Why study Informatics?
Who should Minor in Informatics?
What can a student
do with a
requirements for the Minor
Students are required to take three core courses: INFO 102, CS 105 and INFO 202. In addition, students must complete 3 approved upper-level informatics electives (totaling at least 9 credit hours), most of which emphasize either Data, Society, or Expression.
The three required core courses provide a general and solid foundation in CS and IT. All three are introductory in nature and meet the university’s General Education requirements. These courses may be taken in any order or simultaneously.
INFO 102 – Little Bits to Big Ideas – SPRING ONLY – Broad introduction to the nature, capabilities, and limitations of computing. Topics range from the way data is represented and stored, to the way today’s computers work, to the general ideas of algorithms and computational efficiency, to the future of computing.
CS 105 – Introduction to Computing- Non-Tech – Computing as an essential tool of academic and professional activities. Functions and interrelationships of computer system components: hardware, systems and applications software, and networks. Widely used application packages such as spreadsheets and databases. Concepts and practice of programming for the solution of simple problems in different application areas. Intended for non-science and non-engineering majors. (Can substitute STAT 107 or CS 101 or CS 125 or the ECE 120 & 220 sequence)
INFO 202 – Social Aspects of Information Technologies – Explores how information technologies transform society and affect a range of social, political and economic issues from the individual to societal levels.
CS and ECE majors (including CS + majors), and CS minors need to take INFO 202 and then four additional upper-level courses instead of the usual three. These upper-level courses cannot be CS courses, and they typically have a non-technical focus. Upper-level courses must be approved by the Informatics Advisor before counting toward the Minor.
Information System majors (in Gies College of Business) need to take their three upper-level courses from outside Gies College of Business. Upper-level courses must be approved by the Informatics Advisor before counting toward the minor. This only applies to Information System majors, and not the other majors in Gies.
The School of Information Sciences BSIS majors can NOT declare the Informatics minor due to the extent of overlap.
To qualify as one of the three upper-level courses satisfying the informatics minor, a course must be at the 300-level or above, and satisfy one of the following three descriptions. (Courses that satisfy some aspects may be approved on an ad hoc basis.)
Society. The course focuses on the history and/or use and/or impact of computers, computation, communication, or information technology. That is, the focus is on how the adaptation or availability of computer and communication technologies have and are changing the human condition. The focus is on information and communication technologies, not just any technology (E.g., a course about gender differences in use of garage-door-openers would not qualify, but a course in gender differences in use of iPods might.).
Data. A significant part of the course involves using computer modeling tools, building models, using visualization software, or otherwise using computers to help collect and/or analyze data in some way that goes beyond simple statistical computations and graphing/charting. A significant part of the course must involve learning to use a software package, or generating software, that does not fall under basic computer literacy. Whether the software is highly specialized to the field or fairly generic (e.g., database software) is irrelevant; the key criterion is the extent of use of the tool or the extent of the engagement in creating computational models or learning to use the technology in the context of data collection and analysis.
Expression. The course uses information and computer technologies to collect and/or modify and/or create media artifacts as part of an artistic, creative, and/or communicative process. This must go beyond straightforward data rendering (although such a course might satisfy the “Data” category).