19-xxx) may be used to fulfill the Social and Global Systems Content Area. 

Quantitative Analysis

Students will learn to apply analytic and quantitative methods for approaching complex, ambiguous problems. 

Units
21-257Models and Methods for Optimization9
21-292Operations Research I9
36/70-208Regression Analysis9
36-217Probability Theory and Random Processes9
or 36-225 Introduction to Probability Theory
36-303Sampling, Survey and Society9
36-309Experimental Design for Behavioral and Social Sciences9
36-350Statistical Computing9
36-401Modern Regression9
36-410Introduction to Probability Modeling9
67-364Practical Data Science9
70-460Mathematical Models for Consulting9
70-462Stochastic Modeling and Simulations9
73-274Econometrics I9
73-374Econometrics II9
88-223Decision Analysis9
88-251Empirical Research Methods9

Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe) Content Areas:

An IDeATe content area consists of a minimum of 27 units which may include one Portal Course (other than 15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice) plus 2 courses from one of the areas below.

Game Design (IDeATe)

In this content area, students will learn both theory and skill in the key areas of games: dramatic narrative and character development, visual and sound synthesis, special effects and performance capture, programming and engine development, interface and interaction architecture development, game assessment and redesign. Please visit the Game Design website for information about available courses.

Animation and Special Effects (IDeATe)

The interconnected components of performance capture, rendering, 3D and 2D animation, and special effects will be covered in this content area.  Course information can be found at the Animation and Special Effects website. 

Media Design (IDeATe)

The digital mediation of experiences content area explores the interconnected development of technology and content in new media systems and the meaning that arises from the resulting forms. Students learn to design mediated experiences across different platforms, from mobile to large-scale installations. Course information can be found on the Media Design website.

Learning Media (IDeATe)

Students in this content area will combine their diverse skills for the design of effective new media systems for learning; from games for learning to tangible learning tool kits and remote learning systems. They will leverage new technologies, media arts knowledge, and learning science principles to create engaging experiences with measurable real world impact. For course information, please visit the Learning Media website.

Sound Design (IDeATe)

This content area will explore the processes and products of digital sound and music. Students will receive basic training in key areas: principles of computer music, hybrid instrument building, concepts in sound design.  62-150 IDeATe: Introduction to Media Synthesis and Analysis (10 units) is the required portal course for this content area and will serve as one of the courses for this content area. Course information can be found at the Sound Design website. 

innovation and Entrepreneurship (IDeATe)

Students in this content area will develop the knowledge and skills to lead and innovate in creative industries. Their interdisciplinary, hands-on coursework will emphasize the conceptualization of innovative products and the structuring of innovation processes. Courses and additional information can be found at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship website.

Intelligent Environments  (IDeATe)

The focus of this content area is on spaces that support efficiency and high quality of experience, addressing both the integrated development of such environments and the resulting experience.
The required portal course for this content area is 62-150 IDeATe: Introduction to Media Synthesis and Analysis (10 units) or 16-223/60-223 IDeATE: Introduction to Physical Computing (10 units) and will serve as one of the courses for this content area. Course information can be found at the Intelligent Environments website.

Physical Computing (IDeATe)

The barriers between computing devices and their users have slowly dissolved. The physical world is becoming a key interface for computing and the internet of things is becoming the next generation of connectivity. Students in this content area will explore the technical, experiential, and semantic issues of this evolution. Course information can be found on the Physical Computing website.

Sample Curriculum 

FreshmanSophomore
FallSpringFallSpring
67-100 Information Systems Freshman Workshop67-250 The Information Systems Milieux67-262 Database Design and Development67-272 Application Design and Development
15-110 Principles of Computing15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science15-121 Introduction to Data StructuresDisciplinary Core Course
21-111 Differential Calculus21-112 Integral CalculusDisciplinary Core CourseElective Course
36-201 Statistical Reasoning and Practice76-101 Interpretation and ArgumentElective CourseElective Course
Freshman Seminar79-104 Global Histories Elective CourseElective Course
99-101 Computing @ Carnegie Mellon
Elective Course
JuniorSenior
FallSpringFallSpring
Professional Core Elective Course 67-373 Software Development Project67-475 Innovation in Information SystemsContent Area Course
Disciplinary Core CourseContent Area CourseContent Area CourseElective Course
Elective CourseElective CourseElective CourseElective Course
Elective CourseElective CourseElective CourseElective Course
Elective CourseElective CourseElective CourseElective Course

Academic Policies

Transfer into Information Systems

Most IS students are admitted directly into Information Systems as incoming freshmen. Only Information Systems major students are permitted to enroll in the Professional Core courses (67-250 and above), and IS students have enrollment priority in IS electives.

