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The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science
The University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, Texas 75080
Report prepared for the ABET
Computing Accreditation Commission
FOR THE REVIEW
OF COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAM
The University of Texas at Dallas
To the Computing Accreditation Commission
The Erik Jonsson School of
Engineering and Computer Science
The University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, Texas 75080
PRIMARY CONTACT: Dr. Gopal Gupta
Phone: 972-883-4107; Fax: 972-883-2399; Email: email@example.com
Computing Accreditation Commission
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.
111 Market Place, Suite 1050
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4012
The Future of the University of Texas at Dallas
The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science is located in the heart of the “Telecom Corridor®". The Jonsson School focused, from its inception, on educating electrical engineers and computer scientists to serve the needs of local high-tech industry. In recent years, rapid growth in enrollments plus increased specialization have sparked the development of new degree programs in telecommunication engineering, the nation’s first such accredited program, computer engineering, and software engineering. Together with the traditional EE and CS disciplines, these programs currently form the core of the School’s academic curricula.
The Jonsson School and UTD stand poised for a new era of growth and excellence, based in large part on a 5-year, $300 million initiative involving the State of Texas, the UT System, and Texas Instruments. The plan, announced in June 2003, will significantly enhance both the breadth and quality of engineering education and research at UTD. Included is the construction of a 200,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art research center, to be completed in 2006. This new facility will broaden the scope of current research activities and, more importantly, foster new interdisciplinary programs with related sciences such as physics, chemistry, and molecular biology, the UTD School of Management, and even the arts and humanities. It will also facilitate joint research with other outstanding local institutions such as UT Southwestern Medical Center.
The need for interdisciplinary programs has been driven by the rapid convergence of fields such as microelectronics, sensors, nanoscience, biotechnology, information science, and environmental and health sciences. As the boundaries between these disciplines become increasingly blurred, emerging technologies will rely more heavily on our ability to integrate them into a coherent engineering system. Most recently, we began a new initiative called "To 50 in five. With our community and corporate partnerships, UTD is poised to move into its next level of development. The Jonsson School is working tirelessly in conjunction with university officials to crack the ranks of the top 50 engineering programs and the top academic research institutions nationally within the next five years. We are confident our effort will be successful.
These are exciting times for all of us at the Jonsson School. The opportunity to have an impact on the future of technology has never been greater. We are inviting all that have the interest and the desire to join us at UTD and play a part in forging that future.
C. Robert Helms
The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science
The University of Texas at Dallas
2601 North Floyd Road
Richardson, Texas 75083
The University of Texas at Dallas was founded in 1969 and has quickly evolved into the leading institution in the Dallas area. The University has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years. Student enrollment reached 13,316 and faculty size reached 697 (472 full-time) in Fall 2004. At the same time, UTD has remained highly selective with its freshman class consistently ranking among the top three in the State of Texas in terms of SAT scores (average of 1239 for the Freshman class in Fall 2004), number of National Merit Scholars (38 in Fall 2004), and students in the top 10% of their class. A building boom since 2001 added over 500,000 square feet of new academic space. A new $85 million (200,000 sq. ft.) Natural Science and Engineering research facility is expected by Fall 2006.
The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science was founded in 1986 and moved into a new facility in 1992. The School has a leading role in achieving the stated mission of UTD “to be a nationally recognized top-tier University sculpted within a model of focused excellence.” The Fall 2002 enrollment of 3,624 for the School represents a 371% increase since 1992 (976). Enrollment dropped to 3,394 in Fall 2003 and 2,854 in Fall 2004 but it is expected to stabilize in Fall 2005 and increase at modest rates in the next few years. The original programs in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering have expanded to include degrees in Telecommunications Engineering (the first in the nation), Computer Engineering, and Software Engineering. The Software Engineering program has risen rapidly, reflecting a local demand for people educated in the field despite the recent economic downturn. Additional programs in Material Sciences and Bioengineering are expected soon.
The Department of Computer Science has experienced explosive growth in the last 15 years. Student population has increased from a few hundred in 1992 to a maximum of 1375 in 2001. Since then it has declined to 1002 in Fall 2004, however, it is expected to stabilize in Fall 2005 as well. Faculty size has more than quadrupled in the last 15 years: from 13 faculty members in 1991 to 56 today. This growth in faculty size continues. In Fall 2002, the Department of Computer Science moved to a new 152,000 sq. ft. building with 10 modern classrooms. The addition of the new building more than doubled the space available to the Computer Science department. The number of degree offerings has grown as well. Today the department offers a BS, MS, and Ph.D in Computer Science and Software Engineering, as well as interdisciplinary degrees in Telecom Engineering and Computer Engineering (jointly with the Electrical Engineering Department).
