Northeastern University Named as one of Top 10 Innovative IT Schools to Watch

August 18, 2008

Excellence in Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs Recognized by Leading Industry Magazine

BOSTON - August 18, 2008 - Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS) has been named as one of the top 10 innovative “IT Schools to Watch” by Computerworld magazine. The ranking recognizes CCIS’ information technology graduate programs, including the Master in Information Assurance and Master in Health Informatics, as well as its Master in Computer Science. The recognition further solidifies Northeastern’s reputation as a national leader in the development of interdisciplinary programs to address critical technology issues in a number of important fields, as well as its strong industry and government partnerships.

“We are delighted that our College has been identified by Computerworld as one of the top innovative ‘IT Schools to Watch,’ said Larry Finkelstein, dean of CCIS. “This honor reflects the commitment of our faculty to provide our students with outstanding educational programs that will give them a significant advantage in pursuing a career in the IT field.”

As the Internet continues to be used more frequently for communication and business, it becomes increasingly important to consider both the technological and social contexts of maintaining the integrity of its infrastructure. Drawing from the expertise of CCIS and the College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern’s Information Assurance program aims to secure the global information grid by ensuring data privacy and integrity, user authenticity, availability and legitimate use of system resources.

Recently, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) named Northeastern as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R), highlighting the University’s commitment to world-class interdisciplinary and translational research that solves problems of global and societal significance, such as creating knowledge and solutions that can help our Nation to effectively prevent and respond to catastrophic events by securing the global information grid. The CAE-R designation enables Northeastern to serve as a regional center of information assurance expertise for NSA, DHS and other federal agencies and provide programs aimed at training and retaining current federal and state IT personnel.

In addition, Northeastern’s Health Informatics program, which enrolled its first students in September of 2007, combines the knowledge and expertise of faculty from both CCIS and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences with the industry background of practicing IT professionals from the healthcare industry. Graduates of the Health Informatics program, trained in both technical and health care fields, will be uniquely prepared to help lead efforts to improve care through the adoption of leading edge technology, address the shortage of information technology professionals in the health care industry and bridge the communication gap between technologists and health care professionals.

As the impact of globalization and outsourcing continues to drive companies to manage projects in a distributive fashion, the most valuable professionals are those who can work effectively across disciplines.  In response to industry’s complaint that technically trained individuals do not communicate well, all three of the information technology programs at Northeastern educate students to work in more complex, global environments and strive to build a common vocabulary so that diverse groups of professionals can work together to more easily overcome constraints, exchange ideas, understand alternative styles of thinking and solve problems.  Additionally, Northeastern’s Computer Science program recently added a required course, “Program Design Paradigm,” which promotes verbal communication skills by allowing students to build software and defend their intellectual work in front of their peers during code reviews.

“The development and design of the Information Assurance, Health Informatics and Computer Science programs at Northeastern are the University’s responses to the changing demands of the information technology world,” said Agnes Chan, associate dean for graduate studies in CCIS. “Our programs are constantly evolving and answering society’s IT needs in a timely manner. They are flexible and strong in providing both theoretical fundamentals and practical viewpoints.”

Computerworld’s guide to the top 10 innovative IT schools featuring Northeastern University, can be viewed here: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=322738

For more information on Northeastern’s inclusion in Computerworld’s innovative “IT Schools to Watch,” please contact Jason Kornwitz at 617-373-5729 or j.kornwitz@neu.edu.

About Northeastern

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston.  Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world.  The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions.  For more information, please visit www.northeastern.edu.

For more information, please contact Jason Kornwitz at 617-373-5729 or at j.kornwitz@neu.edu.

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