Students in high academic standing may apply to be admitted to the Information Systems major as transfer students.  Transfers into Information Systems will always be subject to availability of space in the major. Applications will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • Strong record of academic performance at Carnegie Mellon (minimum QPA of 3.4)
  • Relevance and clarity of personal statement
  • Interview with IS Academic Advisor. Current Dietrich students must also interview with their Academic Advisory Center (AAC) advisor while non-Dietrich students will only be required to meet with the IS Academic Advisor.
  • Relevance of courses completed to date
  • Completion of 15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science with final grade of 'A' or 'B'

Application materials must be submitted no later than the last day of classes of the fall or spring semester. Current Dietrich students will submit materials to the Academic Advisory Center while non-Dietrich students will submit all materials directly to Information Systems in PH 222.

Students accepted as transfers to the IS program would normally be expected to complete the usual prerequisites and begin the Professional Core courses during the next available semester. 

Students interested in applying for transfer to the Information Systems major should contact the IS Academic Advisor for information regarding availability, application procedures and deadlines. Potential applicants to the IS major should be working toward a sensible alternative major, so that their success at Carnegie Mellon is not predicated on admission to the IS program.

Double Counting of Courses

"Double Counting" refers to instances when a course taken to fulfill one requirement counts simultaneously toward a requirement in another major or minor program.  Double Counting is permitted in the Dietrich College on a very limited basis.  Information Systems students may double count no more than two courses used to fulfill any Information Systems major requirement (beyond the Dietrich College General Education requirements and Prerequisite courses) with any combination of dual degrees, additional majors, minors or graduate degree programs.  Only one course may double count with any minor.  No course can count for more than one requirement within the major. Students must also adhere to any policy restrictions on double counting enforced by the academic department of the student's additional major or minor.

Course Repeats

Per university policy, when a course is repeated, all grades will be recorded on the official academic transcript and will be calculated in the student's QPA. This is the case regardless if the first grade for the course is a passing or failing grade.

Undergraduate students who wish to repeat a course already passed must obtain approval from the student's Dean or Department Head. When a student takes a course s/he has already passed, only one set of units will count towards graduation requirements.

Course Descriptions

Note on Course Numbers

Each Carnegie Mellon course number begins with a two-digit prefix which designates the department offering the course (76-xxx courses are offered by the Department of English, etc.). Although each department maintains its own course numbering practices, typically the first digit after the prefix indicates the class level: xx-1xx courses are freshmen-level, xx-2xx courses are sophomore level, etc. xx-6xx courses may be either undergraduate senior-level or graduate-level, depending on the department. xx-7xx courses and higher are graduate-level. Please consult the Schedule of Classes each semester for course offerings and for any necessary pre-requisites or co-requisites.

