Curriculum

The DPS program provides an intellectually stimulating learning environment in cutting-edge and emerging computing and information technology

The DPS in computing is a 48-credit program, which assumes the prior completion of a master’s degree in computing or a closely related discipline. Research commences in the first year when students begin an 18-credit integrative core and a 6-credit research seminar sequence, and continues through the 12-credit advanced elective sequence in the second year. A 12-credit dissertation completes the 3-year program.
 

First Year of Study

Software Design and Implementation
DCS 801, 803, 6 credits total

Software Systems Development and Engineering
DCS 821, 823, 6 credits total

These courses address the environment in which software systems are built and used. Critical and emerging issues in computer science, information systems, and software engineering, and their relationship to software development and design provide the major theme. This includes Internet computing and component technologies, and the development of significant Web-based e-commerce applications with Enterprise JavaBeans.

Students develop projects working in small teams.  The focus is on Lean-Agile software practices—being, thinking, and doing Agile. Students experience dispersed and distributed software development exploring such Agile methodologies as extreme programming (XP) and Scrum. Pattern-oriented Lean software architecture incorporating Test Driven Development and Behavior Driven Design as an approach to software development is explored. Emphasis is placed on practice oriented software engineering, tool rich working environments, team development efforts, and cost performance trade-offs in business contexts.

Topics include: Problem solving paradigms; the software engineering problems of scale, cost, schedule, quality, and consistency; Lean-Agile software development processes; retrospectives; open source software; object-oriented analysis and design; organizational patterns; analysis patterns, design patterns; process improvement—CMMI, ISO 9001; human computer interface design issues; Internet programming; computer ethics.

Data Communications, Networking, and Internet
DCS 834, 835, 6 credits total

These courses progress from the basics of data, signals, and information transmission to principles of computer networking and the operation of current and evolving Internet protocols, providing a foundation for planning and management of network facilities and design and implementation of Internet based applications. The ISO Reference Model and the TCP/IP protocols form the framework for introducing Internet facilities, services, protocols, and applications. Students investigate new network technologies and applications in small team projects.

We review the current state of commercial networking technology, management, policy, and security based on current IEEE, ITU, and ANSI standards. We also explore protocol evolution as used in data centers, for example, as used to support clouds. We use this review as basis for exploring probable futures based on such extensions as near field communications (smart phones), software defined networking and improved intelligent packet switching (Internet efficiency). We will explore a number of proposed technology solutions (fixes) to the limited wireless bandwidth problem. To better understand the changing technology we discuss the underlying physical processes from a non-mathematical, phenomenological point of view.

Research Seminar
DCS 891A, B, C, D, E, F
Fall, Spring, Summer; 1 credit each

Students are introduced to a variety of methods and styles of computing research through presentations by faculty and industry professionals and by studying selected research documents. Students learn to identify new computing research problems and to formulate research proposals in preparation for dissertation research.

DCS 891A, B, C are taken in the first year of study

DCS 891D, E, F are taken in the second year
 

Second Year of Study

Topics in Computing and Information Technology
DCS 860, 861
Fall, Spring; 2 or 3 credits (6 credits per semester)

These courses consist of topics of current interest to students. Cutting-edge issues and emerging information technology areas are explored. A major goal for these courses is to understand the technological life cycle of emerging information technologies, their issues and potential impact. Visiting experts in computing and IT discuss their current research and development activities.

Topics include: biometrics; data security and information assurance; Internet performance and high-volume web service technologies; data mining and data modeling, data analytics; pervasive computing, XML technologies and web services; software and organizational patterns; distributed components and middleware; artificial intelligence and genetic algorithms; and cloud computing.
 

Third Year of Study

Dissertation for DPS in Computing
DCS 990, 991
Fall, Spring; 6 credits each

The dissertation is an original, rigorous, independent applied research product that may advance knowledge, improve professional practice, and/or contribute to the understanding of computing. The dissertation must be of sufficient strength to be able to distill from it a paper worthy of publication in a refereed journal or conference proceeding. Although publication is not a requirement for completing the doctoral degree, students are required to prepare a paper to submit for publication.

Examples of dissertation areas include: Data warehousing, patterns and pattern languages, visualization of data, genetic algorithms, distributed systems architecture, software component integration, Web site personalization and privacy, software testing and quality assurance, data security, Web content management strategies, Web services for businesses, broadband wireless network access services, biometrics, and pattern recognition.