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University News

New Computer, Software Engineering
Degrees Approved


From Dateline (April 8, 2004)

Students who dream of careers in computer engineering, and software engineers who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge, will be the beneficiaries of two new degrees offered by the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

One of the programs – a master’s in software engineering – is the second online graduate program to be offered by the university. The bachelor’s degree in computer engineering was developed in response to area high-tech firms seeking people in this field. Both programs are effective this summer.

“We are responding to the needs of students, local technology com- panies and to professionals in the field seeking computer or software engineering degrees,” says Raman Unnikrishnan, ECS dean.

Software engineering is the application of systematic engineering principles to the development and maintenance of computer software, says Dorota Huizinga, associate ECS dean and professor of computer science. “Our curriculum is fundamentally grounded in software engineering research, theory, principles and practice.

“The 22-month online program prepares individuals for careers as software process managers, designers and developers in industry and governmental agencies,” she notes. “Our emphasis on software process through the entire curriculum makes this program unique among professional master’s degrees.”

“The online degree is designed for working professionals who wish to further their skills and pursue graduate level education in software engineering,” says Demetrios Michalopoulos, professor of computer science. “Because it is an online program, it has been approved and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).”

Computer engineering, the other new program, is the design and analysis of computer hardware and software. “Our computer engineering program integrates pertinent science and mathematics courses with electrical engineering and computer science courses to develop an engineer capable of designing and analyzing all aspects of modern computer and embedded systems,” says Unnikrishnan. “The degree can lead to immediate employment after graduation as a design, development, test, application or marketing engineer of computer hardware or software,” he adds.

Industry support for the undergraduate program is strong, as evidenced by letters from Boeing, Intel, JPL, Raytheon, Systems Co., Technology Strategy Group and Unisys.

“The combination of software and hardware design training that is contained in the new curriculum is right on the mark for the kinds of systems we design ...Engineers with the skills proposed for the new computer engineering program will be more immediately employable without extensive training after being hired,” wrote a director of external technology from a Newport Beach firm.

“We looked at accredited programs across the country in formulating this program so that it meets the standards set by the Accreditation Board of Engineering Technology,” says Susamma Barua, professor of computer science.

“Both of these new degree programs will significantly reach a new pool of students, and also will help people in industry to advance in their careers,” says Unnikrishnan. “Our educational efforts are consistent with today’s trends in technology, and our online program will reach stu-dents across the nation and beyond.”

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