Introduction to Information Science - IS 2000
Department of Information Science and Telecommunication
University of Pittsburgh
1998 Ė Dr. James G. Williams
This course is designed to provide an introduction to Information Science for students from a number of related disciplines. The course consists of a series of sessions on the major contributing areas of
study to Information Science including an initial discussion of the conceptual foundations and historical underpinnings of the field. The course is intended to act as a forum for discussion of the many questions asked in information science -- a field o
f study still being defined and developed. The course will encourage students with different backgrounds to work and think together. This will be stimulated by several group projects outlined for the course. Students will work together on two small sys
tem analysis and design projects that will be prototyped using Visual Basic, Microsoft Access, and HTML. Information Science faculty will be asked to act as experts in various aspects of the project. Faculty, if available, may attend sessions to present
an overview of their area of teaching and research in the context of the topics and projects as well as answer questions posed by students. The readings provide an introduction to selected topical areas but should be considered a starting point and examp
les for students to discover and read other articles and books. Students are expected to do the readings and prepare questions to be discussed in class. These questions must be emailed to the professor at least 2 days prior to class. The emphasis in th
e projects will be on acquiring some basic knowledge and skills as well as gaining an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of the field and the importance of the various disciplines to the analysis, design, development and operation of modern inf
ormation systems. Students will be divided into work groups of from 4 to 6 students depending on class size. Work groups will prepare, for each session, a 2 to 4 page paper that summarizes relevant readings and answers to the questions posed in the sylla
bus for each session in terms of the topic of the upcoming session and the current project. At least 25% of the readings must be other than those on the reading list. A brief description of each project is included on the WEB page for the course. The we
ekly reading, answers to questions and project summary reports will be emailed to the instructor as an MS Word attachment at firstname.lastname@example.org. These will be posted to the WEB page for the course along with frequently asked questions and other information
Goals of the Course
Upon completion of this course, the students will be able to:
- Describe and discuss the history, philosophical bases, academic roots, conceptual structure, methodologies, and technologies related to information science and systems.
- Understand and perform a set of basic technology tasks related to computer systems, peripherals, information systems, and the World Wide Web.
- Describe and discuss the specializations in Information Science.
- Describe and analyze information systems in a variety of contexts.
- Analyze his/her own contributions to the field as well as those areas in which collegial efforts will most aid his/her work.
- Develop a plan for achieving a well-rounded portfolio of skills in information science.
Complete all readings specified for the course and discover and document at least 25% more readings.
Complete the information system projects, conducting the appropriate needís analysis, technical analysis and develop a prototype of the information system for the projects outlined on the WEB page.
The Overall schedule for the course is as follows:
- Course Requirements and Introduction to Information and Systems
- Historical basis and conceptual foundations of Information Science
- Information Systems and Architectures
- Information System Design and Software Engineering
- Models for Information Systems
- Analytic Techniques for Information Science
- Human Information Processing and AI
- Human Factors in System Design
- Communication Theory and Practice
- Telecommunications and Networking
- Data Structures and Database Management Systems
- Mid-Term Examination
- Information Storage and Retrieval
- Document Processing and Office Automation
- Graphics, Visualization, and Interface Design
- MIS, DSS, EIS, and the Management of Information and Knowledge
- The Discipline and Profession of Information Science
- Final Reports
- Final Examination
Required and Recommended Readings
Students will be asked to read the required book by Peter Denning and Robert Metcalf, Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing, Copernicus Press, 1997. This book will h
elp to set the context for the study of Information Science and related technologies. In addition, students should read all or portions of the following books:
Robert Lucky. Silicon Dreams: Information, Man, and Machine. St. Martinís Press, 1989.
Donald Norman. The Design of Everyday Things. Doubleday, 1990.
Martin Cambell-Kelly and William Aspray. Computer: A History of the Information Machine. Basic Books, 1996.
Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere. Out of Their Minds: The Lives and Discoveries of 15 Great Computer Scientists. Copernicus, 1995.
Pohl. C++ for C Programmers, Benjamin Cummings, 1989.
Microsoft. Visual Basic Programmers Guide. Microsoft, 1996.
Sobell. A Practical Guide to Unix System V.
Associated with each lecture are a series of readings. Some of these readings can be found in the SIS library on the third floor and some have been placed on reserve. Part of being a professional requires the finding of information to
solve problems and this course will give you practice in this activity. You are not restricted to the reading list which are simply suggestions but you may read any articles which you find relevant to the session topics and projects which may be in the l
ibrary or in trade journals.
