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CSci_Annual_Report__Milestones.doc CSci_Annual_Report__Milestones.doc Document Transcript

  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 1 Year End Report 2002-2003 Department of Computer Science The report consists of four parts. The first part is a prologue, providing some general facts to view the materials in the subsequent parts. The second part is an expansion on the milestones of the department. The third part describes the continuing problems in its computing environment faced by the department. The fourth part is a summary of the activities of the faculty. A few personal comments are attached at the end. Small bits of CS history are provided for purposes of illumination. Also, one should point out that the few examples on IS and CS programs are but a small fragment of available information. They are given to lend some basis to the remarks provided, and the choices are not accidental: examples from CSU, UC and Pennsylvania. The five milestones listed under Executive Summary can best be viewed as responses of the department, some externally driven and some internally generated, to the continuing changing landscape of the field of information technology, in which computer science is an essential component. Comments are provided to explain the purpose and the relative values of some of these efforts. While the outcomes are the result of department-wide efforts and consensus, names of those most closely associated with each activity are provided as a matter of appreciation. Part I Prologue First a brief history ending with the state of the department approximately eight years ago is sketched next. The BS degree in Computer Science (CS) at Fresno was formulated in the late seventies and early eighties (B. Kehoe, H. Haslam, W. Read, G. Wei, H. Yeung). At that time, it was one of the broadest and deepest degree programs in the country. Some of our graduates attending MS programs elsewhere were informed that they had basically finished the first semester of their graduate work. We became the first campus of CSU (and one of the few on the West Coast) to be on the Internet (CSNet at that time) and one of the few undergraduate programs from a four year college in the country with a laboratory of Unix workstations on the net (H. Haslam and Jim Morris). The MS degree was conceived and developed in the late eighties (S. Seki). In the early and mid nineties, with the transputer project (L. Jin) and NSF funded workshop to train college faculty on parallel processing (L. Jin, S. Seki), a NSF Program Enhancement Grant (L. Jin, T. Alameldin, S. Seki), a NSF graphic equipment matching grant and a multimillion dollar Alias Research software donation (T. Alameldin), a four year program with both undergraduate and graduate sequences in Software Engineering and graduate topic courses (B. Auernheimer), with Dr. W. Read conducting multi-year AI research at UCLA and a member of the AI Research Lab, and with Dr. G. Wei on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society, creator of an IEEE CS magazine for student members distributed internationally, and a regular visiting scholar to UC Berkeley, the program was regarded as one of the strongest four year programs, not just in the CSU, but in the country. An external
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 2 evaluator, Dr. Orlando Madrigal (C S Chair, Chico), considered it "the strongest CSU program in preparing students for graduate study." Professor Ramarmoorthy (U.C. Berkeley), a leading Software Engineering pioneer, stated that our program is a model computer science program for others to emulate, including China (G. Wei and L. Jin separately were invited to speak to leading Chinese universities on this program). Next, a brief and obviously very incomplete characterization of the history of the field of CS is provided to orientate some the comments on our curriculum relative to the major developments in CS. The driving goal of computing is to automate. Automate everything so that our quality of life is better, our world is more fair and more efficient, and also automate for control and for discovery, including simulating of nuclear weapon tests. In order to do this, it obviously takes the combining efforts of computer engineering, computer science and information systems to integrate in a vertical direction. I'll speak only of the major developments in CS, mindful of the fact that ideas such as the Internet have to wait for the corresponding technology and society to catch up. Hence, the timeline is only approximate. The sixties was the decade where languages matured. The confluence of both theoretical and practical ideas in formal languages and programming language translation led to compiler- compilers being built routinely at the end of the decade, thus solving the problem of automation of language production. On the hardware side, efforts on vector machines resulted in the fastest computer Illiac IV at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, leading to the field of parallel processing (PP). The affiliated industries were yet to come. Today, export of supercomputers and supercomputing technology is still regulated by security concerns. Ideas such as the Internet would have to wait for decades until the technology and society catch on. It is also the case of computer graphics, which did not experience an explosion until sufficient computing power can be found at desktops. The seventies saw the rise of database (DB) with Codd's framework of relational database at IBM and artificial intelligence (AI) with neural networks and production systems. The eighties resulted in major advances in network technology and the emerging field of distributed computing (DC). As software became more complex, object-oriented languages, first appearing in Simula (1968), became the implementers' choice, especially with the invention of C++. By the end of the decade, it was not uncommon to hear a project or an industrial product described as a distributed intelligent database management system, thus marrying the best of the technologies through the several decades and with the implementation using object technology. The nineties is well known as the Web phenomenon swept across the world beginning in the mid-nineties. As businesses and indeed humanity took to it, CS departments and industry are in need of more Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) experts, and web designers and implementers. This decade could well turn out to be the decade of Grid computing (http://www- fp.mcs.anl.gov/~foster/). The analogy to electric power grid is often used, but in reality and practice, this new computing infrastructure is all pervasive and more powerful. Wireless networks are also a part of it. Perhaps a quote from the April, 2003 article: The Grid:
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 3 Computing without Bounds in Scientific America (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm? colID=1&articleID=000B1833-21DF-1E64-A98A809EC5880105) would suffice. By linking digital processors, storage systems and software on a global scale, grid technology is poised to transform computing from an individual and corporate activity into a general utility. I want to stress that these remarks are not for pedantic purposes. Is CSU-Fresno adequately preparing our students in Information Systems, Computer Science and Computer Engineering for this world of information technology? Indeed, is Fresno State adequately preparing our students, irrespective of their majors, through General Education, for this world of information technology? Under Milestone 3 in this report, partial answers will be provided. Our BS curriculum in the eighties reflected the state of the field at the beginning of the eighties. However the fields of information systems and computer science have gone through a tremendous expansion in the eighties and nineties that require far greater vertical integration. A software system is now built not just by one group of people but by many groups of people with