1 UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE THE GRADUATE PROGRAM IN COMPUTER SCIENCE Self-Study Narrative
2 2 PART I. PREFACE/HISTORY The Department of Computer Science and Engineering addresses the needs of postbaccalaureate students through the offering of a Master of Science degree in Computer Science with concentrations in Computer Science and Information Security and Assurance (ISA) and three graduate level certificate programs. These programs are intended to prepare individuals to work with advanced technologies in computer science and information security. The Master of Science degree provides a broad introduction to graduate level topics in multiple areas of computer science and information security that provide the student with knowledge necessary to excel in industry and government positions, and/or further graduate study. For those students desiring advanced knowledge without the full program requirements of a master s degree, the certificate programs in Internet Applications Programming, Computer Networking, and Biomedical Informatics, provide highly focused educational experiences in specific areas of technology. Changes in Recent Years The computer science program at UTC continues to provide relevant and updated courses and technologies geared to keep abreast of advancements and trends in the field of computer science and information security and assurance. To better serve our constituency and the community, we maintain close conversations, communication, and collaboration with our local industries. Based on these contacts, when we recently identified a need and growing interest in the emerging areas of Business Intelligence and Data Analytics, we developed a number of new courses to meet this need. New courses developed within the past two years include: Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing, Decision Making and Business Intelligence, Legacy Computing Systems, and Principles of Data Analytics. There has been a remarkable increase in faculty research activities resulting in many noticeable things, including a sharp rise in funded research, faculty publications, faculty conference attendance, international workshops held at the premises, a growing number of students involved in both undergraduate and graduate research, and student participation at regional and national conferences. Moreover, several of our faculty members have become more involved not only in campus activities, but also in off-campus professional activities and leadership positions. In the last four years, one faculty member has retired, one left for a Deanship position at another institution, and three new faculty members have joined the department. There have been tremendous changes in the way we deliver instructions. More and
3 3 more courses are now offered online to meet the changing life styles of our graduate students and increase enrollment in our graduate programs. The College of Engineering and Computer Science also hosts the SimCenter (a National center in Computational Engineering), and its corresponding academic programs (M.S. Engineering degree concentration and Ph.D. degree in Computational Engineering). The SimCenter produces graduates at both degree levels and has brought its research program fully into play with a number of external grants. Some of these research activities and grants have included faculty from our department. Several of our students in the last few years have joined the SimCenter to pursue a Ph.D. in Computational Engineering. Other faculty members have collaborated with the SimCenter on grants which have resulted in release time and funding for graduate research assistants. Our collaboration with the SimCenter shows promise of continuing as a long-term relationship that will be mutually beneficial to the SimCenter and our department. In fact, one of our newest faculty members, Dr. Farah Kandah, is in a line funded by the SimCenter to encourage further collaboration. Also Mr Craig Tanis, one of our lecturers, is finishing his Ph.D. in Computational Engineering from the SimCenter. Trends Placement of Students in Occupational Positions The job market for Computer Science graduates at the master s (and bachelor s) level has rebounded considerably from the lull of the recent economic downturn. Our students have been very successful in finding internships and/or full-time employment while pursuing the master s degree and in obtaining positions after graduation (in cases where they are seeking a new position rather than continuing prior employment). Several graduates from the master s program have gone on to pursue doctoral work, including a few who are currently in UTC s Ph.D. program in Computational Engineering. Student Research Activity Because of the recent growth in faculty research activities and both external and internal funding bringing faculty research money in the department, student research opportunities have increased. In additional to faculty funding of graduate student research, student research has also been supported as part of assigned coursework and through personal initiatives on the part of students. Also, increasingly in the past several years, students have engaged in research and collaboration with faculty, often supported by graduate research assistantships. These students have published jointly with the support faculty both in refereed journals and regional and national conferences. The department is very pleased with the increasing quantity, quality, and professionalism of the student research work.
