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Computer Science to expand its undergraduate offerings to include Informatics

The School of Computer Science is expanding its undergraduate offerings to include an emphasis on  Informatics. Informatics involves the study of computational principles as they apply to other disciplines.  Initially the Informatics program will  include two tracks, one in Multimedia and the other in Big Data, and will be offered on a limited  basis through BDIC.  See https://www.cs.umass.edu/informatics for details.

Two new courses with an emphasis on Informatics are being offered this Fall. These include: "Our Networked World" and "Math Foundations for Informatics and Big Data"

CMPSCI 290NW: Our Networked World

Brief description: The course will cover technical, social, policy, economic and legal foundations for today's networks, including the Internet.  We'll dive into how the Internet - arguably the largest and most complex human-engineered system ever - works.  We'll learn about "protocols," the rules by which web servers and browsers and the many other piece of a network interoperate and work together. But this course is about much more than  network concepts and  technology alone. Interspersed throughout the course we'll also investigate policy and  legal issues - wiretapping laws, "network neutrality" and the "open Internet," looking at recent FCC and court  rulings. It'll also look the business side of networks - how Internet service providers make money, how companies track, harvest and use your personal information, and more in the networked world.   Although the course covers technical topics, all material will be presented in a way  that is accessible with or  without a strong technical background.

Who should take this course: students with an interest in Informatics, the IT Minor, or those who wish to gain an understanding of both how computer networks work, as well as the broader social, legal and policy issues surrounding their use.

CMPSCI 190DM: A Mathematical Foundation for Informatics  and Big Data

Brief Description: This course will provide the basic math foundations for taking more advanced classes in Informatics and big data.  It is designed to be accessible to a broader audience than traditional CS students.  Includes an introduction to discrete math concepts such as  sets, functions, and relations, combinatorics, probability and probabilistic reasoning.  Not intended for CS majors.

Who should take this course: students with an interest in Informatics, the IT Minor, business students interested  in big data, or those who wish to learn the foundational concepts without having to take more advanced courses such as CMPSCI 240 / 250.