different disciplinary backgrounds and skill sets located in diverse geographical areas. There is perhaps none better example than CSU's CMS Project (http://cms.calstate.edu/T1_MProjectOverview.asp). Similar remarks can be said about the education of our next generation in these fields. It is especially true in Computer Science. To establish a program of excellency, it requires much more than our approach back in the eighties. It requires the recognition of one of the most fundamental principles by our institution, by our colleges and by our faculty, the principle of diversity. It also requires the acceptance, implementation and celebration of such a principle. We now discuss briefly this principle known to all of us in the human domain, but it applies to all systems, natural, artificial or formal, such as the system of information technology or any subsystem of it. As our society becomes increasingly diverse and globally connected, a principle of diversity is widely adopted as essential in every endeavor. The Director of the National Science Foundation (http://www.cherry.gatech.edu/refs/nsf/nsf-review-criteria99.htm) explicitly states it as follows: Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- are essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports. An analogous principle exists in the world of computer science and information systems. Instead of citizens, it is full of entities and artifacts of great diversity, and a successful computer system must incorporate a principle of diversity just as the US government, multinationals and academic institutions do. Some of these entities could be software subsystems or just bit-size code, machines from supercomputers to hand-held devices, human- computer interfaces of all types, system designers, programmers, administrators and users. Seamless integration and respect of diversity are fundamental to the success of any system. While this is widely accepted in human endeavors, practitioners and system builders in the CS/
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 4 IS areas have a long way to go. Respect for this generalized principle of diversity is critical to building successful systems. It applies equally to building exemplary educational programs. Indeed, in any system of diversity and complexity, respect of the functionality and distinguishing characteristics of its entities, especially the so called "minority" entities is a precondition to building a successful construct. One line of code or one bit (this is certainly a minority minority of one) could ground a system if set wrong or "not respected". It happened. One of the worse Internet system-wide crashes that occurred was due to wrong bit. On matters of education such as program development, we see the same phenomena over and over again. In the CSU, the programs of distinction in IS and CS are embedded in systems with a history where the respect and manifestation of this generalized principle is apparent. Part II Milestones As each milestone is presented, some comments are provided on related matters. Milestone 1 – Curricular Changes As the department examined its degree requirements, especially in view of the mandate to reduce the unit requirements down to 124, it was clear that our fixed set of requirements would not only be weakened (as we have to drop courses), but in itself was too rigid to meet the current situation in CS. Our "model" program that served our students well a decade ago should in fact be expanded, an issue which will be addressed in Milestone 2. Our degree required a choice of four advanced sequences or three sequences and a project by the student. Students increasingly found it difficult to fulfill the four sequence requirement as scheduling was often compromised by budgetary and staffing constraints. Some of the sequences were either not offered due the deteriorated environment (the sequence in PP and DC, CSci 176-177) or not supported (compiler sequence CSci 134-136) due to staffing, it made sense to reduce the number of sequence requirement. Other sequences such as those on AI (CSci 164-166) and theory (CSci 186-188) were offered less again due to staffing constraints. As a practical matter, little or no choice was available to the students as they have to take whatever the available sequences were in order not to delay their graduation. The faculty reduced the requirement to 2 sequences or one sequence and a project. Requiring two sequences instead of four sequences has clearly weakened the degree. This is compensated by two changes. One is to redouble our efforts to improve individual advising. The Department traditionally has a culture of close interactions with the students by first encouraging them to seek advising from all faculty, and then actively promotes such behavior both among the students themselves and with the faculty. In addition, Gloria Riojas provides constant and exceptional advising to all the students. Student chapters in both the major professional organizations: Association of Computing Machinery (Advisor: W. Read) and IEEE Computer Society (Advisor: G. Wei) provide additional avenues for information exchange. The student chapter of the honor computing sciences society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon (Advisor: B. Auernheimer) is another source of support. By improving the advising, and with
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 5 a more flexible requirement, we can tailor each student's set of courses more closely to his/her interests and talents and also to the job market. Hopefully, this would compensate to some degree on an individual basis the weakening of the degree requirements. More importantly, we took steps to strengthen the core courses, C Sci 60, 115, 119 and 144 by adding a laboratory session as it is also the better practice nationally. All core courses now have an accompanied laboratory component or activity section. This ensures that the students are even better grounded in the fundamentals. As our field continues to expand and change rapidly, the education they all receive in the core subjects at CSU-Fresno will provide a solid and sound foundation. After successfully testing the course materials on advanced web implementations over the past several years, Dr. T. Wilson introduced a graduate course C Sci 230 on Web Technology and its Implementation into our M.S. degree. CSci 230 is the advanced graduate version to follow the undergraduate version CSci 130 on Web Programming, introduced in the previous academic year. The current job market is the worse we have seen ever since 1971. However, the students well-trained on web programming and database continue to find employment. This new course also led to a reexamination of the graduate degree requirements. This resulted in changes in the MS degree leading to greater flexibility. The same approach on advising the undergraduate students is adopted for the graduate students. We hope that with these changes, we have a reasonably adequate BS and MS degree for our students for the short-term (next couple of years). The faculty next turned to the long-term needs of the students at Fresno State. Milestone 2 – Computational Science It is clear that one CS degree with the current set of course requirements are not competitive with the offerings elsewhere. Computer Science has broadened to become a field of Computational Sciences. In the past decade, technical and educational developments inside CSU and outside CSU have rendered our program to be outdated and insufficient. In combining with the situation described in Part III, we are arguably the weakest program currently serving the students in CSU (Humbolt excluded since they just started with a few students). That we were at one time arguably the best program only adds to the pain. The very fact that we have not provided adequate education for years, is sufficient to depress us even more. In what sense are we not providing an adequate education. Some examples would suffice. The courses CSci 176 and 177 on distributed computing and parallel processing have not been given for several years as the transputer system was not fixed. It requires both software and hardware technical support, which have become nonexistent for years. Alternatives all require more technical support currently not available. Graphics equipment from the NSF, were only partly realized, and after several attempts by Dr. W. Read (then Chair) and Dr. T. Alameldin, some of the equipments are still not functioning. Database software are not configured and supported at a level adequate for instruction. This would be visited again in Milestone 3. We have regressed from an excellent program for the eighties back to a poor program semi-suitable for the seventies. The brief outline of the major developments in the Prologue can now be used