4 4 Student Satisfaction with UTC Currently, the department does not have a quantitative measure of student satisfaction with the graduate program as a whole, only for individual course offerings. However, due to the small class size, the faculty and students form close working relationships that allow mutual exchange of information concerning the value of the program. This informal feedback indicates that our students are very satisfied with the program, especially with the increasing opportunities to work on research projects with faculty. Enrollment Growth Over the past five years, the enrollment of graduate majors in the Computer Science program has been reasonably stable. The number of registered students in the master s degree program dipped a little bit to 21 in Fall 2010 when the job market in the Chattanooga area was slow, reflecting the national trend, but since that changed, there is noticeable increment in the number of registered students increasing to 28 by 2012, as shown in figure 1 below. Sum of Fall 2007, Total, 23 Sum of Fall 2008, Total, 22 Sum of Fall 2009, Total, 24 Sum of Fall 2010, Total, 21 Sum of Fall 2011, Total, 22 Sum of Fall 2012, Total, 28 Sum of Fall 2007 Sum of Fall 2008 Sum of Fall 2009 Sum of Fall 2010 Sum of Fall 2011 Sum of Fall 2012 FIGURE 1 NUMBER OF COMPUTER SCIENCE GRADUATE STUDENTS: v Source: Computer Science and Engineering Department Profile, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Institutional Research. While the program has maintained a reasonably steady level of enrollment from 2002 until the present, there are some trends that may help us increase the number of students enrolled in the master s and certificate programs. A few years back, UTC administrators have supported an increased emphasis on international
5 5 recruitment. The goal is to reverse the decline of the last several years and restore international student enrollment to pre-9/11 levels or better. To this end, UTC faculty participated in a recruitment tour of India with Linden Educational Services. In this way, we obtained a list of potential students in several fields including computer science and contacted them with information about our program. Following those efforts, there was a noticeable bump in 2009, but it did not last long thereafter. Further to these efforts, we are in the process of starting a twining program with two Chinese universities to bring students to UTC in a 3+2 program, where Chinese students would spend their final year at UTC, getting a Chinese B.S. degree but continuing on to a UTC master s degree. In a limited experiment, the department has started offering all graduate courses in each semester in a duo mode, with each course offered as face-to-face and also online as an X course. Based on this spring s enrollment, there is a slight increase in the number of students in these online X sections. We are not yet sure whether these are actaully new students or part of our continuing students, but we will keep observing the trend. Another opportunity for increasing graduate enrollment to our master s degree program is that we are embracing a growing number of high-tech companies and technological infrastructure in the Chattanooga area. In addition to large organizations like Unum and Blue Cross/Blue Shield (insurance companies), the Tennessee Valley Authority (power company), and numerous hospitals and other health care facilities (representatives of which are serving on our department s Industrial Advisory Board), Chattanooga is home to a growing number of startups and other small companies that employ people with computer science and engineering backgrounds. In the last three years, big companies like VW and Amazon have moved into Chattanooga bringing car manufacturing and distribution jobs. The fact that the local Electric Power Board has already established a commercial broadband fiber optic network at a 1 Gig Byte rate, making Chattanooga one of a few cities in the nation with such a fast network, is helping to fuel the high-tech expansion. Just last summer, the city of Chattanooga, as a Gig City, organized a nationwide talent search for entrepreneurs and students who can create something that takes advantage of the fastest Internet speeds in the United States. Up to 25 techies teams competed for as much as $300,000 in cash and seed capital by building the best application for the city's gigabit Internet speeds currently available throughout the city. Called the Gig Tank, the start-up accelerator is similar to the local 48-hour launch program, where entrepreneurs are pushed to flesh out an idea in a short length of time. Participants in the contest have access to Chattanooga's gigabit network to test their ideas with real-world users. They also have access to a growing pool of developers, designers, and investors. Our students teams took first and third places in the student category in this competition. This gave us publicity for both our graduate and undergraduate programs.
