Mission and Progress
Overview StatementThe CIS Department at KSU is the flagship computer science, information systems, and software engineering department in the State of Kansas.
The mission of CIS is threefold
Our teaching mission is to:
- provide computing and information technology literacy service courses to the broad spectrum of students at KSU
- offer high-quality BS degree programs in both Computer Science and Information Systems that enable graduates to be successful in the highly competitive high technology industries and graduate schools
- offer a high-quality Master of Science degree in Computer Science that prepares students to contribute to the advancement of the state of the art in computing in industry and to succeed in high quality PhD programs in Computer Science
- offer a high-quality Master of Software Engineering degree program that prepares graduates to apply modern software technology to the spectrum of service, industry, and government automation systems
Our research mission is to:
- produce PhD graduates in Computer Science who will contribute to the computing research knowledge base, transfer this knowledge to future generations, and leverage this knowledge to improve the human condition
- conduct basic research in computing sciences whose value is judged by our peers as contributing to the international computing knowledge base
- conduct applied computing sciences and software engineering research which is driven by the current technological needs of government, business, and industry.
Our outreach mission is to:
- offer computing and software engineering courses to practicing computing and engineering professionals in industry
- deliver MS/CS and MSE degree programs to off-campus students through electronic delivery mechanisms
- enable high tech industries through technology transfer and collaborative development projects
Major changes in the CIS Department over the past several years
Since joining the College of Engineering, we have made significant improvements in many of our programs in the CIS Department. Indeed, we achieved this in spite of annual budget cuts. Here is a summary of some these accomplishments:
- We have witnessed an improvement in the quality of the undergraduate student population. (Average ACT scores have risen from 22 to 26 for entering freshmen)
- The number of undergraduate majors in computer science and information systems has risen to and stabilized at approximately 400.
- The enrollment in the graduate programs has risen to 125+ students.
- We now enroll approximately 50 (practicing professionals) off-campus students from across the Nation in the masters program.
- Demand for our graduates has grown dramatically until 2002 and now has leveled off.
- We have increased student credit hour production by 35%.
- Undergraduate students are involved in international competition, placing in the top three in the AAAI Mobile Robotics contest for the last five years consecutively, winning the event in 1997.
- Julie Stilson Thornton, senior in CS, has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship and placed second in the Computing Research Association national undergraduate research competition.
- Eric Matson, graduate in CS, was awarded best paper at the regional ASEE Conference in August, 2002.
- Our high school programming contest brings 200 of the brightest Kansas students to campus every year.
- Our outreach program in mobile robotics has been well-received by K-12 schools in Kansas.
- Production of BS, MS, MSE, and PhD graduates has risen by 64%.
- As judged by student exit interviews, we have made a significant improvement in the quality of our teaching faculty.
- Five faculty have received prestigious NSF Career Awards.
- The percentage of CIS faculty involved in successful extramural funding has doubled.
- Our research productivity, as judged by refereed publications and extramural funding, has tripled.
- We have initiated several interdisciplinary computational science and engineering projects, thereby increasing our emphasis on the impact of computing theory and technology on engineering and science research.
- We have placed an increased emphasis on technology transfer to computing professionals through the use of remote delivery educational technology. (We now produce 4-6 web-centric courses per semester to students across the country)
- Two of the last four Engineering Excellence Awards have gone to CIS faculty.
- Dr. David Schmidt was awarded the Tointon Professorship in Engineering.
- The student computing laboratories, including the robotics lab and integrated Unix, Linux, and Windows labs, have been improved through grants, matching funds, and student fees.
- Through grants and matching funds, we have improved our computational research infrastructure with the addition of a significant cluster computing system called BeoCat.
- Through fund-raising efforts, we have improved the technology in our classrooms.
- Our BS undergraduate program in Computer Science has been re-accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Board (CSAB).
- The Master of Software Engineering degree program has experienced enthusiastic acceptance by practicing computing professionals. We now have 30 part-time and 30 full-time students enrolled in the program.
- We have instituted a minor in computer science for students outside the CIS Department, and the enrollment is growing.
Areas of Research Strength(active extramural funding level is $6 million)
- CIS is a Top 5 program in the Nation in Programming Languages research.
- The Santos Laboratory in CIS is considered a Top 5 program in the Nation in Software Model Checking.
- CIS has one of only three NSF Combined Research and Teaching grants in the Nation in real-time embedded systems.
- The Distributed Systems Group is nationally recognized.
- The data mining group is strongly supporting interdisciplinary research in science and engineering, both at KSU and at the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA).
- A new robotics research program in search and rescue robots now has extramural support and will contribute to homeland security.
Goals for Next 5 years
- Become a Top 40 comprehensive computing sciences department (teaching, research, and outreach)
- significantly strengthen the areas of Data Mining, Database Systems, Bioinformatics, Cybersecurity, and Computational Science and Engineering
- acquire funding for a national center on High Assurance Software
- Dramatically increase the number of women and in our undergraduate computer science and information systems curricula.
- Significantly increase our economic development impact on the State of Kansas through research grants and industrial collaboration.