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 6 as backdrop. Courses on distributed computing and parallel processing are no longer run, database courses are ill supported, graphics courses rely on students' own computers as a rule. And we are in the twenty-first century. Even assuming that all these problems were all resolved immediately or that they never existed, the CS field has moved beyond the eighties and one degree fits all. Software Engineering degrees have been established at CalPoly and San Jose with very significant enrollments. An outstanding telecommunications, multimedia and applied computing program has been established at Monterey Bay (http://csumb.edu/academic/descriptions/tmac.html). Network programs and labs exist throughout other CSU campuses, including an industry funded state-of- art interdisciplinary Computer and Engineering Science graduate program at Sonoma State (http://www.sonoma.edu/scitech/msces/progDescrip.shtml) that rivals some of the best MS programs in the country. A couple of examples should suffice. Where once we took the initiative to obtain a system-wide UNIX license from AT&T for the CSU to get on the ARPANet (M. Mchaney), resulting in a distinct advantage over almost all four year programs in the country, we have difficulty in getting a connection to the campus network today (over eight months). The network course is taught by a part-time faculty (R. Viegas), with no supporting network lab. Many programs in CSU boost significant investment and faculty in this crucial area. For example, in 2000, CSU-Hayward received a NSF grant of $175,000 to join CSU San Bernadino and Cal Poly Pomona as the only three of the 23 CSU campuses with access to Internet 2 (http://www.calstate.edu/newsline/Archive/99-00/000616-Hay4.shtml). Hayward just hired its third faculty in its network area (personal communication, Chair, Hayward). It is instructive to look at a typical successful grant application. It was spearheaded by Dr. Michael Leung (Dean of Science, Hayward). We quote. The successful grant application was submitted by Leung, John Charles from CSUH Information and Computing Services, professor Chris Morgan from the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, and professor Alex Bordetsky, who directs the university's TELCOT satellite telecommunications research center. Collaborating institutions include the Lawrence Livermore, Sandia and Oak Ridge national laboratories. We used to have an advantage in this area. In fact, the establishment of our UNIX lab, one of the few in the country in a four year college at that time was due to the working together of Jim Morris, then director of ITS and H. Haslam, then CS Chair, with the strong support of the Provost's office. They needed to move fast to obtain the purchase/donation of two dozens of workstations (called miniframes at that time) against other competitors. The company which "donated" the miniframes wanted to "get rid" of them. Today, a coordinated rapid response approach is adopted by the Sonoma's program with ability to bid and purchase equipment off eBay. A culture of innovation, integration, respect of diversity (ideas as the citizens) and rapid response is often found in the leading CSU programs in Information Systems and Computer Science. It is both a necessary and almost sufficient condition for these programs to retain their edge. And the CSU programs in IS and CS are very competitive among themselves since their campus funding levels are basically the same. We were born and supported equally by our parents. Meanwhile, one of the major developments in CS not mentioned earlier was cryptography or more broadly, network and system security. Coupled with the state of the world and the
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 7 vulnerability of the network system, the US Government has initiated major efforts and resources to encourage the development of Information Assurance programs, to advance the field against Cyber attacks. Major universities such as UI, Urbana-Champaign, CMU and Stanford and others are among the 36 Centers for Academic Excellency in Information Assurance Education recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) (http://www.nsa.gov/ releases/20030530a.htm). It is worthy to note that a four year program can not only participate but achieve a distinguished status. Among the recent 12 new programs is the Information Assurance program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (http://www.iup.edu/infosecurity/) jointly offered by the Computer Science and the Criminology departments. We do not even have one course on cryptography for our students. Such a program could be easily developed here with the Criminology, Mathematics and Information Systems provided a culture of diversity exists. Since this milestone will take years to achieve, the consensus was to develop needed areas such as Software Engineering (http://sites.computer.org/ccse/), Multimedia and Telecommunications, Information Assurance and perhaps others by first working on a BA degree in Computer Science with options. It would be weak at first and not competitive, but at least a first step is taken. Depending on factors such enrollment, funding, hiring and grants, one of these will evolve into a degree in time. We are many years behind the other CSU campuses. Achieving this milestone will not mean we are competitive with other established programs such as the Software Engineering program at CalPoly, (http://www.csc.calpoly.edu/academics/proposed_se_program.html), and the Software and Information Engineering program or the Software Systems program or the Client/Server program at San Jose State (http://www.engr.sjsu.edu/cmpe/academic/index.php? PHPSESSID=a1dd361eae3b7b789bd6fa40531dfec6). At least it can serve as a spiritual guide and beacon over time and serves as a gauge of our progress from the bottom. Milestone 3 – Information Technology Although this is listed as milestone number 3, it is certainly the single most important matter in this report for this university. Potentially, it has the greatest impact. It is the most serious of all matters facing the students who are here to receive an education in IS. It is unusual for a Chair in another department to comment extensively and sometimes negatively on a program in another department in another school. But if I view both IS and CS as part of this institution and if I view IS and CS as considered by external bodies, then politics and artificiality aside, this matter is as important as any I can address in this report. History has led to the separate historical development of these fields in separate schools. Most IS programs are located in Schools of Business, and most CS programs are located in Schools of Science and Mathematics or Schools of Engineering. The latter situation depends on which body of faculty, Mathematics or EE, originated the CS program. But as intellectual disciplines and as practiced in all leading companies involved with IS and CS, the two are two ends of an inseparable continuum in today's world. But the situation in most American institutions is a result of history. To draw a not inappropriate analogy, the fields of IS and CS are not unlike the situation faced by the Kurds or the Basque people today. As we will see, some institutions have taken steps to correct the situation.
