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Computer science splits from mathematics, offers two new concentrations and complete online degree

August 13, 2003

As of Aug. 1, mathematics and computer science became two separate departments: the department of mathematics and the department of computer science and information technology. In process for two years, the formal division of the two disciplines created smaller, more manageable departments with distinct identities.

Though the departments shared a name and building amicably since 1975, the split does offer benefits, says Dr. Bruce Myers, a 30-year faculty veteran who became chair of the department of computer science and information technology.
August 13, 2003

As of Aug. 1, mathematics and computer science became two separate departments: the department of mathematics and the department of computer science and information technology. In process for two years, the formal division of the two disciplines created smaller, more manageable departments with distinct identities.

Though the departments shared a name and building amicably since 1975, the split does offer benefits, says Dr. Bruce Myers, a 30-year faculty veteran who became chair of the department of computer science and information technology.

"One big benefit is in hiring faculty. Now we can invite them to be part of 'the department of computer science and information technology.' That's more attractive to some."

The change also will allow faculty and administrators to respond more quickly to change. "This is an area that moves fast," Myers says. "Now issues that arise are our issues. We'll be able to move forward more efficiently in our curriculum development."

In addition to a new name and identity, the department has two new concentrations. In addition to a bachelor's in computer science and information systems with a concentration in computer science or in information systems, the department offers concentrations in database administration and in Internet and Web technology.

Myers refers to database administration as the "back end" of the Internet, the task of keeping up with the constant data changes required on Web sites. "Think about how the Web works, all the changes. Somebody is keeping up with all that. Someone has to administer it."

The second concentration focuses on what Myers calls the "front-end" stuff, "what we see and how it's used, the various interfaces."

Neither of these concentrations have the extensive mathematics requirements of other concentrations. Students need only take what's required as part of the University's liberal arts core. "Students who struggle with math will find that attractive," Myers says.

In addition to its new concentrations, the department is offering a bachelor's degree in information systems not only on campus but also online. "We just have two more online courses to develop. Those will be ready by the time students are," Myers says.

This fall, the department will offer two sections of the first course required for the two new concentrations: Computer Hardware and Software Concepts and Programming.

For more information about the new concentrations or the online degree program, call Myers at 7822 or email him at myersb@apsu.edu.