- Course Introduction
- Requirements, Assignments, and Schedule
- Resources and Materials
- Work Groups
- Introduction to Information Science
- History of Computing and Information Systems
- Computer Science
- Management Science
- Library Science
- Cognitive Science
- Conceptual Models
- Theoretical Bases and Interdisciplinary Nature
- The Information Society
- Informating (Zuboffís Concept)
- Information - What is It?
- Signals and Data
- Information and Systems
- Information in Human Systems
- Information in Artificial Systems
- Knowledge Structures and Knowledge Engineering
- Some useful Unix commands to get started
Diener, R. Information Science: What is it?...What Should it Be? in Bulletin of ASIS, June/July, 1989, pp 17-21.
Buckland, M. Information as Thing. in JASIS, June 1991, vol 42, No 5p 351-359.
Williams, J. "Information Science: definition and Scope" in Williams, J. and Carbo T. (eds.) Information Science: Still an Emerging Discipline. Cathedral Publishing, Pittsburgh, Pa, 1997. <
Shrader, A.M. In Search of Names Information Science and Its Conceptual Antecedents. LISR, 1984. 6. 227-271.
Shera, J.H.; Cleveland, D.B. History and Foundations of Information Science. ARIST, 1977. 12. 249-275.
Williams, J and Kim C. On Theory Development in Information Science. in JASIS, Jan-Feb, 1975, pp 3-9.
Belzer, J. (Ed.) Turing Machine. In Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1979. 13 487-498.
Hogger, C.I. Representation and Reasoning. In Introduction to Logic Programming. London; Orlando: Academic Press, 1984.
Machlup, F. Semantic Quirks In Studies of Information. The Study of Information. New York: Wiley, 1983. In F. Machlup; U. Mansfield. 641-671.
Questions for Week 1
What is information science?
What models of information sciences have been proposed?
What are the differences between signals, data, information, knowledge and wisdom?
What disciplines contribute to the study of information and in what manner do they contribute?
What is a theory and what are the steps in theory development?
How does logic play a role in information science?
How does philosophy play a role in information science?
How does sociology play a role in information science?
What is information theory?
How can information be measured?
What is the relationship between information and communication?
What are the most commonly used Unix Commands?
Information Systems Analysis and Design
System Problem Setting and Definition
The Components of Information Systems
Hammer, M. Reengineering Work: Don't automate, Obliterate. Harvard Business Review. July-August 1990, pp 104-112.
Horowitz B. The Importance of Architecture in DOD Software. Report From The Mitre Corporation. 1991.
Hess, M. Information Systems Design in Industrial Practice. in Concise Encyclopedia of Information Processing in Systems & Organization, New York, Pergamon Press
Lawson, H. Philosophies for Engineering Computer-Based Systems. in IEEE Computer, December, 1990, pp 52-62.
Hess, M. Information Systems Design in Industrial Practice. in Concise Encyclopedia of Information Processing in Systems & Organization, New York, Pergamon Press
Rechtin, E. The Art of Systems Architecting. in IEEE Spectrum, October, 1992, pp 66-69.
Goel, V. and Pirolli, P. Design within Information-Processing Theory: The Design Problem Space. in AI Magazine, Spring, 1989, pp 9-35.
Snodgrass, J. and Yun, D. Software Requirements Specification from a Cognitive Psychology Perspective. in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, pp 422-430.
Spector, A and Gifford, D. A Computer Science Perspective of Bridge Design. in CACM, April 1986, Vol 29, No. 4, pp 2868-283.
Galle, P. and Kovacs, L. Introspective Observations of Sketch Design. in Design Studies, Vol 13, No 3, July, 1992.
Gero, John. Design Prototypes: A knowledge Representation Schema for Design in AI Magazine, Winter, 1990.
- Alexander, C. A City is Not a Tree in Architectural Forum, April and May, 1991.
- Best, L. If They Built Buildings the Way They Build Software.... in American Management Systems, Inc. AMS Special Topics.
- Churchman, C.W. The Systems Approach. New York: Delacorte Press, 1968.
- Straub, D. and Wetherbe, J. Information Technologies of the 1990s: An Organizational Impact Perspective. in CACM, Vol 32, No. 11, November 1989, pp. 1328-1339.
- Spring, M and Others. Perspectives on Information Technology Standards. in JASIS, Vol 43, No 8, September 1992.
- Denning, P and Others. Special Section on Computer Architectures. in CACM, Vol 28, No 1, January 1985.
- Frenkel, K. Evaluating Two Massively Parallel Machines. in CACM, Vol 29, No. 8, August 1986, pp. 752-758.