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 8 We now turn to the genesis of Milestone 3. A description of the events leading to it is illuminating. As most appropriate, it was started by students, several remarkable students. Last Fall, graduate students Pritesh Parekh and Chaitanya Rao Geddam came to ask me whether we would accept IS 156T Advanced Database as an elective (among the nine 100 level units for the MS degree). The course prerequisites of the IS program were shallow and it was judged (solely based on the prerequisites) not to have meet the level of IS courses elsewhere. The answer from me was negative. In addition, the department has never accepted a 100 level course from another discipline in a MS program of study. However, some our CS students enrolled in Dr. Ojoung Kwon's course, while others such as Rei Suryana worked on Dr. Kwon's projects as programmers. Dr. Kwon was providing not only the expertise but also a much needed environment completely lacking in Computer Science despite the presence of database courses at the undergraduate and graduate level for years. As Database is a major area in the education and the employment of the CS students, with companies such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft having their major revenue streams in both database products and services, it is disheartening that the computing environment of CS is deficient to such a degree. Incidentally, Pritesh, Chaitanya and other CS students were working on the PeopleSoft project. Since this report is neither judgmental nor an examination of the cause of whatever ills faced by the CS department, let me conclude this episode on a high note. I am pleased to say that the students judgment was more than validated by the outcomes. Pritesh was recently hired by Dean Gorman as their full-time system programmer, competing against a number of applicants with vast experience in this bear market. Chaitanya was hired full-time recently database administrator while still trying to finish his degree here by a local company to convert its database to Oracle. Rei, also while finishing his degree now, was hired full-time to overhaul a student information system of the UC Merced Office of School and College Relations. The system was from UC Davis. Jaykummer got a full-time summer internship at Washington, D.C. with the possibility of staying on full-time through the Fall if he wishes. Unfortunately, he broke his leg and had to stay in Fresno. It is nice to report that his leg is now almost completely mended. In the Spring semester, Dr. Kwon, whom I have only once before at a university function, contacted me to arrange a meeting with the CS faculty to explore the possibility of allowing him to supervise some of our students in CSci 298 projects and other matters such as possible electives available to the students from each other's department. He was impressed by the performance of these CS students. Drs. Alameldin, Read, Seki and I met with Dr. Kwon and Dr. Kathleen Moffitt and we explored a wide range of topics. Dr. Read and I had subsequent meetings with Dr. Kwon, who incidentally was recently appointed as Coordinator of the IS program (per Dr. Kwon during the Convocation) this past Spring semester. We had very open and frank discussions about the state of affairs of the IS program at Fresno State. While this report is on CS, it is important that I report on some of remarks of Professor Kwon, who is a nationally renowned researcher in his own specialty. His status is reflected in his early tenure and promotion to full professor after only two years at CSU-Fresno. He views the fields of IS and CS as inseparable as the education of both IS and CS can benefit from each program's courses.
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 9 The field of Information Systems has grown in the past several decades as much as Computer Science. I can recall the day many years ago when I appeared on my own volition to support IS and Professor Pete Simis in front of the GE Committee to include IS 50 in one of the GE areas. It failed miserably. The importance of IS in the education of students was not recognized by the GE committee then, but by now we are surrounded by it in every facet of our lives. We shall return to this point later. The failure of the GE Committee to recognize the merits of Professor Simis' proposal could partly be attributed to the nature of the course IS 50 but strangely, the failure of a School of Business in over 25 years to develop a full fledge IS degree program could only be attributed to either a lack of vision or a lack of respect for the principle of diversity. More explicitly, as applied here, diversity means that IS is fundamentally a different entity than a Business program. Unless and until that is recognized, decades could be wasted as apparently was the case here. This is really what brought Dr. Kwon to us. The CS students were just a catalyst. I must point out that there are excellent faculty in IS at CSU-Fresno, from pioneers such as professors Simis and Kelly Black to professors Solis, Moffit and Wielicki. Inspite of this, there is no accreditable program in IS on this campus. Yes, there is a Business Administration Major with an Information Systems Options which is a valid program in the abstract but not in practice. But it is far from an IS degree. The weaknesses in the prerequisite structures of the IS courses are obvious, none more glaring than that of IS 156 Database Systems. That was the basis of our rejection although we certainly did not voice it to Professor Kwon. Professor Kwon himself did so forcefully and pointed to the same course IS 156. It is refreshing to meet two faculty that are direct and open in their critique of their own field. Honesty is a prerequisite to building an excellent and lasting program. The need of an IS degree on this campus is long overdue. The failure to develop such an adequate degree within a School of Business is often because it believes that all programs must be a business program within a business school. Before I go on, two points must be made clear. One, the Craig School of Business is one of the very best business schools in the CSU system. Second, the IS Option is labeled as an option within a Business Administration Major. It is clearly and honestly identified. In the words of Professor Kwon, the IS Option, after satisfying the "GE and Business School-wide requirements leaves only 30 units for IS courses and hence impossible to meet the accreditation requirements of an IS degree. As a School of Business degree, there are school requirements, then there are the GE requirements, and hence only thirty units are left for IS courses." While Tibet may be perhaps a part of China (clearly a proposition outside the scope of this report), the Tibetan culture is not the Chinese culture. The situation of IS is a glaring example of the result of a failure to respect the generalized principle of diversity. Two obvious conclusions result. Either free the Tibetans or celebrate the Tibetan culture with a Chinese state (this we have to wait till the next Millenium). People of the world came to the right conclusion about Tibet. Many American institutions are now coming to the right conclusion regarding IS.
