Information Systems

Saint Michael's Information Systems

As an Information Systems major at Saint Michael's, you'll study how organizations use technology resources and services. With its liberal arts emphasis, Information Systems is for students interested in the broader aspects of computing for efficiently operating and promoting an organization. The major is offered jointly by two departments: Business and Computer Science.

If you want to be a computing generalist, study Computer Science. But if you are interested in the use of computer-based information systems within business, then study information systems. As a rule, computer science requires more mathematics and analytical skill than does Information Systems. After graduation, Information Systems majors might: design and maintain computer networks and database systems; create Web sites; handle system administration; or manage other professionals for the strategic and technological advantage of an organization.

Information Systems is a distinct approach to the study of computing because its context is an organization, and that organization’s information systems. Information Systems contains a significant knowledge base derived from computer science but also from the field of business management. As an academic field, Information Systems encompasses two broad areas:

  1. Acquisition, deployment, and management of information technology resources and services (the information systems function)
  2. Development and evolution of infrastructure and systems for use in organization processes (system development)

Each semester you’ll take business and computer science courses, mixed throughout your four years along with accounting, economics, statistics and liberal studies requirements.

Information Systems Learning Outcomes

Michael Battig, PhD

Professor of Computer Science
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Contact Professor Battig

Jeanmarie Hall 265
Box 279
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Ph.D. Mississippi State University
M.S. University of North Texas
B.S. Miami University

Areas of Expertise

Software engineering; testing object-oriented software; and computer science/information systems education.

Courses I Teach:

  • Database Management
  • Introduction to Computer Science II
  • Organization of Programming Languages
  • Software Engineering

The class I enjoy teaching most is probably Introduction to Computer Science -- I like working with first-year students and helping them to discover the breadth of the computing field.

Greta Pangborn, PhD

Computer Science and Information Services Department Chair, Associate Professor of Computer Science
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Contact Professor Pangborn

Jeanmarie Hall 257
Box 363
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B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Cornell University

Areas of Expertise:

Computational optimization and algorithms. Recent applications I have  looked at include: self-assembling DNA nanostructures, VLSI chip layout, and unit rectangle visibility graphs.

Courses I Teach:

  • Data Structures & Algorithms
  • eCommerce
  • Introduction to Computing
  • Machine Organization
  • Programming Languages for Information Systems

My Saint Michael's:

I am always struck by the number of Saint Michael's students who participate in volunteer activities to make a difference both locally and globally, and I really appreciate the strong sense of community. My classes are small, so I am able to get to know my students well. We are able to have events, such as class dinners, that would not be possible at a larger institution. There also are many independent study and student research opportunities available that might not be possible at a larger institution. In my five first years at Saint Michael's I have been able to work with 10 students on projects beyond the scope of an ordinary class.

My students are smart, hardworking, and friendly. I am always impressed, not just by their performance in my classes (which is very good), but by the wide range of their interests beyond the field of computer science.

I really enjoy all of my classes, but if pressed to pick a favorite I would say Data Structures and Algorithms, which is closely tied to my area of research.

As a St. Mike's student majoring in Information Systems, you'll get a chance to try the skills you've just learned in real-world settings through internships, just as our computer science or business majors do. Of further special interest to you might be competitions and guest lecturers from both the Computer Science and Business departments.

As an Information Systems expert for a business, or perhaps for a government agency or nonprofit, you will share broad responsibility to: develop, implement, and manage an infrastructure of information technology (computers and communications), data (both internal and external), and organization-wide systems; to: track new information technology and assist in incorporating it into the organization's strategy, planning, and practices; and to support departmental and individual information technology systems. The mix of business, computer science and liberal arts courses that you'll take as a St. Mike's Information Systems major will help you acquire the right tools.

Information Systems Major Four-Year Plan

The four-year plan below exemplifies a typical course schedule for an Information Systems major.

First Year - about 30 credits, depending upon LSR courses and proficiencies.

Fall Spring
CS 101/BU 111(4/3) MA 102/BU 207(3)
BU 113(4) FYS(4)
EC 101/EC 103(3) Language II(5)
Language I(5)

Second Year - about 33 credits, depending upon courses selected.

Fall Spring
CS 111(4) CS 113(4)
BU 141(4) BU 212(3)
LSR(3) LSR(3)
LSR(3) LSR(3)
Elective(3) Elective(3)

Third Year - about 31 credits, depending upon courses selected.

Fall Spring
BU 303(4) CS 302(3)
BU 315(4) CS 305(3)
Elective(3) BU 311(4)
Elective(4) LSR(3)
LSR(4) Elective(3)

Fourth Year - about 31 credits, depending upon courses selected.

Fall Spring
CS 407(4) CS 402(3)
IS Elective(4) Elective(4)
LSR(3) Elective(3)
LSR(3) LSR(3)
Elective(3) LSR(3)

Strongly recommended (but not required):

BU 305 Marketing (4 Credits)
BU 355 Production and Operations Management (4 credits)

BU490, BU499, and any other course not on the above list will require permission from the program director.

This is only a suggested order for the classes to take. Students will deviate from this schedule, especially when it comes to items like the language proficiency, which IS/CS electives students prefer, etc. The advising sessions, during the seven pre-registration periods, will be helpful in deciding what courses individually suit each student the best.

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