Questions for Week 2
- What is a system? What is an information system?
- What is an architecture?
- What is a Structural Model?
- What is meant by Architecting a System?
- What is the relationship between System Architects and Designers?
- What is the difference between a Requirement and a Specification?
- What are the basic components of a digital computer system?
- Define bit, byte, word, half-word.
- Define instruction set.
- Define instruction cycle and execution cycle.
- What is an interrupt?
- What is a bus?
- What is a DASD and how is it organized?
- What is a logical record, a physical record, a block, a buffer, an IRG?
- Define recording density.
- How does a CRT operate to form characters on the screen?
- What is addressability?
- Operating Systems, Utility and Application Software
- What is an operating system?
- What are the differences among batch, on-line, time shared, realtime, single user and multi-user?
- What is a file system?
- What are the basic functions of an operating system?
- What operating system commands are most used? On VMS, on UNIX, on PC-DOS.
- What utility software is most used?
- What are the steps from writing a program to its execution?
- What is a run-time library?
- What interactions might occur between an executing application program, the operating system and utility software?
- What are the types of "languages" available for application software development?
- Information System Analysis and Design
- Analysis Tools and Techniques
- Flow, Structure and Object Diagrams
- Mathematical tools
- Simulation tools
- Analysis Techniques for Information Science
- Industrial Engineering Techniques
- Software Metrics
- Software Engineering
- Project Management
- Hardware Technology
- Gore, M.; Stubbe J. Initial Investigation, Elements of Systems Analysis, Wm. C. Brown, 1983. 178-207.
- Gore, M.; Stubbe, J. The Role of the Systems Analyst, Elements of Systems Analysis. Wm. C. Brown, 1983. 30-48.
- Gore, M.; Stubbe J. Life Cycle of the Business Information System Elements of Systems Analysis, Wm. C. Brown, 1983. 22-29.
- Special Issue: Software Engineering. in CACM, Vol 34, No. 5, May, 1991, pp. 30-99.
- Sheil, B.A. (Xerox Palo Alto Research Center) Power Tools for Programmers, Datamation, Technical Publishing Company, 1983. 19-30.
- Kernighan, B.W; Plauger, P.J. Preface, The Elements of Programming Style McGraw-Hill, 1974. Preface.
- Kernighan, B.W.; Plauger, P.J. Summary of Rules, The Elements of Programming Style, McGraw Hill, 1974. 135-137.
Questions For Week 3
What are the phases in the systems life cycle?
What is structured analysis?
What are some analysis methods?
What is structured design?
What are some design methods?
What are the steps in designing a system?
What is a feasibility study?
What does a system analyst do?
What information sources are important to a systems analyst?
What is software engineering?
What are the phases in software engineering?
What are the characteristics of a "good" software system?
How can quality assurance be implemented?
What are some software metrics?
What is the "team" oriented approach?
What is system integration?
Research Methods in Information Science
Human Subjects Considerations
Models of Information Systems
Introduction to Visual Basic
Principles of good programming?
"Management" problems in software engineering?
"Tools" for software engineering?
Busha, Charles H. "Research Methods," in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Volume 25, pp. 254-293, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York.
Dunsmore, H.E. Software Metrics: An Overview of an Evolving Methodology. Information Processing and Management. 1984, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 183-192.
Pearson, C. The Relation Between Theory and Methodology for Designing Experiments in Information Science. Information Processing and Management. 1984, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 239-241.
Hass, D.F. and Kraft, D.H. Experimental and Quasi-experimental Designs for Research in Information Science. Information Processing and Management. 1984, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 229-237.
Sayward, F.G. Experimental Design Methodologies in Software Science. Information Processing and Management. 1984, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 223-227.
Bookstein, A. Informetric Distributions, Parts I and II. in JASIS Vol 41, No 5, July 1990, pp 368-385.
Special Section on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. in CACM, Vol 34, No. 12, December 1991, pp. 30-90.
Sinha, A. Client-Server Computing: Current Technology Review. in CACM, Vol 35, No. 7, July 1992, pp 77-97.
Questions for Week 4
What is research?
What are the steps in a research project?
What are the important factors in research design?
What is a statistic?
What is descriptive statistics?
What is inferential statistics?
What are the "types" of data?
What are the measures of central tendency?
What is the difference between parametric and non-parametric statistics?
What is random sampling?
What types of errors occur in statistical analysis?
What is a Model?
What is a Client-Server Model?
What are the PROs and CONs of different Systems Models?