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 10 Many universities, especially those outside the United States (England, Continental Europe, Australia, Hong Kong) have long recognized Information Systems as a separate discipline in a new area. While information systems have originated out of the need of business applications, its applications today are varied, from huge criminology systems and complex medical systems, to real-time airline reservation and scheduling systems, all with its own internal logic. Business concerns are only a part, sometimes a small part, of such a system. Today, Schools of Information Sciences, or Information Systems or Information Technology or Informatics abound with degrees in Information Systems, Computer Systems, Information Assurance, Computer Science, Software Engineering and so on. In the United States, the strengths of our Schools of Business have actually deterred this development. This is not unlike the fate of minorities embedded in a dominant culture. But the trend is unmistakable as the first of such schools has now appeared at the University of California, the School of Information and Computer Science at UC, Irvine (http://www.ics.uci.edu/). In the end, Dr. Kwon asked us to help address the most immediate problem first, namely the weakness of those IS students on data-structures and file systems who take IS 158. Dr. Read is expending a lot of effort to develop a CSci course specifically for the IS students. We also pledged that we would continue our cooperation to see what additional joint or separate efforts could improve the education of IS and CS students on this campus. We should note that this was only a very small step taken by IS with us. A degree program fully meeting the 2001 IS Model Program of IEEE CS and ACMIS 2002 - Model Curriculum and Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Systems is a long way off (http://www.acm.org/education/curricula.html#IS2002). We should also note that at the highest professional levels as represented by the two major organizations IEEE CS and ACM in the information technology arena have now put out model curricula on CS and IS under their auspices (http://www.computer.org/education/cc2001/final/index.htm). Many US universities recognize this situation. One of the exemplary efforts was undertaken by the Pennsylvania State University system several years ago. They created a School of Information Sciences and Technology (http://ist.psu.edu/). Detail documents are available from the original proposal to a recent 42 page report: IST Strategic Plan, fiscal year 2002-2003 thru 2004-2005 of their mostly successful effort. The report is available at http://ist.psu.edu/about_ist/StratPlanNB.pdf. I strongly urge all persons interested in developing exceptional programs in the area of Information Technology to read this report. Twenty five years ago, the efforts on IS (P. Simis and others) and the efforts on CS (B. Kehoe, N. Harbertson) placed CSU-Fresno as one of the leading and earliest CSU campuses in exploring both areas. The current state of IS and CS can be inferred from the comments so far. We can learn a lot from the lessons of past history. But, most importantly, we must examine what directions this campus would take in the future and its regard of the degrees of importance concerning the educational programs in Information Technology. Milestones 4 – Computational Paradigm
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 11 Dr. Read, Seki and I had a meeting with Dr. Barbara Birch, Chair, and Dr. William Lewis of the Linguistics Department on their proposed Computational Linguistics Option in the BA Linguistics degree. It requires a significant number of CS courses with additional electives. The faculty also had subsequent email communications with Dr. Lewis. We are fully in support of their new option and their new courses in this area also. The development of such an option will benefit the students in both Linguistics and Computer Science. The department continues to devote some of its resources (staffing) to the development of the area in Bioinformatics. Although currently, we have only one course, taught by P. Lowe, as an elective in the MS Professional Biotechnology program. Ongoing interactions continue with the Biology faculty (B. Auernheimer, W. Read, P. Lowe). We anticipate that as molecular biology and its affiliated industries will hold center stage this century, computer technology will become increasingly an integral part of it. Indeed, Computational Biology is now a recognized field. The Physics Department and the Computer Science Department has agreed to explore a graduate level program in Computational Physics. As the Physics Department has been developing a medical physics program for some time, the initial efforts would center on courses which would enhance their program in this area. Courses of a computational nature such as computer imaging could be considered. A distinguished CSUF graduate of the Physics (BS) and Mathematics (BA, MS), Bruce Hasegawa, Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Physics, UCSF Medical School and UC Berkeley, would be a helpful source of advice (http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/html/research/research_interests/hasegawa_research.html). While we are on the Physics Department, one of the closest collaboration will come in the decades ahead between CS and Physics as it is already currently going on at major research institutions. The joint effort will be on Quantum Computing. As the current technology runs into the limits of Moore's Law within the next decade or two, a fundamental shift will be towards Quantum Computing. As far as computing is concerned, students well grounded in Quantum Physics will be more important than the students grounded in Electrical Engineering. Continuing interactions with the Physics faculty would build on that of past actvities (W. Read, T. Wilson, G. Wei, S. Seki, H. Yeung). Joint special MS program with Mathematics is also an ongoing activity. Jason Terry, with outstanding undergraduate course work in Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics, was persuaded to enter such a special graduate program designed by the CS and Math Faculty (W. Read). The above developments are instances of the evolving changes of many disciplines under a paradigm of historic proportions. Whereas Mathematics and Statistics were employed in ever more disciplines in the past century, it is apparent that a computational paradigm is broader and of more practical power than these two important fields. Our educational system is slow to recognize this, and in particular, the CSU General Education requirements have yet to recognize this. By this, I do not mean a skill course or a programming course, but a course where the fundamental and core principles of the computational paradigm are presented should be part of GE. It would be of great value to every single student in college. Earlier, I have
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 12 described the efforts of Professor Simis. A GE course jointly developed by CS and IS incorporating the core principles of the computational paradigm with illustrations from the ever increasing complexity of information systems would be a positive change in this still young Millennium. Despite the limited resources of the department, it is in support of all academic disciplines which profess an interest of incorporating a computational approach to their disciplines. In this sense, the above are simply manifestations of this continuing philosophy. In Milestone 3, we commented extensively on the state of IS. Perhaps more important to us, an examination of where this institution is going and the role of Department of Computer Science regarding this sweeping change due to the computational paradigm is due, especially in view of the Plan of Excellency. However, this would be beyond the scope of an annual report. Milestone 5 – Educational Developments The Department has revived CSci 7 at the behest of Dr. Robert Monke and will be offering this course again to the students in Liberal Studies. The department has stopped offering this course years ago as replacement of its Macintosh computers gave way to cheaper PCs due to budgetary constraints. The College of Education is providing the laboratories to run this course. This is in addition to a PC based course CSci 5 for the Education student. Professor Jerome Smith oversees this area. Two of the members of the Department, Jerome Smith and Prudence Lowe are working together to propose a course on Web Technology and its Use for the students of CSU-Fresno. Such a course is both popular and important as distance learning and online courses continue to proliferate throughout different disciplines. As more GE courses and others come online, general knowledge such as the working of search engines, the logical construction of queries, the use of bulletin boards, etc. and specific knowledge of our local system Blackboard would become increasingly needed. Both are assisted by Dr. Auernheimer, Dr. Wilson and other faculty in their attempt to formulate an appropriate course. Both have extensive experience teaching in the medium. One of the proposals for the fund drive was Critical Thinking and Computer Science (W. Read, P. Lowe, T. Wilson, H. Yeung). Most educators believe that critical thinking skills are crucial to successful academic pursuits, and that these skills should be inculcated in the student as early as possible. The Department is developing materials suitable for online delivery to earlier grades. Once complete, we would try to establish an UniTrak course in the 9-12 grades. These are among some of the efforts of the Department to improve the education of students on and off this campus. Part III – Computing Environment