While the department has been making rapid strides in imparting education in computer science and software engineering, it has been developing cutting edge research programs at a similar pace. A number of internationally recognized research groups and centers have been set up at UTD in recent years. These efforts culminated with the Jonsson School Research Excellence (JSRE) Initiative through which the state of Texas will invest $300 Million in Engineering, Science, and Computer Science research and education at UTD. The JSRE Initiative project, that began in 2003, aims to make UT Dallas an international powerhouse in both education and research.
Table of Contents
I. Objectives and Assessments 13
A. Objectives. 14
B. Implementation of Objectives. 18
C. Assessments. 20
D. Program Improvement. 44
E. Program Evolution 50
F. Program Current Status 52
II. Student Support 55
A. Frequency of Course Offerings 56
B. Interaction with Faculty. 57
C. Student Guidance. 57
D. Student Advisement. 59
E. Access to Qualified Advising. 62
F. Meeting the Requirements. 62
III. Faculty 63
A. Faculty Size. 63
B. Faculty with Primary Commitment. 63
C. Faculty Oversight. 65
D. Interests, Qualifications, Scholarly Contributions. 66
E. Scholarly Activities. 67
F. Support for Advising. 68
G. Information Regarding Faculty Members. 68
IV. Curriculum 75
A. Title of Degree Program. 75
B. Credit Hour Definition. 75
C. Prerequisite Flow Chart. 75
D. Course Requirements of Curriculum 76
40 semester hours (60 quarter hours) of computer science 81
30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of math and science 82
16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of CS core 82
basic coverage of 5 areas in core 83
theory, analysis, and design in core 83
programming languages and operating systems studied 83
16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of advanced computer science 84
advanced areas studied 84
15 semester hours (23 quarter hours) of mathematics 84
math and stat coverage 84
12 semester hours (18 quarter hours) of science 85
full year sequence in lab science 85
remainder of science requirement 85
oral and written communications skills 85
Social and ethical implications of computing 86
E. Course Descriptions 86
V. Laboratories and Computing Facilities 87
A. Computer facilities available for use in computer science programs. 88
B. Student Access. 89
C. Documentation. 89
D. Faculty access. 89
E. Support Personnel. 91
F. Instructional Support. 91
VI. Institutional Support and Financial Resources 92
A. Attracting and Retaining High Quality Faculty 93
B. Faculty Professional Activities 93
C. Office Support 93
D. Time Assigned for Administration 94
E. Adequacy of Resources 94
F. Administrative Leadership 95
G. Laboratory and Computing Resources 95
H. Library Resources 95
I. Continuity of Institutional Support 96
VII. Institutional Facilities 97
A. Library 97
1. Library Staffing 97
2. Collection and Budget 100
3. Electronic Information 103
B. Classroom Equipment. 104
C. Adequacy of Faculty Offices 104
Appendix I: Information Relative to the Entire Institution 105
A. General Information 105
B. Type of Control 105
C. Regional or Institutional Accreditation 105
D. Enrollment 105
E. Funding Process 105
F. Promotion and Faculty Tenure 106
G. Retirement and Benefits 106
Appendix II. General Information on the Unit Responsible for the Computer Science Program 106
A. Type of unit 107
B. Administrative Head 107
C. Organization Chart. 107
D. Research Organizations 111
E. Computer-Related Undergraduate Degree Programs 111
Appendix III. Finances 113
A. Finances Related to the Computer Science Program(s) 113
B. Operating and Computing Expenditures 114
1. Operating Expenses 114
2. Hardware/Software Expenditures 114
C. Additional Funding 114
Appendix IV. Computer Science Program Personnel 118
A. Term of appointment of administrative head 118
B. Number of personnel associated with program 118
C. Policies 118
1. Consulting, Sponsored Research 118
2. Standard Loads 118
3. Recruitment 119
Appendix V. Computer Science Program Enrollment and Degree Data 120
Appendix VI. Admission Requirements 122
A. Admission of students 122
1. Admissions Criteria 122
2. Transfer Procedures 124
3. Conditional Admission 126
4. Advanced Standing 126
5. Upper Division Entry 126
Appendix VII: GUIDELINES FOR IN-CLASS ASSESSMENTS 127
Appendix VIII: CS UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG COPY 129
Appendix IX: CS DEGREE PLAN FORM 135
Appendix X: FACULTY VITAE 136
Appendix XI: COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 249
I. Objectives and Assessments
INTENT: The program has documented, measurable objectives, including expected outcomes for graduates. The program regularly assesses its progress against its objectives and uses the results of the assessments to identify program improvements and to modify the program’s objectives.