What is a visual programming language?
Human Information Processing
History and Models of Human Information Processing
Early Problem Solving Models
Procedural and Semantic Networks
Frames and Production Systems
General Purpose and Domain Specific Models
Neural Networks and Parallel Processing
Human Factors in System Design
The Cognitive Model of Processes
The cognition of Programming
Models of the User
Adelson, B. Problem Solving and the Development of Abstract Categories in Programming Languages Memory and Cognition, 1981. 9 (4). 422-433.
Brooks, R. Toward a Theory of the Comprehension of Computer Programs International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 18 1983. 543-554.
Simon, H.A. Studying Human Intelligence by Creating Artificial Intelligence, American Scientist, May-June 1981. 69. 300-309.
Newell, A.; Simon, H.A. Computer Science as Empirical Inquiry: Symbols and Search. S. Haugeland (Ed.) Mind Design: Philosophy, Psychology, Artificial Intelligence. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1981. 35-64.
Anderson, James A. and Hinton, Geoffrey E. Models of Information Processing in the Brain. In Parallel Models of Associative Memory. 1981, pp. 9-48.
Buckland, M. Expertise, Task Complexity and Artificial Intelligence, JASIS, Vol 42, No. 9, October 1991.
McLean, S and Weise, C. Digress: A Deductive Interface to a Relational Database in JASIS, Vol 42, No. 1, January 1991, pp 49-63.
Special Section on Architectures for Knowledge-Based Systems in CACM, Vol 28, No. 9, September, 1985.
- Shneiderman, Designing the User Interface. Chapter 1, Human Factors of Interactive Software
- Norman, Donald A. The Trouble with UNIX. Datamation, November, 1981.
- Pressman, R. Requirements Analysis Fundamentals in Software Engineering: A Practioners Approach. McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, Second Edition, 1982, pp 136-162.
Questions for Week 5
What is cognitive science?
What are the basic principles underlying cognitive science?
What types of problems does cognitive science address?
How can an understanding of cognitive science aid in the analysis and design of an information system?
What are the components of human information processing?
What is perception?
What is memory?
What is cognition?
How do emotions effect HIP?
What is problem solving?
What is decision making?
What are the components of an AI system?
What are the approaches to designing an AI system?
Name an AI system and its domain of application?
Who are the leaders in the AI field?
What is an expert system?
What areas of logic are essential to an AI/expert system?
What principles of cognitive science are involved in AI/expert systems?
Why are AI/expert systems important in the analysis, design, development, implementation and operation of information systems.
- What is "human factors?"
- Give some examples of how human factors can be used in designing an information system?
- How do you implement humans factors in software and Hardware?
- How do you justify the cost of human factors in design?
History of Data Bases
Relational Data Bases
Object-Oriented Data Bases
Data Base Design
Introduction to ACCESS DBMS
Kruse, R.L. Programming Principles, Data Structures and Program Design, Prentice-Hall, 1984, Ch.1. 1-40.
Lewis, T.G.; Smith M.Z. What is a Data Structure?, Applying Data Structures, Houghton Mifflin, 1982, Ch.1. 1-14.
Knuth, D.E. Information Structures, Fundamental Algorithms, Addison Wesley, 1969, Ch.2. 228-265.
Codd, E.F. A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks. Communications of the ACM, June, 1970, 13 (6), as reprinted in January 1983, 23 (1). 33-64.
Chen, P.,Pin-Shan, The Entity-Relationship Model Toward a Unified View of Data, ACM Transactions on Database System March 1976, 1 (1). 9-36.
Codd, E.F. Extending the Database Relational Model to Capture More Meaning, ACM Transactions on Database Systems, December 1979, 4 (4). 397-434.
Gillenson, M. The Duality of Database Strucrures and Design Techniques. in CACM, Vol 30, No. 12, December, 1987, pp 1056-1065.
Questions for Week 6
Define field, data element, record, file, logical record, physical record, blocking.
What are the three basic file access methods?
What are the three basic data structures?
Define the steps required to modify a record in a sequential file.
What is a database?
What is a DBMS?
What are the three basic DBMS models?
What is an OODB?
What is a "key?"
What is normalization?
Name three Pros and Cons of relation database design.
History -- Shannon
Communication and Language
Model of a Communication System
Signals and Signaling
Telecommunications and Networking
Voice and Data Systems
Local, Metropolitan, and Wide Area Networks
Electronic and Optical Systems
Standards and Protocols
Relationship to Distributed Computing Services
Weaver, W. Recent Contributions to the Mathematical Theory of Communication. In Shannon Claude E. and Weaver, W., The Mathematical Theory of Communication, University of Illinois Press, 198
0, (reprint of 1949 edition). 3-28.
