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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

Information Science (INFO)

College of Information Studies
4105 Hornbake Building, South Wing, 301-405-2038
Director: J. Briscoe (Director of Undergraduate Student Services), V. Diker (Director of Undergraduate Programs), N. Parker (Asst Dir, Assoc Dir), L. Sarin (Director of Academic Programs)
Professors: J. Bertot (Prof, Prof & Assoc Prov, Lecturer), B. Butler (Prof And Dean, Prof), A. Druin (Affiliate Prof, Prof), P. Jaeger (Prof), R. Marciano (Prof, Affiliate Prof), K. Marzullo (Dean, Visit Prof), D. Oard (Prof, Affiliate Prof), J. Preece (Prof)
Associate Professors: N. Elmqvist (Assoc Prof, Affil Assoc Prof), J. Golbeck (Assoc Prof, Affil Assoc Prof), K. Kraus (Assoc Prof), K. Shilton (Asst Prof), M. Subramaniam (Assoc Prof), P. Wang (Assoc Prof)
Assistant Professors: T. Clegg (Asst Prof), L. Findlater (Asst Prof, Aff Asst Prof), V. Frias-Martinez (Asst Prof, Aff Asst Prof), R. Punzalan (Asst Prof), B. St Jean (Asst Prof), Y. Tausczik (Asst Prof), J. Vitak (Asst Prof, Lecturer), A. Wiggins (Asst Prof)
Senior Lecturer: V. Diker (Senior Lecturer, Lecturer)
Lecturers: U. Gorham-Oscilowski (Lecturer), K. Heger (Lecturer), K. Lawley (Lecturer), K. Weaver (Lecturer), S. Winter (Lecturer)
Affiliate Professors: B. Bederson (Prof, Prof & Assoc Prov), B. Shneiderman (Affiliate Prof, Dist Univ Prof)
Affiliate Associate Professors: M. Kirschenbaum (Assoc Dir, Assoc Prof, Affil Assoc Prof), K. Norman (Assoc Prof)
Affiliate Assistant Professors: N. Diakopoulos (Asst Prof, Aff Asst Prof)
Professors Emeriti: J. Liesener (Prof Emeritus), C. Lowry (Prof Emeritus), M. Neuman (Assoc Prof Emerita), A. Prentice (Prof Emerita), D. Soergel (Prof Emeritus), M. White (Assoc Prof Emerita)
Visiting Faculty: M. Kurtz (Adjunct Prof), T. Srikantaiah (Visit Prof)

The Major

The field of information science, particularly in an iSchool, is best understood as a field concerned with the intersections of information, people and technology. Information science is an interdisciplinary field, drawing from other areas of study such as computer science, management, social science, education and the humanities, but with a focus on individual and institutional users of information and their information needs. Information Science students gain the knowledge and the skills for creating information systems, resources, and services that help address society’s pressing needs in a variety of contexts and in a variety of private and public sector positions, ranging from financial services to healthcare, from information technology to consulting, from education to cultural institutions.

Undergraduate courses offered by this college may be found under the acronym: INST

Program Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this program, students will be able to:

1) Demonstrate an understanding of information design and management: the interrelationships among information consumers or creators, information content, and the conduits through which information flows.

2) Apply basic principles to the design, development and management of information to meet the needs of diverse users.

3) Assess the impact of existing or emerging technologies on information practices and the flow of information.

4) Employ state-of-the-art tools and techniques to create, manage, and analyze information.

5) Demonstrate an understanding of critical issues including the security, privacy, authenticity, and integrity of information.

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

The iSchool is home to a number of research centers and labs:

The Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI) is a multidisciplinary research network, based at University of Maryland. CASCI exists to facilitate research and education that advances our understanding of the technology, information, and organization approaches needed to realize the potential of 21st century communities to support learning, facilitate innovation, transform science and scholarship, promote economic development, and enhance individual and civic well-being.

The Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC) was founded to lead research and education in digital curation and foster interdisciplinary partnerships using Big Records and archival analytics through public / industry / government partnerships. DCIC sponsors interdisciplinary projects that explore the integration of archival research data, user-contributed data, and technology to generate new forms of analysis and historical research.

The Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) transforms the experience people have with new technologies. From understanding user needs to developing and evaluating the technologies that support users’ needs, the lab’s faculty, staff, and students have been leading the way in HCI research and teaching for over 30 years. It is critical to understand how the needs and dreams of people can be reflected in future technologies. To this end, the HCIL develops advanced user interfaces and design methodology. The primary activities include collaborative research, publication and the sponsorship of seminars and brown bag talks, workshops and an annual symposium. The HCIL, though referred to as a lab, is actually a research center that is jointly administered by the iSchool and UMIACS, and has multiple labs, faculty, and students associated with it.

The Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) is a response to the pressing need for research on the processes, practices, policies, and social issues that govern access to information in our increasingly digital information society. The iPAC is committed to studying what policies and/or technologies lead to equitable and inclusive information access, a digitally-ready population, an informed and engaged public, access to Internet-enabled resources and technologies, or preservation of the cultural record, among key examples.

Admission to the Major

Students who are accepted to the university and list Information Science as the preferred major will start directly in our program. Students who wish to declare Information Science as a major must attend a workshop. Please visit infosci.umd.edu or send an email inquiry to infosci@umd.edu for details.

Requirements for the Major

Students must earn a "C-" or better in all major requirements and an overall average of 2.0.

MATH115 (3) Pre-Calculus (or higher)
PSYC100 (3) Introduction to Psychology

STAT100 (3) Elementary Statistics and Probability
INST 201 (3) Heroes and Villains in the Age of Information (formerly INST 301))
Introduction to Programming for non-CS Majors (3-4) (Several courses exist which fulfill this requirement, including but not limited to  INST 206 - Introduction to Programming for Information Science, CMSC 106 - Introduction to C Programming, and CMSC 122 - Introduction to Computer Programming Via the Web. Please check with your advisor to make sure that a particular course fulfills this requirement before registering.)

Major Core Requirements
Students must complete the following ten core courses.

INST201 (3) Heroes and Villains in the Age of Information (formerly INST301)
INST302 (3) Information User Needs and Assessment

INST303 (3) Information Organization
INST304 (3) Statistics for Information Science
INST305 (3) User-Centered Design

INST306 (3) Object-Oriented Programming for Information Science
INST307 (3) Database Design and Modeling
INST312 (3) Teams and Organizations
Technologies, Infrastructure and Architecture (3)
Integrative Capstone (3)


Major Elective Requirements
Students must complete at least 15 credits of INST-coded major electives. Check Testudo for currently available INST elective courses.

Data Science Specialization
The following five courses make up the Data Science Specialization. By taking these five courses as a set, student will fulfill both the Data Science Specialization requirements, and the 15-credit major elective requirement.

Dynamic Web Applications (3)
Decision Making for Information Science (3)
Data Visualization (3)
Data Sources and Manipulation (3)
Advanced Data Science (3)


Students are required to meet with an advisor each semester before registration. Advisors help students choose courses, and encourage students to seek professional experiences during their college years.  As in all majors, students must submit and have approved a graduation plan using the template that is available at www.4yearplans.umd.edu .  The four year course plan outlines the prerequisites, benchmarks and required courses for this degree.

Students are primarily responsible for keeping track of their academic progress and strongly encouraged to contact their advisor for the correct interpretation of policies and procedures.

Undergraduate Research Experiences

Opportunities for undergraduate research experience in the iSchool's research centers become available from time to time. Participation in an on- or off-campus internship, co-op, or other experiential learning opportunity is strongly encouraged. See the Information Science program staff for information on performing research in an iSchool center and contact the Campus Career Services office for assistance in obtaining off-campus positions or experiences.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

Awards and Recognition

The iSchool offers the following awards: Beyond these Walls Student Travel Awards provides financial support to allow students from any program at the College of Information Studies to attend local and national conferences, present research, and gain experience and exposure to professionals in our field; the iSchool Alumni Chapter Scholarship is awarded annually to an iSchool student with demonstrated need pursuing any degree program at the College; the Mary Edsall Choquette Study Abroad Award provides financial support to enable a student who is currently enrolled in any program at the College of Information Studies to participate in one of the iSchool's study abroad opportunities; the Dean’s Award for an Outstanding iSchool Project is presented to an iSchool student for an outstanding design or development project completed for an iSchool course; the Laurence B. Heilprin Award is presented to an iSchool student or a group of students (which includes at least one iSchool student) for an outstanding paper on a topic in library and information science which has been written for an iSchool course.

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