6 6 Enrollment Diversity In the fall of 2011, the student majors in the M.S. Computer Science program consisted of 2 (11%) Asian students, 0 (0%) African American students, 0 (0%) Hispanic students, and 14 (78%) Caucasian students. Of these totals, 2 (11%) were female and 16 (89%) were male. These numbers tend to fluctuate quite a bit from year to year due to student turnover and the small overall number of students, but are fairly typical of enrollment during the past several years. Graduate Major Fall 2011 Enrollment Female Male Multiple Races Unknown 2 American Indian Asian 2 Hispanic African American White 2 14 Total 2 18 White African American White, Male, 14 Hispanic Asian American Indian Unknown Asian, Male, 2 Mulple Races White, Female, 2 Unknown, Male, 2
7 7 FIGURE 2 COMPUTER SCIENCE GRADUATE STUDENTS: GENDER AND ETHNICITY v Source: Fall 2011 Profile of Enrollment By Concentration, Classification, Sex & Ethnicity, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Institutional Research. Response to Findings and Recommendations of Previous Review The previous review resulted in recommendations dealing with various aspects of the program. Most of these recommendations have been addressed in the past five years, resulting in improvements to the program. The recommendations made under each heading from the previous review, and the actions taken in response to them, are discussed below. Admission of Students The 2008 program reviewer recommended that the department should continue working with the Graduate Council to explore whether the required GPA should be increased in order to encourage high quality students to enroll in the program. Though the department has not adopted specific standards for admission separate from those of the Graduate School, through participation on the Graduate Council, we have been part of the process of the University adopting higher graduate admission standards of a minimum GPA of 2.7 across the board. Several years ago, the Graduate Council increased the required TOEFL score to 550 (213 on the computerbased test, or 79 on the Internet-based test; an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher is also accepted) for international student admissions. It was also recommended that the department should move toward implementing the proposed lecture series. In our effort to arouse interest in graduate studies for our undergraduate students, the department institutes a lecture series. Dr. Mina Sartipi was appointed the coordinator for the series and in the last few years, we have gotten a number of outstanding academics and other professionals give talks to our faculty and students. Also because of the increased external funding from our outstanding faculty research grants, we are sponsoring more graduate students than we used to in additional to graduate assistantships we get from the Graduate School. This has increased student interest in our program from both domestic and international students. Supervision and Retention of Students On the department s effort to systematically update its graduate program brochures and web presence for both computer science and information security concentrations, both to make it more attractive and more informative for students, the reviewer recommended that the department should consider a web page that highlights current responsibilities and achievements of former students to inform current students about the past successes of graduates of the program.
8 8 We addressed this by the department purchasing its own web authoring software so that we can actually do it ourselves. Mr. Creg Tanis is in charge of managing the department s web site and Dr. Li Yang is in charge of manning the Information Security and Assurance program website. We are in the process of contacting, via social media, our graduate program alumni to contribute to the page. To make this possible, we used a Work Study student to search for our alumni both on Facebook and Twitter. This effort is ongoing and we have developed a large database of current contacts of our alumni. Using this approach and also as a periodic ABET accreditation review, we instituted a web-based questionnaire to survey as many of our alumni as possible. In addition, the department, in cooperation with the Graduate School office, revised the brochure several times during the last five years in order to keep it up-to-date and as useful to the students as possible. It now contains information about admissions standards and procedures, financial aid, the faculty, some of their research interests, library and computing facilities, the structure of the program including core courses and electives, available certificate programs, and contact information for the graduate program coordinator and the Program Liaison in the Graduate School. We make this brochure available to prospective students in printed form and electronically. Availability and Sophistication of Coursework We reported in our last Self-Study that the coursework within the program has been considerably strengthened since the last review. The core has been redesigned to provide more focus by requiring 15 common credit hours. The area of Information Security and Assurance is now fully developed as a concentration within the master s degree program. The reviewer recommended that the department should continue to develop and improve its program as the needs of students and faculty qualifications and interests change. In fact, since the last visit, there has been tremendous graduate curriculum reviews reconstituting the foundational series courses for those students seeking a Master s degree in computer science with a non-computer science major. The foundation series includes the following courses: CPSC Fundamentals of Computer Science CPSC Structuring Programs and Data CPSC Computing Systems As a response to the needs of our constituency, the department is in the process of starting a joint Master s Degree program in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics with the College of Business. This program was requested by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and other local businesses. The following courses for our component of the program have already been developed.
9 9 CPSC Mobile Computing CPSC Cloud Computing CPSC Decision Support and Business Intelligence CPSC Principles of Data Analytics CPSC Pattern Recognition CPSC Legacy Computing Systems Methodologies and Techniques of Discipline At the last visit, the department had just moved into a new Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science building, which has had an enormously powerful effect on the quality of our research laboratories and the teaching classrooms. The facility offers several new laboratories dedicated to digital circuits and electronics, communications, advanced operating systems, information and network security, and other areas. There is also space for graduate students to work together and for faculty to develop special projects. Classrooms and auditoriums are equipped with state-of-the art facilities that enhance and improve the delivery of complex computing topics. In addition, the department has an Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) that can advise on a multiplicity of topics that are central to the discipline. The reviewer recommended that the department pay special attention to keeping the Industrial Advisory Board active and engaged. The board can have a very positive influence on the quality of the program and the fit of the program with the community. We are continuously updating our board by adding on new members and replacing others whenever they move or lose interest. The board meets twice a year and over the years has been very forthcoming in their input into the curriculum and in other ways. Extra-disciplinary Experience We reported in our last Self-Study that the graduate coordinator is responsible for advising all graduate students. The coordinator is not only to give graduate students academic guidance, but is also responsible for advising them of the opportunities that are available in coursework from other departments. The university offers a wide range of areas that can supplement the core work in computer science. The reviewer recommended that the department find ways to publicize the coursework from other departments that has been used to enhance programmatic outcomes of former students. Our move into the Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science (EMCS) building created an opportunity for close proximity with other departments that contribute courses into our programs. In fact, we share the Digital Lab with the Department of Electrical Engineering. Our students, electrical engineering students, and mathematics students routinely take courses from across the three departments.