Pierce, J.R. The Origins of Information Theory, An Introduction to Information Theory: Symbols, Signals and Noise, Dover, 1981, Ch.2. 16-44.
Pierce, J.R. A Mathematical Model, An Introduction to Information Theory: Symbols, Signals and Noise, Dover, 1981, Ch.3. 45.63.
Cherry, C. On Signs, Language and Communication, On Human Communication, M.I.T. Press, 1977, Ch.3. 68-123.
Liu, C. and Yu, C. Data Compression Using Word Encoding with Huffman Code in JASIS, Vol 42, No. 9, October 1991, PP 685-697.
- Anderson, W.S. Barriers to Progress in Telecommunications, Computer Networks, September, 1981 5. 325-330.
- Soi, I.M.; Aggarwal, K.K. A Review of Computer-Communication Network Classification Schemes, IEEE, March 1981. 19 (2). 24-32.
- Slana, M.F.; Lohman, H.R. Data Communication Using the Telecommunication Network, Computer, May, 1981 14 (5). 73-88.
Questions for Week 7
What is an alphabet?
In a communication channel, what is the signal, noise, bandwidth, etc.
Describe common types of data encoding?
What is compression?
What are the common compression methods?
What factors effect the degree of compression?
Describe the basic communications model.
List four transmission media.
What is modulation - name 4 types?
What are asynchronous, synchronous, and isochronous modes of communication?
What are the differences between LANS, MANS, and WANS?
What is the ISO model?
What is a protocol?
How is network performance measured?
What is a topology?
What hardware components may be involved in data communication?
Week 8 - Midterm
Information Storage and Retrieval
Full Text Storage
Retrieval Performance Measures
Image Storage and Retrieval
Intelligent Query Systems
Natural Language Processing
- Syntax and Semantics
- The World Wide Web
- HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
- Web Servers
Myaeng, Sung and Korfhage, Robert R. Towards an Intelligent and Personalized Information Retrieval System. Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Southern Methodist University, School of E
ngineering and Applied Science, Dallas, Texas.
Korfhage, Robert R. Intelligent Information Retrieval: Issues in User Modelling. Reprinted from IEEE Proceedings of the Expert Systems in Government Symposium, McLean, Virginia. October 24-25, 1985.
Metzler, D and Others. Constituent Object Parsing for Information Retrieval and Similiar Text Processing Problems in JASIS, Vol 40, No 6, November 1989, pp 398-423.
Hendrix, G.C.; Sacerdoti, E.S. Natural-Language Processing, Byte, September, 1981.
Special Section: Natural Language Processing. in CACM, Vol 33, no. 8, August 1990, pp 30-82.
Questions for Week 9
What is meant by relevance?
What is meant by recall and precision?
What are the benefits and limitations of using boolean logic?
How can profiles be used to improve query results?
What is natural language processing?
What are the basic components of a language?
What are some approaches to designing NLPs?
Who are important contributors to NLP?
What is the relationship to AI/expert systems?
What is the relationship to speech recognition?
What is the relationship to human-computer interactions?
What is the underlying computing model for the WWW?
What does a WWW Browser do?
What does a WWW Server do?
What is a CGI?
Reality Enhancing Factors
Demonstration of Graphics Applications
Image Processing and Visualization
Image Display and Operations
Multimedia Application Development
Foley, James, Van Dam, A. and Others Introduction to Computer Graphics, Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1994.
Perspectives on ... Imaging: Advanced Applications in JASIS, Vol 42, No. 8, 1991, pp 576-620.
Linehan, T. Digital Image-Digital Cinema. in CACM, Vol 33, No. 7, July, 1990, pp. 30-39.
Frenkel, K. Volume Rendering. in CACM Vol 32, no. 4, April, 1989. pp 426-435.
Questions for Week 10
What is a graphic?
What are the basic primitive operations that graphic software provides a user?
What are the basic graphic transformations?
What are the principles for design of the user interface?
What is a user interface management system?
What human factors and HIP principles are involved in graphic presentations?
What is CAD/CAM?
What is a projection?
What is a perspective?
Why is resolution important?
Why is color important?
What is the relationship between color and resolution?