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 13 The biggest problem faced by the Department is its lack of laboratory space and an adequate computing environment. I had the opportunity every semester to attend the meeting of the CSU Council of Computer Science and Information Systems Chairs. It is held at one of the southern CSU campuses in the Fall and in the Spring, it is held at one of the northern CSU campuses. It was held at LA State, Monterey Bay, and Sonoma State in the Spring, 02 , Fall 02 and Spring 03 respectively. Numerous emails are also exchanged among the Chairs. Survey questions were sent out by me regarding their computing environment. I have also talked to a number of the CS Chairs directly. In the past, I have visited a number of the new buildings housing the CS department before and after our work on the ClassRoom Building, now renamed Science II. When the Computer Science Department joined the School of Engineering, there were only three simple agreements. One, that resource would remain neutral, second, that the Department would move into the ClassRoom Building and three, that the School would eventually be renamed the School of Engineering and Computer Science. The move was strongly supported and encouraged by the Provost's office. A careful and detail process was followed by the Department and approval was granted after appearing before a number of university committees. A simple but central document containing the agreement was approved at all levels. This annual report is not the place to revisit these issues other than to state the fact that we are not part of now renamed ClassRoom Building, Science II, and our laboratories are devoid of any meaningful computing environment. Window 98 is the environment in our main lab with access to a UNIX environment often with significant software necessary to support an undergraduate and graduate program missing. The laboratory goes down with a frequency incommensurate with the frequencies of the labs of other Schools on this campus. This has occurred to my basic course C Sci 41 every semester. Other faculty reported the same problem. An attempt to reconfigure the lab and with the server directly connected the campus network has taken over eight months – still not completed. Students come in with better and more advanced environments on their own machines. Ours is the result of the reduction to the lowest common denominator as other students and also visitors have made insulting remarks concerning our lab environment and the state of the machines. Remarks such as "you want to see the worst computers, go to Computer Science." The department does not have a machine of its own. I exclude the desktop machine Dr. Wilson administers himself for his courses as it has taken a tremendous toll and time away from his duties as a faculty. Technical support is almost non-existent. But it is the lack of "chemicals" that really hurt. To explain the situation faced by the faculty in Computer Science, an analogy would be helpful. If we were a Chemistry Department, this would be a department with almost no chemicals, little test tubes and laboratory space. It does have a couple of unstable "Freshman labs". Organic labs, inorganic and quantative analysis labs are nowhere to be found. The chemistry storeroom is almost empty. Software of different types are analogous to the atomic elements, the inorganic and organic compounds necessary in any Chemistry program. In fact,
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 14 in many cases, in order to conduct our experiments, we have to obtain special samples from other institutions. In the computing world, especially after the magnanimous free software movement spearheaded by Richard Stallman, free software are available from many sources. It is learning and building based on a sufficiently rich environment of software and libraries of software that students can progress beyond the few thousand lines of code if they have to write from scratch. It is the mixing of chemicals that lead to learning and discovery. Computer Science is as an experimental science as any, perhaps even more. Free software are the specimens on which an academic program can experiment and build upon. They have to be made available to the students, configured and set upped in some machines in some environment. A well maintained machine by the Department is the minimal analogy to a Chemistry laboratory where students can conduct their experiments. As an example, Rei Suryana (4.0 GPA) is doing a 298 project on handwriting systems, a current "hot" area with the Microsoft PC Tablet. It requires significant theoretical and practical support from other researchers and in particular, parsers of Graph Grammar (an outgrowth of the 60's in the 70's and 80's). In his case, important free software are available from researchers at Cal Tech, UI, Urbana-Champaign and University of Ottawa, Canada. These software had to be configured in a machine available to the Department. This requires both technical and hardware support. Even assuming that all this can be done on Rei's own PC, there is no continuity. The instructor (H. Yeung) certainly cannot put all the projects of his/her students on his office machine. It won't run there. After Rei leaves, his and his instructor efforts lead to no accretive value to the program. No continuing projects of some complexity is possible under the current situation. As of now, Rei's project has to be simplified or discarded as the current environment is not sufficient to support it. Pritesh Parekh is doing a 298 project on speech recognition protocols over the net. Where is the equipment and space for him to do his project? These are only two examples. In fact, the lack of technical support was one of the strongest complaints in the last CS Program Review as voiced by the graduate students. The suggestion by the panel of evaluators was to have fixed office hours for the technical staff. Little could they anticipate that not only no technical support is available to the graduate students, little is available to the faculty years after this problem was identified and supposedly to have been corrected. This state of affairs has existed for at least the past four years. The space in the ClassRoom Building for CS consisted of several Introductory computer labs plus six special labs (AI, Graphics, Software, System, Software Engineering and Hardware) with additional rooms for projects, machines, graduate students, st and faculty (from the 11.5.92 Floor Plan). This is not far from other CSU programs moving into their new facilities. The conclusion is that the CS Department has no machines of its own except for one maintained by Dr. Wilson for his Web programming courses, no technician and little space with a computing environment about the worst in the CSU. This is a dismal situation in view of the Department functioning well above its mode and level SFR and is also the largest in terms of foreign students on campus, fully 50% larger than the next program (ECE) and 100% more than the third ranked MBA program (Student Data Book Fall 2002).
