Because of the broad range of research interests of the faculty, there are numerous opportunities for students to participate in special projects or research in all areas of computer and information science. The optional master's thesis allows a student to conduct a more formal research project. Faculty publications over the past few years have been in the areas of database analysis and design, numerical analysis, optimization, performance measurement and evaluation, operating system design, data communications and network design, artificial intelligence, simulation, object-oriented systems analysis and design, object-oriented programming, and decision-support systems evaluation and selection.
Two major computer facilities are used by the department to support research: a networked laboratory of basic and advanced personal computers; and clusters of UNIX workstations including HP Itanium, Sun Sparc/Ultra, SGI Indy/O2, IBM RS/6000, and Dell Linux workstations. These machines are connected to Fast Ethernet, ATM, and/or FDDI LANs. All laboratories are available to students for both course work and research. The networks are connected to the University fiber backbone that in turn is linked to national networks.
The basic personal computer laboratory provides a variety of word processing, spreadsheet, database, and programming language software and is primarily used in the introductory courses.
The advanced personal computer laboratory provides advanced program preparation software, specialized compilers, and other application software pertinent to advanced computer and information science courses, including C, C++, Java, Rational Rose, artificial intelligence compilers, and database software.
The workstation laboratory provides a networked Unix environment that is used in courses such as those dealing with advanced operating systems and computer networks.