Document Processing and Office Automation
Text and Document Processing
Changing Models of Document/Text Processing
New Concepts and Technologies for Document Processing
Organizations and Documents
Office System (ALL-IN-ONE)
Design Tools and Systems
The X Window System
Cooper, M. User Skill Acquisition in Office Information Systems. JASIS, Vol 42, No. 10, 1991, pp 735-746.
Wildemuth, B. An Empirically Grounded Model of the Adoption of Intellectual Technologies. JASIS, Vol 43, No. 13, 1992 pp 210-224.
Crawford, D. Meeting Scholarly Information Needs in Automated Environment: A Humanist's Perspective. College Research Libraries, Volume 47, Number 6, November, 1986, pp. 569-574.
Hjerppe, R. Electronic Publishing: Writing Machines and Machine Writing. In Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST), Volume 21, 1986, pp. 123-166.
Spring, M. B. Electronic Printing and Publishing: The Document Processing Revolution. Marcel Dekker, 1991, Chapters 1,3,4, 12, and 13.
Nielseen, J. The Art of Navigating Through Hypertext. in CACM, Vol 33, No. 3, March, 1990, pp 296-310.
Kerlow, I.V. The Computer as an Artistic Tool, Byte, September 1984 9 (10). 189-206.
Spring, M.B.; Being There: or Models for Virtual Reality, Studies in Multimedia, Learned Information Systems, 1992, Chapter 21.
Question for Week 11
What is a document?
How are documents used in organizations?
How are hypertext documents structured
What standards are pertinent to document processing
What is an office, work, productivity?
What impact can automation have on the office and the work performed in it?
What relationship exists between the electronic office and electronic publishing?
What is Visualization; Scientific Visualization?
Why is interface design important?
What are the components of an interface design?
What is X-Windows, Microsoft Windows, Motif, Open look?
What is virtual reality?
MIS, DSS and EIS
Traditional Information Systems
Data Processing for Organization
Management Information Systems
The Management of Information Systems
Decision Support Systems
Executive Information Systems
End User Computing
Information Resource Management
Information as a Corporate Resource
The Information Center Concept
Szymanski, R. Computers and Information Systems in Business. Merrill Publishing Company, Columbus, OH, 1990 pp 260-290.
Ackoff, R.L. Management Misinformation Systems. Management Science, December, 1979. 319-331.
Hammer, M. Reengineering Work: Don't automate, Obliterate. Harvard Business Review. July-August 1990, pp 104-112.
Perry, W. The Information Center. Prentise-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1987, pp 1-35.
Questions for Week 12
What is management?
What is MIS?
What are the essential characteristics of an MIS?
What is a decision support system (DSS)?
What is an executive information system (EIS)?
What are the sources of data for an MIS?
What quantitative techniques are utilized in a MIS?
What is records management?
What is information resource management?
What is the management of technology?
What needs to be managed in an information system?
What is an information Center?
What are the activities of an Information Center?
What are some criteria for establishing an Information Center?
Information Science Profession
The Future of Information Science
Jobs, Skills, and Knowledge
Curriculum for Information Science
Spring, M. The Profession of Information Science. SLIS Report Series, 1990.
Newspaper Classified Job Advertisements
- Williams, J. Information Science: A Proposed Model for Curriculum Design in Williams, J. and Carbo T. (eds.) Information Science: Still an Emerging Discipline. Cathedral Publishing, Pittsburgh, Pa, 1997.
Questions for Week 13
What is a profession?
Should an Information Scientist have liability Insurance?
What is the range of professional opportunities in information science?
What is the future of Information Science?
What should an Information Science Curriculum Look like?
