Skip to Navigation
Skip to main content
Grand Valley State University    
 
    
 
  Oct 21, 2017
 
2017-2018 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

School of Computing and Information Systems


Director: Leidig. Professors: Alsabbagh, Ferguson, Grissom, Jorgensen, Leidig, Tao. Associate Professors: Adams, Dulimarta, Engelsma, Kotman, McGuire, Nandigam, Nezlek, Reynolds, Trefftz, Tusch, Wolffe. Assistant Professors: DeHondt, El-Said, Kurmas. Instructors: Hornik, Lange, Peterman, Scripps. Affiliate: Brege, Mansour, Posada. Systems Analyst: Strebel.

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to your college’s section in this catalog.

Degrees offered: M.S. in computer information systems; M.S. in medical and bioinformatics; B.S., B.A. in computer science, B.S., B.A. in information systems; M.S. in computer information systems; M.S. in medical and bioinformatics. Minors offered: Computer engineering, computer science, computer science (6-12 secondary teacher certification), health care information systems, information systems, and information technology.

Undergraduate and graduate computing programs at Grand Valley State University are offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems. Computing programs prepare students for a rewarding career that is in high-demand.

One of the strengths of the computing programs at Grand Valley is flexibility. We offer majors in computer science and information systems. All programs share faculty, courses, and laboratory resources. Also, by choosing electives and minors in related subject areas, students can further tailor their degrees to fit their individual needs and career goals.

Two key elements in computer education are a theoretical foundation and practical experience. Computer Science majors prepare to design and implement software, to discover new uses of computing, and to solve computing problems.

Theoretical and practical aspects of computing are emphasized. Operating systems, data communications, programming languages and their implementation, and the analysis of algorithms are among the topics covered. Cognate courses emphasize communication and analytical reasoning.

School of CIS Mission  

The mission of the School of Computing and Information Systems is to provide the GVSU student community with the intellectual foundations and experiences necessary to use information technology effectively in their chosen careers.

To enable students to attain this goal, the CIS faculty have two primary responsibilities. First, we will offer a solid conceptual foundation required for a career in information technology.  Second, we will provide direct, experiential knowledge of technology necessary to be a productive user/producer of information technology.

To achieve these goals, we

  • work continuously to keep our curriculum relevant to our mission;
  • ensure that work-relevant experience is part of every class;
  • establish and nurture industrial contacts;
  • establish an integrated, supported co-op experience for CIS majors; and
  • provide all students, regardless of their major interests, fundamental knowledge of computers and information processing.

Computer Science Objectives  

Three years after graduation, our typical computer science alumni are expected to be computing professionals who

  • use technical communication, and teamwork skills to solve problems and develop software systems;
  • continue to develop their professional knowledge and skills; and
  • behave ethically while contributing to their profession and to society.

By the time of graduation, computer science students will

  • demonstrate an understanding and apply computing fundamentals, contemporary computing topics, and mathematical principles to solve problems;
  • use integrated development tools with a variety of programming languages, and familiarity with more than one computing platform;
  • analyze a problem and design, implement, and test software systems of varying complexity to meet desired needs;
  • demonstrate an understanding of ethical, professional, and social responsibilities; and the ability to analyze the impact of computing in a global context;
  • function effectively on teams;
  • communicate effectively with a range of audiences; and
  • show a recognition of the need for, and ability to engage in, continuing professional development.

Information Systems Objectives

Three years after graduation, our typical information systems alumni are expected to be computing professionals who

  • continue to develop their knowledge and skills after graduation;
  • use information technology to build and manage effective organizational systems; and
  • use technical, communication, teamwork, and leadership skills to function productively, professionally, and ethically.

By the time of graduation, information systems students will

  • appropriately apply general knowledge of information systems fundamentals;
  • identify and analyze potential solutions to IS problems.  Design and deploy specific solutions to IS problems, employing current tools, techniques, and skills;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the organizational processes and contexts in which information systems (IS) are developed, deployed, and maintained;
  • assess the consequences of organizational and technology decisions in the context of ethical, professional, and social responsibility;
  • function effectively on teams;
  • communicate effectively with a range of audiences; and
  • show a recognition of the need for, and ability to engage in, continuing professional development.

Website

Visit the School of Computing and Information Systems website at www.cis.gvsu.edu/.

Career Opportunities

Is the field of computers for you? You’ll need technical knowledge and skills as well as the ability to concentrate on your work and to think logically. You should enjoy working with ideas and solving problems. If you do, you will find that a degree in this field can open the door to a rewarding career in the computer industry.

Positions in the computing and information technology field include those in computer programming, systems analysis, systems programming, applications programming, software engineering, telecommunications, computer operations, teaching, and a variety of positions in computer sales, design, manufacturing, health care, and customer service.

Job opportunities in the computing and information technology industry are expected to grow rapidly, particularly as computers are used to solve problems in ever-expanding areas. The U.S. Department of Labor projects six of the fastest growing occupations for 2004-2014 are in computing: network systems analyst, software engineer, systems software developer, network administrator, database administrator and systems analyst. Money Magazine and Salary.com researched hundreds of jobs, considering their growth, pay, stress-levels, and other factors (2006). Software engineering was ranked No. 1 and computer IT analyst was ranked number seven.

Participating Programs

The School of Computing and Information Systems currently is participating with the following programs/colleges/schools to offer students varying computing programs:

  • Professional Science Master’s Program: Master of Science in medical and bioinformatics
  • School of Engineering: Computer engineering major
  • School of Engineering: Computer engineering minor
  • College of Health Professions: Health care information systems minor
  • School of Criminal Justice: Information security systems minor

Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are available in the following categories.