10 10 In addition, we now have more outside space for notice boards to hang program information. Comprehensive Examination We reported in our last Self-Study that the department had strengthened its program by eliminating the comprehensive examination and simultaneously focusing on a core of courses and appropriate electives to prepare students for specialization in their research. We also reported that faculty members had been successful at adopting the requirement that a student complete a project or a thesis. The reviewer recommended that the department should continue to monitor student performance to ensure that the success of the project or thesis requirement is maintained. Since the visit, high quality theses and projects have been developed and we are continuing to be vigilant on the quality of our student projects and theses. Research We reported in our last Self-Study that the department has done a terrific job in establishing research agendas that are both individual in nature and/or collaborative. The reviewer recommended that the department continue to explore the feasibility and desirability of requiring that all students write a thesis. In the last four years, the department has done exceptionally well in getting funded research, getting 6 NSF grants totaling more than two million dollars. This has opened two avenues for getting both our undergraduate and graduate students to do research work. First, we are recruiting more of our undergraduate students to do research work in our 3+ year RUE grant. These students, exposed to research early in their undergraduate study, tend to do graduate work. Second, with more NSF research dollars, our faculty members are able to sponsor more graduate students to work on their research projects. Graduate students doing research under faculty tend to do theses more than those with no research experience. Communications We reported in our last Self-Study that the department requires oral and written presentations of its students in both coursework and in the required thesis or project. Students are encouraged to participate in Graduate Research Day, which requires a written report and an oral presentation. The Graduate School also sponsors workshops on writing and provides assistance in the preparation of theses. The reviewer recommended that the department should continue to do an excellent job in this important area. Our faculty is and continues to be more dedicated and vigilant in requiring all our graduate students to orally present either in courses or during project and thesis presentations. Of course, student work in either category is also written before it is presented.
11 11 Student Experience We reported in our last Self-Study that the number of graduate students in the program was relatively stable over the last five years. However, the number of graduate assistantships available to the department was inadequate, and this had a negative impact upon student recruitment and retention. The department was not offering either short courses or distance education. The students had access to a wonderful scholarly environment by being able to work with their student colleagues and a dedicated faculty. There were ample student enrichment opportunities, student research and extra-disciplinary opportunities, and field experience opportunities. The reviewer recommended that the department continue to focus on the student experience and meet with students periodically to determine whether there are areas that need modification. Since the visit, the department has taken action in several areas including strengthening faculty research through hiring of new faculty and encouraging faculty to go for research funding. These two actions have increased the research dollars tremendously and have improved not only faculty research but, more importantly, graduate student research. In addition, the department has just started a hybrid graduate program which will involve close to 80% jointly offered courses as face-to-face and online. We are working with the Walker Teaching Resource Center and the Office of Distance Learning to bring most of our graduate courses to student audiences in 16 states. This action alone has the potential to increase our student enrollment by bringing students into the programs that would not otherwise be because of lack of time to attend formal face-to-face lectures. Because we are a small program and an increasing number of our students are involved in faculty research, we are in contact with our students more than ever before. The reviewer also recommended that the university should find ways to increase the number of graduate assistantships available to the department. Faculty members should continue to build support for graduate students into their grant proposals. Unfortunately, because of funding restrictions, the Graduate office was able to grant one additional graduate assistantship, increasing our total number to four. The graduate coordinator has found a way to creatively increase the number of supported students to more than four by sometimes awarding half assistantships. Also, as stated above, because of the increased faculty research funding, we are offering more graduate research help to more of our students. Graduate Faculty Quality We reported in our last Self-Study that the graduate faculty have terminal degrees in the discipline and have areas of expertise that span a wide range. It is a diverse faculty in terms of gender and multi-cultural aspects. Faculty members serve as mentors to graduate students and have teaching loads that are consistent with the nature of graduate instruction. The time spent by all the members of the thesis committees is highly commendable and reflects a truly dedicated group of faculty.
