Carnegie Mellon Press Release: April 6, 2004
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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
April 6, 2004

Carnegie Mellon's Esteemed Information Systems Program Celebrates 20 Years of Preparing Students for the Information Age

PITTSBURGH—The internationally recognized Information Systems Program at Carnegie Mellon University is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, but it's showing no signs of age.

The bachelor of science in information systems (IS) at Carnegie Mellon is an undergraduate major for students who want to design and implement effective solutions to meet organizational and management needs for information and decision support. The IS program will celebrate its anniversary from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17, in the lower level of the addition to Baker Hall at Carnegie Mellon.

IS, formerly Information and Decision Systems, is the largest major in Carnegie Mellon's College of Humanities and Social Sciences, with about 240 students enrolled during the 2003-04 academic year. The program has graduated close to 900 students since its inception, and its alumni work for such companies as IBM, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and Ford Motor Company.

"Recruiters that have stopped or cut back on recruiting elsewhere have continued to keep coming back here for IS talent. Our interdisciplinary focus and concentration on software development project work, project management, teamwork, decision making and outreach continue to give our students a competitive edge in the marketplace," said IS Director Randy Weinberg.

The hallmark of the IS program is the senior project course, in which students work in teams to solve real-world information problems for local nonprofit organizations. Each year, the IS program donates about $1 million in information technology services to the Pittsburgh nonprofit community. Among the organizations that IS students have helped is Operation Safety Net, a program run by Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh to provide medical care, support and referral services to the homeless. The IS project team developed a Web-based database that allows doctors and nurses to access the medical records of the hundreds of patients they serve by using hand-held computers in the field.

"We think this community-based service learning opportunity continues to be an important and satisfying part of the IS undergraduate experience at Carnegie Mellon," Weinberg said.

The IS Program is among more than 60 majors and minors offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the second-largest academic unit at Carnegie Mellon. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary study in a technologically rich environment, with an open and forward-thinking stance toward the arts and sciences.

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