The Intent must be met in order for a program to be deemed accreditable. One way to meet the Intent of this criterion is to satisfy each one of the Standards listed below. To do this, answer the questions associated with the Standards. If one or more Standards are not satisfied, it is incumbent upon the institution to demonstrate and document clearly and unequivocally how the Intent is met in some alternative fashion.
If you are having more than one program evaluated, particularly if the programs are on separate campuses, the answers to these questions may vary from one program to another. If this is the case, please use separate copies of this section for each program, and clearly delineate which program is being described.
Standard I-1. The program must have documented, measurable objectives.
Computer Science at UT-Dallas started as a Major within the Dept. of Mathematical Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences in 1975. As was the case for UT Dallas as a whole, the emphasis in the early years was on graduate education and research. The first two doctoral degrees in Computer Science were granted in 1980 with the recipients going to successful academic careers at UT Austin and the University of Toronto. Computer Science steadily grew in size and independence culminating with its move to the new School of Engineering and Computer Science in 1986.
While retaining quality graduate education and research among its goals, the importance of undergraduate education at UT-Dallas grew steadily as well, from upper-level only programs in the late 70s to full 4-yr undergraduate programs in 1990. With admission requirements set at the levels of UT-Austin, UT-Dallas’ high quality student body experienced tremendous growth (from 4,845 in 1990 to 13,316 in 2004) with the changes particularly striking within the School of Engineering and Computer Science which saw undergraduate enrollments rise from 470 in 1990 to 1,840 in 2004. For several years in a row now, the Department of Computer Science has ranked first nationally in the number of degrees (BS, MS and PhD) granted.
At present, providing high quality educational programs that enable undergraduates to succeed in industry, government, and/or graduate education is the Computer Science Department’s principal objective and a critical component of the School’s mission and planning. This was re-affirmed over the past year by Dean Helms, the faculty, and the School’s Advisory Board. The mission, goals, objectives and outcomes of the Computer Science program are described in the next section within the context of the mission and goals of the University and the School of Engineering and Computer Sciences. They are documented and publicized in the University catalog, web pages, brochures, etc.
Standard I-2. The program’s objectives must include expected outcomes for graduating students.
Please attach items that support or precede the objectives, e.g.,
1. Indicate below or attach to this document your educational objectives for this program. These objectives must include expected outcomes for graduating students.
UTD Mission Statement
The mission of The University of Texas at Dallas is to provide Texas and the nation with the benefits of educational and research programs of the highest quality. These programs address the multi-dimensional needs of a dynamic, modern society driven by the development, diffusion, understanding and management of advanced technology.
To be a nationally recognized top-tier university sculpted within a model of focused excellence. The university emphasizes education and research in engineering, science, technology and management while maintaining programs of focused excellence in other academic areas. Within the context of this mission, the goals of the university are as follows:
The university intends to achieve these objectives by investing in students and faculty, building upon its programs, policies and operations and enhancing institutional character and excellence in education. The majors points of UTD's strategic plan to accomplish these goals are as follows:
Mission Statement of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science
A new mission statement for the Erik Jonsson School (EJS) of Engineering and Computer Science was prepared in the Spring of 2004. This new mission endeavors to:
A concrete goal of the the Erik Jonsson School is to be rated one of the top 50 engineering schools in the country within 5 years. Considerable resources and efforts are being invested to reach this goal. This includes the JSRE Initiative through which the state of Texas will invest $300 million in education and research in engineering, science and computer science during the period 2003-2008.
The previous mission statement of the Erik Jonsson School (EJS) was:
To play a distinctive and productive role in engineering and computer science, and deliver value to our students and research sponsors, by closing the gap between academic research and industrial practice.
To achieve excellence by recruiting faculty members who are outstanding in research and who are able and willing to collaborate with others in academia, industry and government, and by maintaining high standards for students and for faculty promotion and tenure.