12 12 Faculty members participate in professional organizations, workshops, and professional development, but are hampered in the latter because most travel funding is only available through a centralized, competitive environment within the university, rather than being allocated directly to the department. The reviewer recommended that the university should allocate substantially more travel funds directly to the department. With the greater involvement of the program faculty members in funded research, the department has been able to get more money coming into the F&A account. These monies have made it possible for all faculty members needing money to get the funds they need to attend conferences and take students to conferences. With faculty research funding, less faculty members need the money from the department for travel. These developments have removed the pressure for faculty needing travel funds. The recent funding awarded to our faculty says volumes of the quality of our faculty, given the size of our program. Teaching/Learning Environment We reported in our last Self-Study that the secretarial support available to the department is outstanding, especially because the department has been able to retain quality secretarial support over the long run. The library, although it has experienced funding cutbacks, is providing tremendous support through its recurring and special allocations. The new library, now almost complete, is expected to provide more resources to academic programs and students. The computer support available to the department is adequate. The office space of the faculty is generous and meets the diverse needs of a productive faculty. The reviewer recommended that the university should adopt and implement a regular replacement cycle for hardware and software for students and faculty. Due to our continued ABET accreditation requirement, the College of Engineering and Computer Science has established the following laboratory replacement cycle. Room # Computers/ Capacity current With 4 laptop spots 30 students laptops Computer Installation Date Summer 2005 Summer 2007 Replacement Date Special Needs/Notes Summer additional 2 person tables for front left side power connections for laptops Summer 2012 Move 2 empty tables to front right for laptops Estimated Cost $1000 for laptop tables/chairs summer 2010 $26,000 for new computers $20,000 for new computers Action Replaced Summer 2011
13 current laptops Summer computer Summer 2003 Summer 2013 Summer Varies Varies Summer 2012, every 2 years 307 Varies Summer 2012, every 2 years Add computer table for 2 on front right. Add 2 additional laptop tables Move old computers as replaced in 321, 312, 306 to this literacy $24,000 for new computers $1000 for laptop tables/chairs summer 2010 $2000 for replacement parts/machine upgrades lab Security lab 5 computers -- $5000 New parts as needed $2000 for logic kits and parts Replaced Summer 2011 Replaced Spring 2011 Program Evaluation We reported in our last Self-Study that the data is available regarding graduating students and that the curriculum has been evaluated regularly by the faculty and this has resulted in significant improvement in the last five years. The reviewer recommended that the follow-up data on graduating students and the evaluation of the placement of graduates must be made more easily accessible to the department. The Office of Planning, Evaluation, & Institutional Research (OPEIR), through their website, has made this data available.
14 14 PART II. STUDENT EXPERIENCE Recruitment The department has been very aggressive in the recruitment of graduate students. We have used electronic media to potential graduating students, reach people on the UTC department website, contact local industry representatives on the department s Industrial Advisory Board, and build relationships with local leaders in industry that routinely hire our alumni and through the Chattanooga Technology Council. In addition to this, we are also doing passive recruitment by collecting information from potential students who visit the UTC website. The Graduate School has an automated inquiry collection procedure that is driven by an information request form on their web page. Information submitted via this form is routed to the appropriate department. We receive a number of inquiries via this method each year. In addition, Graduate School personnel visit several schools around the region with feeder undergraduate programs that may send students to UTC s various graduate programs, including ours. They provide us with contact information for interested students, and the graduate program coordinator follows up on these contacts. As stated earlier, we are in the process of starting a twining program with two Chinese universities to bring students to UTC in a 3+2 program in which Chinese students would spend their final year at UTC, getting a Chinese B.S. degree, and continue on to a UTC master s degree. Admission and Retention Students may be admitted to the M.S. Computer Science program if they have a B.S. degree from a regionally accredited university and a 2.7 cumulative grade point average, or a 3.0 in the senior year. International students whose native language is not English must submit a TOEFL score of at least 550 (traditional paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (ibt). Given that there are substantial delays in TOEFL administration in some countries, UTC now accepts the IELTS with a score of 6.0 or higher in lieu of the TOEFL. The retention of students is based on many factors, not the least of which is their academic success. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average to maintain good standing. If they fall below a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the completion of any semester, students are placed on academic probation. Once on probation, the student has two semesters to raise his/her graduate GPA to at least 3.0; any student who fails to do this (or who fails to achieve a 3.0 during either probationary semester) is academically dismissed from the University. Dismissed students may appeal to the Graduate Council for readmission.