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 15 Part IV – Faculty Activities This is based on the reports of the faculty and on my own observation. Some of the faculty's activities related to the milestones have been reported in Part II. The primary focus of the faculty is on the education of the students. I would first point out that many classes are run contrary to their classification resulting in larger lectures with multiple labs. This often leads to lower quality in the instruction and also lower performance in the students. Assigned time is almost never available for independent studies and project supervision in a program with over 300 undergraduate majors and over 100 graduate students. Because of the computing environment, extraneous efforts have to be spent in the teaching of the students. Interruptions due to the instability of the main lab McKee Fisk have led to occasional losses or cancellations. Another factor adds to the difficulty of some of the faculty. Computer Science is a highly specialized field and hence the teaching duties of many of the faculty are fixed on their specialty. Some courses had lab components and others don't and this results in differing amounts of work for different faculty although the WTU's are the same. The changes in the core courses as explained in Milestone 1 will lead to greater equity among the instructors of those courses although the upper division courses have not been addressed. The faculty continues to participate in many department, college and university committees. All the faculty served in various functions for the department. Earlier, the advisory roles for student chapters were mentioned (B. Auernheimer, W. Read, G. Wei). Dr. Read delivered lectures to high-school students in a UniTrak course Engr 1T. The previous two years, Jerome Smith was providing that service. Dr. Read continues to serve as the Assessment Coordinator for the department as well as the primary budget officer in explaining many of the ongoing budgetary situations to the faculty. Dr. Jin serves as the Graduate Coordinator. This role is time consuming having to manage one of the largest and most complex graduate programs on campus. Part of the complexity comes from students without the equivalent of a bachelor degree in computer science is admitted to our program from many foreign countries. Determining course equivalence and competence level involve extensive reading of transcripts and documents, providing placement examinations at the beginning of each semester and numerous personal interviews. Dr. Seki continues to oversee the articulation of courses from other colleges, especially the ones from community colleges. The complexity can be gleamed from the six different freshman sequences in computer science in the most recent model curriculum Computing Curricula 2001 established by our professional organization (http://www.computer.org/education/cc2001/final/chapter07.htm). The faculty continued to attend conferences and workshops despite of the lack of any travel funds. Dr. Wei is the most active, having attended six different conferences and workshops on database, storage systems, system administration. Many of the faculty (B. Auernheimer, W. Read, S. Seki, G. Wei, H. Yeung) continued to participate in state and regional meetings of
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 16 IMPAC. The Intersegmental Major Preparation Articulated Curriculum project (http://www.cal- impac.org/Project/Project.htm) is a unique intersegmental, faculty-designed and faculty-run project to ensure that students transferring from the community colleges to UC and CSU are prepared for work in their chosen major and can avoid having to repeat coursework. The project is funded by a five year, $2.75 million grant that enables faculty from the three higher education systems to meet regionally to discuss issues, concerns, and academic procedures that impinge upon the transfer of students in those majors. At the College level, we report the following. Dr. Read served as the College Consultative Body Chairperson for the third time. Dr. Alameldin continued to serve as Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee while Dr. Auernheimer and Dr. Wei were on the Personnel Committee. Dr. Seki was on the Graduate Committee and Dr. Alameldin and Dr. Read were on the Budget Committee. Dr. Jin was on the Research Committee. Dr. Auernheimer also chaired the College Ad Hoc Computer Committee. Dr. Read also chaired the Ad Hoc Space Committee. Dr. Wilson served on the Ad Hoc Student Evaluation Committee. At the University level, Dr. Wilson served as the Department Representative to the Senate, and also served on the Library Subcommittee and General Education Subcommittee. Dr. Auernheimer was a member of IETCC and chaired the Web Support Council Subcommittee and was also a member of the Smittcamp Family Honors College Council. Professor Jin has completed his book on Computer Organization. Final galley proofs are with Tsinghua University Press. He has also started on another contracted text on Distributed Computing for Tsinghua University Press. Professor Jin was the leading computer scientist in China, holding the Chair of Computer Science at Tsinghua University, the leading technical university of China. He oversaw the approval of the first 12 doctoral programs in Computer Science in China. He built generations of their computers and operating systems. His textbook on computer organization was the standard text in China for decades. In addition, Professor Jin has been a visiting professor at MIT, Munich, Germany, and Penn State among other places. It is an honor to see that his newly rewritten edition will be published and widely used in China as were all his previous texts with his affiliation as a faculty of CSU-Fresno. Faculty publication: Dr. S. Seki S. Sakamoto, S. Seki, & Y. Kobuchi, Cellular Topographic Self-Organization under Correlational Learning, Proc. ESANN, pp. 119-124, 2003. Dr. Brent Aurenheimer R.M. Vick, B. Auernheimer, M.E. Crosby, M.K. Iding. Student Learning Through Collaborative Decision Making: Analysis of the Effect of Temporal Patterns on Output Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2003. Honolulu. June 2003. R. Vick, M. Crosby, B. Auernheimer, M. Iding. Emergence of Shared Mental Models During Distributed Teamwork: Integration of Distributed Cognition Traces. Proceedings of HCI International 2003. Crete. June 2003.
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 17 R. Vick, B. Auernheimer, M. Crosby, D. Chin. Enriching the Pedagogical Value of an Asynchronous HCI Course: Adding Value Through Synchronous Collaborative Knowledge Building. Proceedings of HCI International 2003. Crete. June 2003. R.M. Vick, B. Auernheimer, M.E. Crosby, and M.K. Iding. Collaborative E-learning across institutions: Effects on End-User Satisfaction. Proceedings of SITE 2003. Albuquerque, March 2003. Iding, M., Klemm, E.B., Crosby, M.E., Auernheimer, B. and Vick, R. Using the World Wide Web in the Classroom: Addressing Issues of Cognitive Load and Critical Evaluation Skills. Short paper at SITE 2003. Albuquerque, March 2003. M.E. Crosby, M. K. Iding, B. Auernheimer, E.B. Klemm. Judging the veracity of web sites. Proceedings of ICCE2002, December 2002. M.E. Crosby, M. K. Iding, E.B. Klemm, and B. Auernheimer. Critical Evaluation Skills for Web-Based Information: "Lies, Damned Lies" and Web-Based Information. Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2002. Denver, June 2002.
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 18 Final Comments None of the above statements in this report should be construed as statements with malicious intent. The negative statements on the failure of the Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences of the Craig School of Business to develop a degree program in Information Systems for the students of this campus is something that must be said. IS is important to CS and I have taken the liberty of commenting on this situation without knowing much of the local history or the rationale behind the IS effort. However, I am conveying the sentiment gathered from talking with some of the Chairs in the system-wide Council meeting when IS has no representation from FSU for many of the past meetings, including the last three I attended, and the sentiment of many of the students over the years seeking an IS degree. Many of the situations faced by CS and IS are negative. Negative statements are simply a reflection of the situation. Again, I have not addressed the underlying cause of the descent of the CS program. This matter should be taken up in a different forum, and in fact, is important enough to be taken up in another forum before any meaningful assessment and plan for excellency can be executed. In IS and CS, a phrase often uttered when one needs to think outside the box is It just does not compute! In the case of the IS Option, when there is left only 30 units to work with, no group of faculty can ever produce an IS degree. The failure after all these years to establish an IS degree on this campus is a fitting case of “It just does not compute!” Following the Penn State model, IS should be moved out of the Craig School. The positive consequences are immense. With the “New California” Initiative at Fresno State, with the fabulous (to IS and CS people) CMS Project coming to fruition, with the Fund Drive, a new beginning for the IS program and its IS faculty holds almost unlimited possibilities. It is the right time to build a NEW HOUSE.