Reputation will follow from real accomplishments that result from following a distinctive path based on our unique situation, history and opportunities.
While developing its curriculum, the Jonsson School is particularly aware of the perceived future needs of the industries of North Texas related to information systems and electronics manufacturing. The engineering programs prepare individuals for direct entry at the baccalaureate level into professional practice, but the program emphasizes a strong analytical preparation for continued formal education at the masters and doctoral level. A specific mission of UT Dallas and the Jonsson School is to provide opportunities for persons employed full time in local industry to continue and complete their education at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The Jonsson School also strives to use modern computing and telecommunications technology to enhance the quality of education.
Mission Statement of the Department of Computer Science
The mission of the Department of Computer Science is to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for productive careers in industry, academia, and government by providing an outstanding environment for teaching, learning, and research in the theory and applications of computing. The Department places high priority on establishing and maintaining innovative research programs to enhance its education quality and make it an important regional, national and international resource center for discovering, integrating and applying new knowledge and technologies.
The Computer Science Department aspires to be one of the top 25 departments in the nation within the next five years. Considerable effort and resources (e.g., the JSRE Initiative) are being invested to reach that goal.
Goals for Undergraduate Program
The undergraduate Computer Science program is committed to providing students with a high-quality education and prepare them for long and successful careers in industry and government.
Our graduates, while eminently ready for immediate employment, will also be fully ready for focused training as required for specific positions in Computer Science and closely related areas. Our students will “learn to learn” so that they can readily adapt themselves as the field of computing changes as well as their work environment changes. Graduates interested in highly technical careers, research, and/or academia will be fully prepared to further their education in graduate school. Our graduates will have good oral and written communication skills as well as a good understanding of ethical issues related to the computing profession.
Educational Objectives for Undergraduate Program
The educational objectives of the Undergraduate Program in Computer Science are:
EO1. students should be able to apply their knowledge to the solution of practical and useful
EO2. students should be able to communicate effectively and work collaboratively;
EO3. students should become successful professionals in industry, government and, if
they desire, in graduate studies;
EO4. students should be able to recognize the need for lifelong learning and be able to adapt to rapid technological changes; and
EO5. students should be able to understand and deal with the ethical, societal, and global issues associated with the computing field.
Undergraduate Program Outcomes:
The Department of Computer Science at UT-Dallas offers both the B.S. Degree in Computer Science and the B.S. degree in Software Engineering. Both programs will seek ABET accreditation and most courses offered by the Department can be used in either degree plan. Since the ABET Engineering Criteria 2000 accreditation outcomes (i.e. a-k) map well to the educational objectives above, they were adopted as outcomes for the B.S. in Computer Science. Furthermore, four additional CS-specific outcomes were added. The ABET Engineering Criteria 2000 outcomes are that graduates must demonstrate the following:
Additional CS objectives:
CS1. An ability to theoretically formulate and analyze problems in computing and
CS2. An ability to solve problems using efficient algorithms and data structures.
CS3. An ability to understand computer architecture, organization and programming
languages (e.g. hardware, operating systems, networks, concepts of programming
CS4. Proficiency in programming languages (e.g. Java, C/C++, assembly language)
For the purpose of assessment, the above outcomes are mapped to our program educational objectives as shown in the following table.
2. Describe how your program's objectives align with your institution's mission.
Our undergraduate program goals and educational objectives are consistent with Jonsson School’s mission, which in turn is consistent with UTD’s mission. Education and Research in Engineering and Computer Science are emphasized in the University’s mission statement. The University’s strategic intent to be a nationally recognized top-tier university is embraced and expanded by the School’s goal to achieve Tier-1 status within the next five years which in turn translates to achieving excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for the School’s existing degree programs. The goals and objectives at the departmental level are fully supported upward at the School and University levels.
Note: On the following page is a table which can be filled out with pertinent information relating to objectives, their measurement, and their effect on the implementation of program improvements.
Implementation of Objectives. Please complete the following table.
Table 1: Implementation of Objectives.
The table below shows the result of improvements identified and subsequent actions taken as a result of in-class assessment.
Standard I-3. Data relative to the objectives must be routinely collected and documented, and used in program assessments.
See I-5. C
Standard I-4. The extent to which each program objective is being met must be periodically assessed.
Standard I-5. The results of the program’s periodic assessment must be used to help identify opportunities for program improvement.