15 15 Each year, the Graduate School holds orientation sessions for new graduate students. Students beginning the Computer Science graduate program are encouraged by the graduate program coordinator to attend at least one of these sessions. The graduate program coordinator also meets with each incoming student individually to welcome him or her to the program, answer any questions, and provide advice on which courses to take to begin their program of study. Students are informed of admission and retention requirements through the Graduate Catalog. This information is available in print form and also through the department and Graduate School websites. Degree and course offerings are also listed on the department s website. The department has developed a brochure describing the master s degree program that is periodically updated to ensure it contains the most accurate information. This brochure is given in hard copy format to interested students and/or attached electronically by the graduate program coordinator when he replies to queries. Advising, Guidance, and Monitoring Graduate students are advised by the graduate program coordinator. Together the coordinator and the student map out a proposed program of study including appropriate courses and when they should be taken. The graduate program coordinator also helps match students research interests with those of faculty members to assist each student in identifying the best person to supervise his/her thesis or project. Students go through advisement every semester prior to registration to ensure that they are on track. The graduate program coordinator is able to monitor student progress through the advisement process, which helps with retention and timely movement of students through the program. Graduate School policy, as documented on page 28 of the Graduate Catalog, is that students must complete all requirements for the master s degree in a six-year period. Graduate School staff check each student s records for compliance with this policy before the degree is awarded to ensure that students graduate with up-to-date knowledge in the field. In exceptional situations, students may petition the Graduate Council for an extension to the time limit. Graduate students visit the graduate program coordinator near the end of each semester to register for courses in the following semester and, at the appropriate time in their program (after completion of at least 9 but not more than 18 hours), to file a formal program of study known as an Application for Candidacy. Career advising is largely done on an informal basis between the student and the graduate program coordinator or the thesis/project advisor. There is also a UTC Placement and Student Employment office (located in the University Center) that is available to help graduate and undergraduate students find employment as they near (or after) completion of their studies.
16 16 Enrollment Growth and Diversity Trends in Computer Science graduate enrollment, including diversity issues, were discussed earlier in Section I (Preface/History) of this self-study report. Degrees Awarded The department has awarded a total of 27 graduate degrees over the last five years. The number of students completing degrees has fluctuated from as low as 3 per year to as many as 7 per year. This variation is not unusual given the size of the program. FIGURE 3 DEGREES AWARDED: AY TO AY Degrees v Source: Computer Science and Engineering Department Profile, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research. Enrichment Opportunities for Students Currently, there are several enrichment activities in which graduate students in the Computer Science program can take part. First, there are activities associated with the various technical societies represented on campus, most notably the UTC Student Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society. The society has monthly meetings that are centered on technical presentations made by members of both the UTC faculty and the broader Chattanooga community. In addition to the IEEE Computer Society, there is a UTC Linux User s group plus Java, Linux and.net users groups in the Chattanooga metropolitan community. Students are exposed to a considerable amount of diversity within the department itself. We have graduate and undergraduate students of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds, many of whom hail from several countries besides the U.S. Program
17 17 faculty are diverse as well, not only in terms of gender, but national origin (we have professors in our department originally from Uganda, China, Iran, and Jordan). Complementing the technical activities is an active UTC Graduate Student Association, plus other UTC sponsored student groups centered around such diverse interests as sports, cultural backgrounds, music, and others. There is a very active International Student Organization that has a variety of activities and programs throughout the academic year. Student Extra-Disciplinary Opportunities Depending on whether a student chooses the thesis or project option to complete degree requirements, he or she has the opportunity to take 3-9 hours of coursework outside of computer science, provided the courses relate in some way to the student s objectives. The student must consult with his or her major advisor before registering for courses outside the department to make sure that they will be acceptable for inclusion on the Application for Candidacy form. Student Research Opportunities Traditionally, the opportunities for graduate students in the Computer Science program to participate in research were somewhat limited due to financial constraints, faculty course loads and interests, etc. The graduate assistantships available to the department through the Graduate School have been chiefly used to fund graduate teaching assistantships for the TAs who assist faculty in undergraduate laboratory courses. However, in the last three years, with increasing external and internal research funding, more and more students are getting paid research opportunities with faculty. Also, increasingly in recent years, assistantships have been split such that a given student may dedicate a portion of his/her time to a research project in addition to serving as a laboratory assistant and/or grader. Also, with the recruitment of new faculty members who are more focused on research and publication, and the rededication of other faculty to scholarly pursuits rather than just teaching, there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of graduate students funded by grant money. The increased funding for research assistants and the increasing number of students choosing the thesis option has also led to more student participation in conferences and more publication of papers in conference proceedings and even refereed journals. The prospects appear excellent for this trend of increased scholarly participation to continue. Student Internship/Field Experience Opportunities The department created a special course, CPSC 5920 (Graduate Internship in Computer Science), in 2005 to provide a rubric for graduate students to participate in internships with local industry. This was particularly targeted at international students with student visas, because of their inability to work off campus except as part of an academic course, but the internship course is available to all graduate students regardless of nationality. There has been growing interest in this opportunity