67-100 Information Systems Freshman Workshop
Fall: 1 unit
This class provides an overview of the Information Systems Program for freshman students. The Program's academic advisor facilitates discussion of the field of IS, the curriculum, and careers, as well as co-curricular experiences such as internships and study abroad. Guest lecturers include the IS faculty, IS alumni, the IS career consultant, and various campus representatives. Discussions will include students' progress in their first semester, as well as guidance in course planning, for creating their Spring semester schedule of classes, and their overall four-year plan.
67-101 Concepts of Information Systems
Spring: 6 units
This course provides an overview of the core concepts of information systems, and the impact of IS on the broader world. To this end, students will be exposed to the key concepts of people, process, and technology in information systems through lecture, case study, and project experience. Time in lecture will discuss topics such as the history of IS, the economics of information, as well as the key organizational and social issues. The class will study in detail the development of an IS project, and review some of the skills necessary for successful implementation of information systems. Finally, students will put these concepts into practice by working in small teams on an innovation project. This course is for Information Systems Freshmen only.
67-102 Concepts of Information Systems
Fall: 9 units
This course is an introduction to the world of Information Systems (IS). It introduces the core concepts of IS and its importance in the modern world around us. The course provides a general overview on the implications of information systems on organizations, by describing what an information system is; presenting some IS applications and discussing the implications of information systems on social and human aspects. The course also provides an initiation to essential information systems skills such as team work and project management.
67-103 Fundamentals of Web Design
Spring: 3 units
This course utilizes a hands-on approach to teaching the fundamentals of HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript (using jQuery). Each class starts with a brief presentation on a particular aspect of web design and then students use the remaining time to work through a technical challenge under the guidance of faculty and teaching assistants. This course is for Information Systems Freshmen only.
67-201 Introduction to Information Security and Management
Fall: 9 units
TBD
67-205 Principles of Front End Engineering
Spring: 6 units
Front-End Engineers create code that make websites interactive and exciting. That code is interpreted by a web browser or other client, using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML/XSLT, and Flash/Flex and differ from application development performed by Back-End Engineers. Freshman or Sophomore status major Information Systems, Computer Science or Business. Prerequisites or co-requisite:15110
67-211 Introduction to Business Systems Programming
Fall and Spring: 6 units
This course examines the fundamentals of business systems, particularly transaction processing systems. Topics include records processing, data representations, file structures, and basic algorithms common to business systems. The relationship of transaction processing and Big Data tools is covered. The course is a mix of lectures, which examine the history and current practices of business systems technology, and programming exercises that illustrate the core concepts. The programming exercises use the CoBOL programming language as an example of a language designed to be used to program business systems. No prior knowledge of CoBOL is needed. Some minimal programming experience is necessary. Good listening skills and class interaction are required.
67-240 Mobile Web Design & Development
Fall and Spring: 9 units
The Mobile Web Design and Development course provides a solid web design and development foundation focusing on responsive and user-centered design, and client-side components. Students explore the current standards and best practices of web design. Throughout the course, students work with HTML5, CSS3, Twitter Bootstrap, and Javascript, and learn how the various web components function together. The course utilizes a hands-on approach to guide students through learning and understanding the design and development process. This course is primarily designed for students with minimal technical experience. By the end of the course, students will be able to plan, design, and implement a basic functioning mobile web site/ app.
Prerequisites: 15-104 Min. grade C or 15-112 Min. grade C
67-250 The Information Systems Milieux
Spring: 9 units
Information systems (IS) are changing work practices, reshaping organizations, transforming cultures, and giving new meaning to the ways we see the world. This course is designed to help students understand the role of IS in modern society and the means by which these systems are created. It provides not only a framework for understanding information and information systems, but also a language to identify their dynamic complexities and inter-dependencies. Topics include: current trends in IS, structured approaches to the creation of IS, corporate IS competitive advantage, business process improvements/re-engineering, eCommerce and the digital economy, knowledge management, decisions support systems, and the implications of IS for people, organizations and society. Classes will use a combination of lectures, class discussions, reading assignments, case studies, group projects, and "hands-on" work in database design. This course is a required professional core course for IS freshmen only.
67-260 Visualizing Complex Information
6 units
This studio course meets two times per week and teaches students how to display complex information in clear and compelling ways. Students will be taught the organizational principles of good information architecture. Assignments are centered around the visual display of complex information, with a strong emphasis on developing structures, or grids to support the display of data. Legibility, visual organization, and typographic hierarchy are tools that are implemented in all assignments. We will begin to explore the relationships between form & content, and type & image. Students will learn how to make appropriate creative decisions for large posters and small business cards, as well as multiple-page documents. Design is a process and students must show their work as it evolves. This process includes: analyzing text, organizing content, visual organization, generating pencil sketches, and producing computer iterations. Personal growth as it relates to assignments is paramount to the students' success in this class, regardless of the level of experience coming in to the class. This course is intended for Information Systems sophomores. Others may enroll by instructor permission as space is available.
67-262 Database Design and Development
Fall: 9 units
Data driven decision making is a core process of organizations. In this class students will study the principles of database management systems, their design, and development. Recent alternatives to the classical relational model will also be examined. This course is a required professional core course and is open only to sophomores in the IS major who have completed 67-250 or equivalent.
Prerequisites: (15-121 or 15-112 or 15-122) and 67-250
67-265 Design Fundamentals I: Shaping Interactions and Experiences
Fall: 9 units
This is an introductory course in interaction design, user experience, and the process of designing for people and technologies. The course introduces students to basic human-centered design research and concept development in the development of digital, service, and user experiences. Students also develop component skills in user interface design. Coursework promotes design thinking and practice for application in tech fields. Offered only on the Qatar campus.
67-272 Application Design and Development
Spring: 9 units
