Informatics

School of Informatics

528 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: 716.645.6481
Fax: 716.645.3775
Email: ub-informatics@buffalo.edu
Web: www.informatics.buffalo.edu

W. David Penniman
Dean

Neil Yerkey
Director, Informatics Programs

Logan Scott
Director, Undergraduate Program

Azita Safaie
Academic Advisor

About the Program

The Informatics program focuses on connecting people with information and technology. Informatics is an interdisciplinary study of the design, application, and use of information technology within a broader social context. At the core of our curriculum is the principle that information serves the purposes of human communication and is enhanced by technological systems. Students will have a strong understanding of the interaction between technology and social, cultural, and organizational settings as well as facility with technology.

Notable Program Features

Informatics offers a two semester senior sequence that includes a team-based approach to Informatics research and culminates in a Capstone Project. Students will learn effective project management and gain a greater understanding of the issues related to team-based work.

Informatics - B.S.

Acceptance Criteria

Students must earn a combined GPA of 2.5 or better in the 3 prerequisite courses before full acceptance into the major.

Prerequisite Courses

INF 102 Introduction to Informatics
INF 125 Intro to the Internet as an Informatics Resource,
INF 215 Programming for the Web I

Required Courses

COM 217 Communication in Organizations
INF 216 Programming for the Web 2
INF 223 Usability Research
INF 311 Information Architecture
INF 410 Information Visualization
INF 420 Cognitive Principles of Human-Computer Interaction
INF 430 Applied Informatics Research
INF 494 Informatics Capstone

Two 3-Cr courses (over 200 level) in Informatics or Communication e.g. COM 350 Introduction to the Age of Information

Two ART or DMS courses in Visual Communication/Human-Computer Interface Development e.g. ART 150 Visual Theory, Aesthetics, And Criticism; ART 250 Introduction To Computer Art And Design; DMS 155 Introduction to New Media.

One writing course (choose from the following):
COM 317 Business & Professional Communication
ENG 202 Adv Writing: Technical

One statistics course (choose from the following):
MGQ 201 Intro To Computer & Stats
PSY 207 Psychological Statistics
SOC 294 Basic Statistics for Social Sciences

One research methods course (choose from the following):
COM 205 Research Methods
PSC 200 Empirical Political Science
PSY 250 Scientific Inquiry
SOC 293 Introduction to Research Methods
SSC 213 Social Research Methods

One introductory or higher-level computer course such as:
CSE 111 Great Ideas in Computer Science
CSE 113 Introduction to Computer Science I

Four social science courses, including:
COM 101 Principles of Communication
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
AND any one of the following:
COM 225 Interpersonal Communication
PSY 331 Social Psychology
PSY 333 Organizational Psychology
PSY 323 Community Psychology
PSY 341 Cognitive Psychology
SOC 371 Individual and Society

Summary
Total required credit hours for the major...67

See Baccalaureate Degree Requirements for general education and remaining university requirements.

Recommended Sequence of Program Requirements

First Year
Fall - INF 102
Spring - INF 125, PSY 101
Fall or Spring - one computer course, COM 101

Second Year
Fall - INF 215, two social science courses, one statistics course
Spring - INF 216, INF 223
Fall or Spring - one research methods course, one statistics course, one ART or DMS course

Third Year
Fall - INF 311
Spring - COM 217
Fall or Spring - one technical or professional writing course, one ART or DMS course, two INF or COM electives

Fourth Year
Fall - INF 420, INF 430
Spring - INF 410, INF 494

Course Descriptions

INF 102 Introduction to Informatics

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Introduction to informatics; emphasizes a broad overview of five aspects of informatics:information technology, human-computer interaction, new media, social implications of technology, and the transformation of data to information.

INF 125 Intro to the Internet as an Informatics Resource

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Provides a comprehensive review of the Internet and its components, web, email, ftp etc. Emphasizes its current use and future potential as an information resource. Introduces how information architects can use HTML, and CSS, as well as various types of audio/visual media. Covers web searching and how XML can be used to classify semantic information on web pages.

INF 215 Programming for the Web I

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Uses HTML and JavaScript to create web sites employing the principles of usability engineering and information architecture. Topics include the creation of web features, FTP, accessibility, usability, information design, and graphic design of web pages. Also includes introductions to cascading style sheets (CSS), dynamic HTML, and JavaScript. Cross-listed with MFC 215.

INF 216 Programming for the Web II

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  INF 125, INF 215
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Uses PHP language to construct CGI applications integrating mySQL databases with the web. Topics include server side scripting using PHP vs. client side scripting using JavaScript, information exchange via web-based forms and display pages, variables, user-defined functions, control statements, input/output functions, and database access via mySQL PHP routines.

INF 223 Usability Research

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Provides students with an understanding of the application of ethnographic methods to interface usability. Emphasizes the importance of evaluation in the design and development of interfaces, through user interviews, focus groups, think-aloud protocols and other human-factor methods.

INF 311 Information Architecture

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  INF 216
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Presents an overview of information architecture; provides students with an understanding of the methods and techniques necessary to design and implement effective and cost efficient information technologies such as digital libraries, database systems, and a range of other web-accessible resources. Also covers the basic principles of information architecture, organization of information, user-centered design and usability, as well as tools and techniques for developing web-enabled applications.

INF 410 Information Visualization

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  PSY 101
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Discusses basic principles that impact the design of information and the design of interactive information visualization systems. Examines existing systems and designs, and provides an overview of practical applications.

INF 420 Psychology of Human Computer Interaction

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  PSY 101
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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Surveys human-computer interaction and introduces psychological and other behavioral science knowledge and techniques useful in design of computer systems for human use. Discusses basic psychological phenomena of human cognition, memory, problem solving, and language and how these processes relate to and condition interaction between humans and interactive computer systems.

INF 430 Informatics Research

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  INF 223, Informatics research course, Informatics writing course
Corequisites:  None
Type:  DIS

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Prepares students for INF 494, the Informatics Senior Capstone. Explores risk reduction and uncertainty in informatics decision-making. Applies evaluation concepts learned in earlier research courses. Students form teams and propose projects that become the basis of the INF 494 senior capstone.

INF 470 Special Topics

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Topic of current interest. Topics may include information management, e-commerce, and competitive intelligence.

INF 471 Special Topics in Informatics & Networks

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Topic of current interest. Topics may include systems administration, wireless networking, web servers.

INF 472 Special Topics in Informatics Research

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Topic of current interest. Topics may include ethnographic methods. Iterative design, usability research.

INF 473 Special Topics in Informatics & the Web

Credits:  3
Semester:
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

Topic of current interest. Topics may include web design, the semantic web, metadata.

INF 494 Informatics Senior Capstone

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  INF 311, INF 420, INF 430
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM/LAB

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Senior capstone project; students demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired through the program. Provides students with the opportunity to create knowledge, not merely absorb it. Students work in teams to produce and deliver a poster session of their work to their peers and faculty.

Updated: Apr 12, 2006 11:09:12 AM