This week students will report on one of the projects they have been working on during the entire semester. Each group will present one of their projects and discuss the methods used and how various are
as of Information Science integrate with the project
Week 15 - Final
Project Descriptions and Project/Session Relationships and Deliverables
Data is found in different forms, formats and media which humans have the capability to process. Different views of large amounts of data and information can be provided by different access methods, organizations, displays and represen
tations. The fact that information can be measured without any semantic context provides an advantage for certain applications but may not be applicable for all philosophical and sociological aspects of information. The measure of information as propose
d by Shannon and Weaver may have applicability in the design of various aspects of an information system. Write a single page that discusses how Shannonís measure of information might be useful in the design of a data display that provides information to
a human. Use one of the editors (Emacs, Pico, Ed, Vi) on the SIS, University, or other Unix systems available to you. Use the sendmail, Pine or Elm email software on the Unix system to send the document to me at
This part of the project requires the design of an
information system for a relatively simple application that is part of a
larger system. The context for this project is an educational
organization with the typical financial/accounting, m
arketing/Sales (recruitment), manufacturing (Teaching), inventory control
(retention/graduation), etc. functions. The
specific project is to design a class information system that can be used
all organizational units of the organization including management decision
making without duplication across
organizational units. Assume the organization is the University of
Pittsburgh or any major university. The project's primary database is
information about the course and students but can be expanded beyond this
to encompass a very large domain. The goals is to provide information
for the instructor and the students of a class. This project presupposes
that we all know what a system is and in part
icular, what an information system is. It also assumes that we know the nature of the system problem that we are trying to resolve. How do we go about understanding the problem setting well enough so that we can actually design a system to meet the goals
and objectives of the project? Once we understand the problem then we must construct an architecture for the proposed system. What is meant by architecting a system? What are the ways to go about building an architecture? What are the results/deliverab
les and how is it useful to a system designer? It is important to realize that an information system is concerned with people, processes, products and productivity as they can be affected by or affect hardware and software technologies. What technologie
s are available to implement the proposed system and what characteristics of the technology are important to understand? You need to deliver a statement of the design problem, some preliminary analysis of the problem using examples from books, magazines,
personal experience, WWW, etc., an architecture statement that includes a set of principles and a structure in the form of a diagram of the proposed architecture.
After and during the building of an architecture, system analysis/design methods and tools are used to document the requirements at various levels of detail for the proposed system. The architecture is a very high level component desig
n that guides the more detailed functional design which may use a life cycle approach, prototype approach or a combination of these to arrive at the requirements, feasibility, project specifications and evaluation of hardware and software technologies. S
oftware engineering methods can be used to specify the activities for the project and to estimate the resources required and the level of integration needed. What are the detailed list of tasks that need to be completed for the project and how do we esti
mate the resources and time required to complete each activity. What activities can proceed in parallel? What happens if any particular activity should fall behind schedule? You are to develop an analysis and detailed design document in electronic form
for the customer information system based upon a set of parameters for the company that we discuss in class and that you get from doing research about such companies and their information requirements.
The project requires that a usability study be performed that evaluates the on-line system that you design. How should you design such an experiment? What hypotheses or research questions need to be asked? What assumptions are being
made? What are the independent and dependent variables? What data should be collect collected? How should the data be collected? How should we analyze the data collected? What types of controls need to be implemented to make sure extraneous variables
donít taint the results? How do we guarantee reliability and validity? You need to develop, using Visual Basic, two different interfaces for the proposed customer information system. You need to document a methodology for comparing these two diff
erent interfaces to the system in terms of usability.
The project's information system is being designed for humans who use their cognitive abilities to define their queries, formulate their queries, evaluate the results of a search and display and interpret the data. All this is performe
d via the interface designed for the system. In addition, the designer of the system must use high levels of information processing and related cognitive functions to perform the design. What cognitive science issues are important to consider in the des
ign of this system? What human information processing factors should be used in designing this system? Artificial intelligence has been touted as a technology useful in information systems. How could AI be used in the proposed system? How could you me
asure the cost/benefits of using AI? How could the use of AI change the design of the proposed system? The output from the system could be lists/tables, statistics, maps, documents, etc. or more sophisticated data visualization presentations. What are
the basic principles of humans factors that should be followed in the design an interface? How can humans factors be measured to determine how well they have been incorporated into the design? You are to prepare an example of data visualization based on
the customer data you will store in your database.
The project must store a large amount of data that must be quickly accessible based upon the users view of the application. The application involves both text and image data which are related. Some type of data structures are necessar
y in order to provide the type of storage and access required. What are the alternative data structures available and what are the tradeoffs among the alternative structures? What data structures are most viable for the application and for what tasks?
How do you justify one data structure over another? Typical database management systems include data structures, query interfaces and report generation. The project has some unique features which many traditional database management systems can not hand
le very well. How do the available database models match the appllication and which DBMS' are best suited for the application? How do you measure the performance of a DBMS for a specific application? You are to develop the database schemas using Micros
oft ACCESS and print the description of the schema.
The project involves transmission of data within the organizationís LAN and possibly a WAN that may involve both text and images. What does information/communication theory tell us that might help determine how much information is cont
ained in the data we are storing and transmitting. Also, how could information/communication theory help us compress the data we need to store? Since the fidelity of the data we transmit and store is critical to the application, how can information/comm
unication theory help us ensure a high level of reliability in storage and transmission? The project requires that remote access to the be database available. This in turn requires that some form of data communications and networking capabilities be par
t of the system design. What are the alternative telecommunication methods that might be used to provide remote access to the database? What are the fundamental telecommunication and networking issues that need to be resolved as part of the system desig
n? What are the networking software issues that need to be solved? You are to develop a network design for the organization with special emphasis on the customer information system. At this point, you have a prototype for your information system. Ente
r some data into each of the database tables via a visual basic form and write Visual Basic Code to retrieve one or more records. This is the end of this project.