This course provides students with the concepts and techniques to design and develop software applications, and to understand the design process. Students will learn the importance of user-centered design and will develop a prototype of a web application as a course project. In the process of developing the application, students will learn how to design and create relational databases, how to acquire competency in new programming languages quickly, how to use the Model-View-Controller pattern to develop software applications, how to ensure technical quality in software development, and how to apply principles of user-centered design. This course is a required professional core course and is open only to sophomores and juniors in the IS major who have completed 67-250 or equivalent.
Prerequisites: (15-122 or 15-121) and 67-262
67-279 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
Fall: 6 units
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) allow us to visualize information that uses location. Through displaying layers of information in computer generated maps, we can see, analyze, understand and explore spatial patterns and relationships in new and novel ways. People in many different fields use Geographical Information Systems in their work: for visualizing the environment, human development, demographics, traffic and transportation, public health and many more. In this course, students will learn the basics of GIS through hands-on experience with popular mapping tools. Sources of data, principles of coordinate and projection systems and elementary geo-analysis techniques will be included. Upon completion of the course, students will have the background to begin using GIS techniques in their own areas of interest and will be prepared for further study in advanced GIs courses.
67-280 Special Topics: Information System Security
Fall: 9 units
This course is an introduction to information security from an information systems perspective. The course will introduce the student to fundamental concepts in information system security, including operational issues, planning, and design. Topics will include confidentiality, integrity, and availability; risk; access controls and access control frameworks; security policies; authentication strategies and issues; auditing; using cryptography; security design issues; controlling information flows; malicious logic; and applying security principles.
Prerequisite: 67-272
67-300 Special Topics: Search Engines
Intermittent: 6 units
This mini course will cover the fundamental aspects of modern search engines. The main intent is to provide a glimpse on how Google, Bing and many other websites search boxes work. Students will have the unique chance to implement their own search engine, exploring options for the Arab world, in a similar way that Yandex works in Russia and Seznam in Czech Republic. By the end of this course, the students will be able to discover, step-by-step, how a modern search engine works. They will become familiarized with basic and advanced concepts of Information Retrieval Theory: information theory, ranking models, evaluation. Finally, they will have an opportunity to build their own search engine in Python.
Prerequisites: 15-122 or 15-121
67-301 Networks and Telecommunications
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will introduce students to the basics of telecommunications, including voice, data, video, and wireless, with an emphasis on data. The course will cover both technical and business aspects of networking, and will consider regulatory and industry factors affecting telecommunication networks. Students will be introduced to the concepts and terminology of networks, including layered network models, and to practical issues involved in designing, managing, and using networks and network applications. Learning will take place through assigned readings including current issues and events in networking, class participation, and homework assignments. Grades will be based on examinations, homework assignments, and contributions to classroom discussions. For Information Systems Juniors and Seniors.
Prerequisite: 67-272
67-304 Database Design and Implementation
Spring: 6 units
This course provides an introduction to database design and implementation with a primary focus on the relational model. By the completion of this course the student will be able to appropriately use database design and implementation tools (the relational model, E-R models, normalization, and SQL) and apply knowledge of both technical and business issues related to database design and implementation to generate and evaluate alternate solutions to business situations. The course will also cover database dependability, reliability, availability, recovery, architectures, and distributed databases. Current topics in databases such as object-oriented and object-relational databases as well as data warehousing and data mining will also be presented. Projects will be completed using a "significant" relational database management system such as Oracle, DB2 or Microsoft SQL Server.
Prerequisites: 67-272 and 67-271
67-306 Special Topics: Management of Computer and Information Systems
Intermittent: 6 units
The course will provide a thorough understanding of the many responsibilities for managing technology by the organization IT resource, executives, managers, and functional end users. Concentration on IT plan and budget development with associated management, IT roles and responsibilities, system development and operations best practices, security management, IT procurement with emphasis on service and product agreements, vendor relationships, project management, and business continuity/disaster recovery. Junior or senior class standing is required. Coursework in information systems, software design, project management, or related job experience is strongly preferred, but not required due to the managerial, rather than technical, nature of the course.
67-308 Innovation Studio: Health Care Information Systems
Intermittent: 9 units
Healthcare information systems are intended to improve patient outcomes while reducing the cost of clinical care. However, with the highest per person healthcare expenditures, the United States ranks low in healthcare quality compared to other countries. Although healthcare information systems are improving, challenges persist because information workflow, human interface design, and interoperability are not emphasized. In this course, students will learn to solve real-world healthcare information systems challenges in a team-based format. Juniors and Seniors
67-309 Special Topics
Spring: 6 units
Special Topics: Information Assurance and Security [Power to the Edge: Challenges to systems survivability in a net-centric world] This course is an overview of increasingly important aspects of systems development, operation and sustainment, namely information assurance, software assurance, survivability and security. As more and more functionality and dynamic decision-making are pushed down and out into the organization (power to the edge), assurance and security concerns, with their organizational and human dimensions, impact the fidelity of the data and the very survival of the organization. Topics include overview and definitions, defense in depth, legal and policy issues, principles of survivability and information assurance, risk management, insider threat, vendor and outsourcing issues, incident management and forensics. This class is a combination of lectures, readings, and discussion groups. Students will leave the course with an understanding of the various concepts and their impacts on systems and the organization itself. Pre-requisites: Junior or Senior class standing and at least one programming course (15-110 or equivalent)
Prerequisites: 15-110 or 15-112 or 15-111 or 15-100
67-311 Database Design and Implementation
Intermittent: 9 units
Managing large databases is a core task in many information systems. In this class students will explore the underpinnings of databases as well as learn how to more effectively manage databases. Topics include relational algebra and advanced data modeling, advanced SQL queries, handling transactions, performance tuning, creating triggers, views and stored procedures, and much more. In the last part of the course we will explore NoSQL databases such as MongoDB and Redis, understanding their strengths and weaknesses as well as how to integrate them into web-based applications. Prerequisites: 67-272 or permission of instructor