INFSCI 2091-2094: Independent Studies

The course is by appointment with the instructor
Instructor: Marek J. Druzdzel


The graduate program in Information Science makes provisions for students who want to pursue in-depth knowledge of an area of active research. Such students work typically for a semester with an individual faculty member on a problem that lies within the area of his or her interest. This work earns three credits towards the MSIS degree and can be otherwise rewarding, for example when it leads to a publishable quality paper. Although doing an independent study with their prospective thesis advisor is recommended to all students who plan working on a M.S. Thesis, independent study should not be viewed as an option limited to those students. Independent study is open to everybody and useful and rewarding work can be done in separation from a M.S. Thesis project.

Students working on an independent study usually meet with me at regular time intervals, typically weekly or bi-weekly, depending on their needs. The topic of the study is usually chosen during the first few meetings and lies always within the area of my active research, broadly described as decision making under uncertainty. Typical examples of work include a literature review (resulting in a review paper), solving a small and well defined problem (I will normally provide you with a problem or assist you in finding and initial framing of a problem), or implementing a small module of one of my ongoing projects in a high-level programming language (normally C, C++, C#, Visual Basic, or Java). The form of independent study allows for a great dose of flexibility in this respect and the above should be viewed as examples rather than rules. In particular, it is not uncommon that the actual work is spread over the period of a few semesters and normally done outside the busy periods related to regular coursework.

Students interested in working on an independent study with me should contact me personally (EMail, phone, or office hours). It is advisable to make sure that the general area of my research corresponds to your interests. If you do not know what my research interests are, the best way to learn is to look at my World Wide Web pages, starting from my home page. The best places there to look at are: the list of ongoing research projects and the list of publications. Be sure to explore the WWW pages of the Decision Systems Laboratory (DSL), which is my research group. The following page lists examples of M.S. Thesis topics pursued with the Decision Systems Laboratory. General information on what decision making under uncertainty is about can be also found in the description of my course Decision Analysis and Decision Support Systems. If you are not sure whether you like the area of decision making under uncertainty or have questions about it, please feel free to visit me during my office hours and I will be glad to talk with you.

Marek Druzdzel's teaching page
Marek Druzdzel's home page / Last update: 12 October 2006