18 by both international and domestic students to work for many area businesses including USExpress, TVA, UNUM, and others. We have received highly positive feedback of our students from their supervisors. Several students have graduated and obtained a permanent job as the result of their internship. 18
19 19 PART III. FACULTY QUALITY Graduate Faculty Profile At this time, the department has 8 graduate faculty (see CVs in Appendix A), each of which hold Ph.Ds. Holding graduate faculty membership enables them to teach graduate courses and serve on thesis committees. Two other faculty members with the rank of Lecturer have master s degrees (one is pursuing the Ph.D. in Computational Engineering through the SimCenter). These two faculty members do not teach graduate courses or supervise thesis work. On the few occasions this has happened, there has been supervision and special arrangements with the Graduate School Office. Our faculty members have backgrounds in a wide range of fields including Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Security, Medical Imaging, Computer Systems, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Mathematics, and Operations Research. This diversity in backgrounds helps to meet the needs of the program, providing breadth and depth of faculty expertise. The following is a summary of scholarly and professional activities in recent years for computer science faculty as it relates to the graduate program. Joseph Kizza, Professor and Department Head, is an international authority in the fields of information security and assurance and ethical/social implications of computing. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and has traveled extensively internationally, especially in Africa and Europe, assisting universities in other countries with developing their computer science programs. He has also written numerous books, book chapters, and scholarly articles. With the assistance of other faculty including Dr. Yang, Dr. Kizza has developed an undergraduate curriculum concentration in information security and assurance, and a similar concentration at the graduate level. He has taken a lead role in the department s efforts to be recognized as a national Center of Excellence in information security. Dr. Kizza teaches a variety of courses in the information security area including computer forensics, biometrics and cryptography, computer crime investigation, and ethical and social issues in computing. He also teaches operating systems and data structures courses, network security, and formal methods within the graduate program. Yu Cao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). He served as a guest editor of a special issue Springer Multimedia Tools and Applications (MTAP), and a special issue in Journal of Multimedia (JMM). He has served on Organizing Committees or Programming Committees of more than 10 international conferences and workshops. His research work has appeared in various prestigious journals, book chapters, and refereed conference proceedings. His research has been supported by both NSF and NIH. His research interests span a variety of aspects of knowledge discover from complex data, including the area of biomedical informatics and intelligent system. He has a particular focus on scientific applications including intelligent, multi-modal, and data-intensive medical image analysis and retrieval;
20 20 motion tracking, analyzing, and visualization; and intelligent data analysis for electronic medical records and pervasive healthcare monitoring. Joe Dumas, UC Foundation Professor, has been serving UTC for twenty (20) years. His primary responsibilities for the last several years have been administrative, teaching, and service. He spent 15 months (May 2007 August 2008) as acting department head and another 27 months (May 2007 August 2010) as Special Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School (filling, on an acting basis, the duties of the Associate Dean while that person served as Interim Dean of the Graduate School). He serves as Coordinator of the undergraduate Computer Engineering program and as the CSE Department s Scheduling Coordinator (as such, he produces the complete schedule of classes offered by the department every fall, spring, and summer semester). He serves, or has served during the past several years, on a multitude of committees at the department, college, and university levels. He is currently in the process of trying to reduce administrative and service commitments so he can reestablish a greater presence in scholarship and publication. Farah Kandah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN. He earned his Ph.D. from the Computer Science department at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. He received his M.Sc. from the Computer Science Department at the University of Jordan. He has been serving on the technical committee or organization committee of many internationally reputable conferences, such as CHINACOM, IEEE GLOBECOM, and IEEE WCNC. Meanwhile he has been a reviewer for many prestigious international journals, such as WILEY Security and Communication Networks (SCN) Journal, and Computer Systems, Networks and Communications (JCSNC) Journal. His research interests and experience span a wide range of topics in computer networks from stationary wireless/wired networks to mobile ad-hoc networks, including Security and Privacy, as well as performance optimization in Wireless Networks and Cloud Computing. He has multiple publications in multiple internationally reputable journals and conferences including WILEY Security and Communication Networks (SCN) journal, ACM/Springer Mobile Networks & Applications (MONET) journal, IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (IEEE GLOBECOM), and IEEE International Conference on Communications (IEEE ICC). Jack Thompson, Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Program, has done significant development in the areas of computer languages and software engineering, specializing in the application of software engineering practices to the classroom. His scholarly work includes adding outcome-based project management techniques to the classroom as part of his participation in the Faculty Fellows program. Dr. Thompson teaches a number of courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels including programming languages, software engineering, compiler design, database management, and competitive programming. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Thompson is a past department head and has served with distinction on numerous university, college, and departmental committees. He is most