Week 8 Mid-Term
The providers and users of the World Wide Web (WWW) view it as a very large information storage and retrieval (ISR) application. Most such ISR applications include documents, bibliographic data and in some cases structured business dat
a. The new class project is intended to let you learn how to develop homepages for a project called "Uniquely Pennsylvania" as part of the State-Wide Link-To-Learn initiative. How should the data be entered, analyzed (indexed, classified, etc.
), verified (QA) and stored such that it can be retrieved and displayed to the user. Could the images be automatically indexed based on the digital representation and how could this be done? What type of interface should be used for this purpose? Since
full text is included as part of the database it may be possible that some natural language processing techniques could be applied to enhance the analysis and subsequent retrieval of information from the database. What NAL methods might be useful for thi
s purpose? How could such methods be implemented? What might the use of NAL methods have on the performance of the system? You are to select a topic about Pennsylvania such as Railroads, Amish, Agriculture, Lumber, Coal, Shipbuilding, Medicine, Communic
ation, Transportation, Steelmaking, Higher Education, etc. and gather text and images that define and explain how and why this topic is important to Pennsylvania. You may take several views for how this data may be used including education (K-12), market
ing, economic development, etc. You must include at least 3 images but you may include film clips, and audio clips as well.
The implementation of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) and the processing of images is based upon computer graphics. Computer graphics is based upon a small set of mathematical transformations that permits a computer program to provide
the user with some control over graphic displays and image processing. What are the uses of graphical transformations for the proposed project? What are the problems that must be overcome in terms of software and hardware to provide a graphical user in
terface in a networked environment? How can a user at a remote PC connect over the internet to a server and get the database access and image display and processing that he desires? How can a user dialup the server from a PC and get the database access
and image display and processing he wants? The problems of resolution and color are critical to this project since the images are being scanned with 24 bit color and 300 dots/inch (dpi). What is the relationship between color and resolution? How can one
translate from one resolution to another to accomodate different display devices? What are the differences between different formats for storing images, e.g. TIFF, JPEG, PCX, ect. Could CAD/CAM techniques be applied to this project and if so how? Your
task is to scan at least 3 images in GIF format for your "Uniquely Pennsylvania" project and FTP one of them to me.
It is not very hard to imagine that a user might want to incorporate information from the "Uniquely pennsylvania" project into a document or to build documents from the Web pages. In fact, the "Uniquely Pennsylvania"
; web pages were constructed from documents you found. This begs the question of what a document is and whether a homepage is a document itself. How might people use a database as a document or how might they use portions of a database such as the custom
er database you constructed to build a document? What role does electronic publishing play in the possible uses of a database? How might some types of people use the "Uniquely Pennsylvania" pages in their daily office work environment? How co
uld such a web site change the way people and organizations do work and measure productivity? Virtual Reality has also become a catch phrase over the last few years. What is meant by virtual reality? How could virtual reality techniques be used in relat
ion to this Web Site? How would you implement a virtual reality environment for this application? Implement, using HTML, the information you collected about your "Uniquely Pennsylvania" topic as a series of web pages. Provide me a copy via em
An old saw is "Everything needs managed" and we experienced this as our project proceeded through its various stages. Managing things is easy but managing people is difficult. Managing an information system is one aspect of managing n
ear and dear to our profession but the users of information systems use the information in our systems to manage people, places, events, processes and systems such as human resources, accounts payables, accounts receivables, general ledger, sales, marketi
ng, billing, collection, etc. What are the management related aspects of the system we have developed for the project? How might the system we have developed be used by management personnel? How would our system have been designed differently if it was
to be used as an MIS, DDS or EIS? Some people advocate the notion that information is an organizational resource and should be managed via an information center. How does the concept of an information center relate to our project? Would we have design
ed our system differently with an information center concept in mind?
You have elected to join the Information Science Profession. What professional activities and responsibilities were part of the project that was used in this course? What specialities within the profession are you able to identify? W
hat liabilities might be associated with the project that we worked on? What roles can an information scientists play within an organization? Will these roles change in the future? What should an information science curriculum look like and how should
it be implemented?
This is your week to present to me a summary of the project and an evaluation of the learning experience that you have had in this course
Week 15 Final