(1) First-Year Academic Scholarships: 

Scholarships are available to a limited number of incoming first-year students who have indicated an interest in majoring in either computer science or information systems. These scholarships are available to a select group of students who meet the following minimum requirements: a high school GPA of 3.5 or above and an ACT score of 28. The scholarship is dependent on maintaining certain academic standards while at GVSU. 

Eligibility:

A student is eligible to apply for a School of Computing and Information Systems Scholarship if the student satisfies all of the following: 

  • The student must be admitted to Grand Valley State University and have declared the intent to major in either computer science or information systems.
  • The student must have at least high school GPA of 3.5 and an ACT score of 28.
  • The student must be enrolling at GVSU as a full-time student.

To apply for the School of CIS’ First-Year Computing Academic Scholarship, a student meeting eligibility requirements listed above must submit to the School of Computing and Information Systems a completed application containing all of the following:

  • A completed Scholarship Application.
  • An essay explaining the student’s academic goals. The essay must be typewritten and double-spaced (approximately two pages).
  • In addition, the student must have their high school grades delivered or sent to the School of Computing and Information Systems.

In the evaluation of candidates for a scholarship, all of the above items will be considered, including the quality of the essay and the candidate’s academic performance. 

(2) Academic Scholarships: 

Academic scholarships will be awarded to computer science and information systems majors to honor those students for their outstanding performance and to encourage them to continue in the field of computer science or information systems at his/her level of excellence.  These scholarships are made possible by the generous support of contributors to the School of Computing and Information Systems Endowment Fund.  Students who apply in the winter semester by the Friday before spring break and who satisfy the eligibility requirements will be considered for a scholarship. The winners will be announced by the end of the winter semester. The scholarship will be awarded for the following academic year.

Eligibility:

A student is eligible to apply for a School of Computing and Information Systems Scholarship if the student satisfies all of the following:

  • The student must be second-admitted into either the computer science or information systems major.
  • The student must have at least 45 credit hours completed at the time of application.
  • The student must have completed at least 14 credit hours in the major (excluding cognates) at Grand Valley State University and be enrolled in at least one course in computer science or information systems at the time of application.
  • The student must be returning to GVSU, as a full-time student, the following fall semester and is expected to take at least one computer science or information systems course that academic year.
  • The student must have an overall GPA of 3.2 or better.

Go to www.cis.gvsu.edu/scholarships/Academic for more details and forms for applying.

(3) Study Abroad Scholarships:

Scholarships are available to CS and IS majors who study abroad at an institution of higher learning in another country. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide students with greater opportunities in their study of computer science or information systems.  Students who apply in the winter semester by the Friday before Spring Break and who satisfy the eligibility requirements will be considered for a scholarship. The winners will be announced by the end of the winter semester. The scholarship will be awarded for the following academic year.  These scholarships are made possible by the generous support of contributors to the School of Computing and Information Systems Endowment Fund.

Eligibility:

  • CS or IS major
  • 45 credit hours completed
  • 14 credit hours in the major completed at GVSU
  • GPA of 3.2 overall or better

Go to www.cis.gvsu.edu/scholarships for more information and forms needed.

School of Computing and Information Systems Advisory Board

The School of Computing and Information Systems Advisory Board (CISAB) is composed of the school’s director and leading computing and information systems experts in West Michigan. The board meets twice each year and advises the school on curriculum development and continuing education. It serves as an important interface between the school and the computing community.

Student Honor Society

Upsilon Pi Epsilon is the international Honor Society for the Computing and Information Disciplines.  The Gamma Chapter of Michigan (GVSU’s student chapter) was established on April 4, 1992.  It has received endorsements from the two largest computer organizations in the world, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS).  According to certain criteria, students are invited to become members and are inducted at the Initiation Ceremony, which is scheduled in the fall of each year. 

To be eligible for election to membership, undergraduate students:

(1)  shall have attained a general scholarship rating, in all college work thus far completed, of not less than 3.0/4.0 grade-points provided.

(2)  shall have completed at least 45 semester hours of college work including 15 semester hours in the basic courses in the computing and information disciplines.

Student Organizations

The Computing Club is GVSU’s student organization for Computer Science and Information Systems majors and minors, students taking Computer Science classes, or anyone interested in computers and technology.  Visit our website at www.cis.gvsu.edu/~compclub for any questions you might have regarding this student organization.

The Cyber Defense Club, which is sponsored by the School of CIS, prepares students to be security professionals and to be aware of current threats on the Internet.  Also, it prepares them for the National Cyber Defense Competition, which is usually held in February.  Visit our website at www.cis.gvsu.edu/cdc/.

The CIS Ethics Club, which is sponsored by the School of CIS, is a group of students and faculty interested in exploring the ethical issues that computer professionals face in today’s society.  The club meets weekly and has multiple guest speakers presenting case studies to the group.  The main event the group sponsors is a campus-wide seminar on ethics in the computing field.  Visit our website at www.cis.gvsu.edu/~ethics/.

Admission

Admission to major standing in computer science or information systems is competitive and requires a secondary application. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Overall GPA of 2.5 or above in all Grand Valley State University coursework
  2. Completion of each course in the technical core with a grade of C or above (C- is not sufficient)
  3. GPA of 2.5 or above in the technical core

Technical core GPA is calculated on no more than one repeat per course. Achievement of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the major. The school will also consider internship availability and the applicant’s suitability for internships before granting admission. Transfer students must complete at least six hours of CIS coursework before applying, but should consult with a CIS advisor before scheduling their first semester.

The technical core includes CS 162 and 163; MTH 225; STA 215, 312 or 318; COM 201 or WRT 350. Completing the core courses requires programming, analytical reasoning, and communication skills. These skills are important to excel in the computing field.