21 21 interested in Software Engineering, Programming Languages, and Database Systems. He is also very interested in Computer Science Education, and is a member of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. He has worked with the UTeaChattanooga group at UTC to create a CPSC undergraduate concentration in that area. He has served on several University committees over the past five years including the General Education, Undergraduate Petitions, Faculty Development, Curriculum, and Library committees. He is a member of the ACM, the IEEE, the Computer Society, CSTA, and Upsilon Pi Epsilon. Claire McCullough, Professor, teaches courses in standard computer science and engineering areas, in addition to pattern recognition and intelligent processing. She conducts research and publishes papers in applications of intelligent processing and data fusion, including medical and military applications, and in accreditation and under-representation issues. She serves as chair of the Rank and Tenure committee, a representative to the Faculty Senate in the General Education reform at UTC, and a member of the Student Rating of Faculty Committee. She provides national service through the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities and serves as the chair of the subcommittee on Accreditation Criteria. Mina Sartipi is a UC Foundation Associate Professor in the department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the fields of programming, networking, communications, and embedded systems. She has served on several graduate thesis committees, 9 of which she has chaired. Her research interests include Communication and Network Security for Wireless Sensor Networks, Data Acquisition and Compressive Sensing, Information Processing in Wireless Ad-Hoc Networks, Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Artificial Intelligent-Based Communication, Signal Processing and Wavelet Transform, Signal Processing and Wavelet Transform, and Coding and Information Theory. Over the past few years, her research has been funded by NSF, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Wheeler Odor Research, and Variable Technologies, LLC. She has published a number of journal and peer-reviewed conference papers in the most prestigious proceedings in her field. She has been involved with local industries to help them learn about activities at UTC and how we can collaborate with each other, as well as help students to learn about opportunities for internships and full-time jobs. She has served on several internal (CSE, UTC, and UT-wide) and external committees. She is a member of IEEE and IEEE Women in Engineering. She has been a reviewer for several IEEE and ACM journals and conferences. She has also served as a technical program chair for IEEE conferences. Li Yang is an Associate Professor, the Graduate Coordinator and the Director of UTC InfoSec Center, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE-IAE). She has focused her scholarly activities in the areas of computer, information, and network security; routing in wireless networks; sensor technology; and disaster management communications. She has co-authored a book
22 22 chapter, several journal articles, and several papers in conference proceedings in these areas. She has secured several NSF grants in Information Assurance (IA). Dr. Yang teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in computer networks, principles of information security and information security management, vulnerability analysis, biometrics and cryptography, and data structures and problem solving. She has also taught the graduate project course and supervised thesis students, and has been very involved in the department s curriculum development in information security and assurance. Non-Graduate Faculty Members: Craig Tanis is a Lecturer of Computer Science and Engineering at UTC. He received his master's degree in Computer Science in 1998, and his bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering in 1997, both from Tulane University in New Orleans. He has worked extensively in industry, including a significant stint as the senior programmer of Advance Internet, developing applications as well as backend server technologies for many high-profile websites. He is currently working on a PhD in Computational Engineering from UTC. He has been ABD for several years now, and hopes to complete this degree in His research involves highly parallel computational mesh management and refinement, such as those used in Adaptive Finite Element codes and load balancing of refined meshes. He is actively involved with the CS student body, particularly as the faculty advisor of our local IEEE-Computer Society branch. Kathy Winters is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and Engineering at UTC. She received a master s degree in Computer Science in 2007, a master s degree in Engineering Management in 2008, and her bachelor s degree in Computer Science in 1981, all from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She has extensive industry experiencing working 20 years for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Ms. Winters is active in the field of Information Security and Assurance (ISA). She has taught graduate courses in ISA related subjects. She was active in the establishment of the Center of Excellence in Information Security and Assurance. Faculty Diversity The Computer Science and Engineering Department is comprised of 5 (50%) Caucasian, 2 (20%) Asians, 1 (10%) African-American, and 2 (20%) Middle Eastern faculty members. Of these faculty, 4 (40%) are female and 6 (60%) are male. We are one of very few departments in our discipline that can boast a large percentage of female faculty members. Our faculty have been very active in initiatives to increase the participation of women and minorities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.