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 19 Hello -- This is the best I can do under the circumstances They are all conference presentations published in conference proceedings. All of them were refereed I believe. I don't know if you include publications from June 2002 or June 2003. You can delete the ones you need to - brent R.M. Vick, B. Auernheimer, M.E. Crosby, M.K. Iding. Student Learning Through Collaborative Decision Making: Analysis of the Effect of Temporal Patterns on Output Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2003. Honolulu. June 2003. R. Vick, M. Crosby, B. Auernheimer, M. Iding. Emergence of Shared Mental Models During Distributed Teamwork: Integration of Distributed Cognition Traces. Proceedings of HCI International 2003. Crete. June 2003. R. Vick, B. Auernheimer, M. Crosby, D. Chin. Enriching the Pedagogical Value of an Asynchronous HCI Course: Adding Value Through Synchronous Collaborative Knowledge Building. Proceedings of HCI International 2003. Crete. June 2003. R.M. Vick, B. Auernheimer, M.E. Crosby, and M.K. Iding. Collaborative E-learning across institutions: Effects on End-User Satisfaction. Proceedings of SITE 2003. Albuquerque, March 2003. Iding, M., Klemm, E.B., Crosby, M.E., Auernheimer, B. and Vick, R. Using the World Wide Web in the Classroom: Addressing Issues of Cognitive Load and Critical Evaluation Skills. Short paper at SITE 2003. Albuquerque, March 2003. M.E. Crosby, M. K. Iding, B. Auernheimer, E.B. Klemm. Judging the veracity of web sites. Proceedings of ICCE2002, December 2002. M.E. Crosby, M. K. Iding, E.B. Klemm, and B. Auernheimer. Critical Evaluation Skills for Web-Based Information: "Lies, Damned Lies" and Web-Based Information. Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2002. Denver, June 2002.
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 20 Hi, Diane and Walt: Here are the figures from Computer Science. Please accept my apologies for being late. Henderson Note: The figures below pertain to internal computer science operations. For example, a number of the students who should receive tutoring do seek out help from the Tutorial Learning Center, although the results are not necessarily uniformily positive. The number who obtain employment is to the best of our knowledge at this time. MILESTONE INDICATORS OF SUCCESS Goals 5, 12, 17, 18, 20, 31, and 37 Prepared May 16, 2003 Goal 5. Strengthen and coordinate a comprehensive program that will provide adequate staff, technology, training, recognition and support for faculty and professional advisors to ensure that all students have ongoing access to high quality advice and counsel on academic programs and goals for their careers. Indicators of Success: The percentage of continuing students receiving advising in the academic year has been nearly 100%. This is expected to remain nearly constant since all students have been required to receive advising prior to registration each Fall semester. A registration hold has been placed on each student who has not received advising the previous academic year until they receive advising. The inability of PeopleSoft to support this advising effort reportedly will be corrected soon and this program will be continued. New faculty is mentored regarding advising duties. Goal 12. Strengthen support for faculty professional development opportunities that promote excellence in areas of teaching, research, creative activity and service in order to meet the diverse and challenging needs of our students, state and region. Indicators of Success: For tenure and probationary faculty, the following opportunities were provided and they are also shown as a percent of the total faculty: Support for teaching: 0 full-time faculty of 10 full-time faculty participated in one or more related activities.
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 21 Support for research: 0 faculty received and participated in opportunities for research and development. Support for creative activity: 0 faculty received support to pursue creative activities. Support for service: 1 faculty received support to pursue service activities. Goal 17. Develop honors programs in each of the Colleges and Schools. Indicators of Success: 0 students of 30 students (___ %) who qualify for a college honors program by having the appropriate GPA are enrolled in this honors program. Goal 18. Introduce components into all academic programs that will further engage students in the learning process as active partners with their teachers and mentors. Indicators of Success: 0 number of students are receiving tutoring of approximately 60 students who should be receiving tutoring. This represents 0 % of the students who should be receiving mentoring. 32 number of 32 students graduating during the academic year have worked on senior individual or class projects or completed appropriate advanced courses. 0 students participated in special project class(es) of 0 students requiring special project class(es). 4 students participated in the VIP for Cooperative Education, or other cooperative education or internship opportunity. This represents 80 percentage of the available positions for cooperative education/internship students. Goal 20. Establish ongoing processes and criteria to assess the excellence of performance in five major areas: academic programs; pre-, post-, and non-tenure track faculties; student performance; administrative systems, operations and support; and external collaborations, partnerships, centers, and institutes. Indicators of Success: Academic Programs: 0 of 1 the programs in the department/college are currently accredited. Pre-, Post-, and Non-Tenure Track Faculties:
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 22 3 faculty ( 1 Pre-Tenure Track, and 2 Non-Tenure Track faculty) were evaluated representing a total of 3 faculty ( 1 Pre-Tenure Track, and 2 Non-Tenure Track faculty). 6 Post-Tenure faculty of a total of 7 Post-Tenure faculty submitted faculty activity reports. Student Performance: 0 students of 0 students taking the Engineering-In-Training, Land Surveyor-In-Training examination, or equivalent, passed the examination. 6 graduating seniors out of a total of 20 graduating seniors are enrolling for graduate study. 7 graduating seniors out of a total of 20 graduating seniors have employment in the discipline of study following graduation. Administrative Systems, Operations and Support: _ e-mails/memorandums/letters of complaint were received, and _ complimentary e-mails/memorandums/letters were received. Exit surveys of graduating students indicate that the students rated support from the department and deans office as __ on a scale of 1 to 5. Exit surveys of graduating students indicate that the students rated support from outside of the college as __ on a scale of 1 to 5. Executive Summary 2002-2003 Department of Computer Science
  • 2002-2003 Year End Report 23 MS1 Revision and university approval of BS degree requirements and MS degree requirements. Both the BS and MS degree revisions are due the continuing broadening of the application of computer science and technology into increasingly diverse areas and the restriction of only offering one degree. As a result, the requirements have to allow greater flexibility to meet the changing landscape of both employment and graduate studies. MS2 Faculty agreement to develop BA degree in Computer Science with options in Software Engineering and Multimedia and Telecommunications. Additional option areas include an Information Assurance option which will involve both Mathematics and IS in its development. MS3 Discussions with Information Systems faculty as to joint efforts in strengthening the education provided to Information Systems and Computer Science students. This involves exchange graduate project supervision and acceptance of certain courses in each other's department. Computer Science will offer a special course for IS majors on data-structures and file processing to cover one of the weakness of the IS curriculum. MS4 Efforts towards developing a Computational Sciences interdisciplinary area. It resulted in an agreement with the Physics Department to develop a jointly administered graduate degree program in Computational Physics, with initial efforts in the area of medical applications. Department also agreed to provide significant course support to a Computational Linguistics option in the Linguistics BA degree. Another is the continuing effort in the area of Bioinformatics with CSci 101 as an elective in a MS Biotechnology degree. MS5 Agreement to renew a course for Liberal Studies majors in the College of Education this Fall semester. Department has almost completed the work on a new lower division course on Web technology and its Use to be introduced next year. In the area of the education of 8-12 students work is continuing on a grade appropriate Web-based critical thinking course, which will eventually be made available to school districts.