Merger creates Department of Computing and Information Systems

January 12 / 78

The Department of Computing and Information Systems (CIS) has become the newest department in the Melbourne School of Engineering.

CIS merges the staff, students and programs from the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering in the Melbourne School of Engineering with the Department of Information Systems in the Faculty of Science.

Dean of Engineering, Professor Iven Mareels, said the IT disciplines at Melbourne had a distinguished history, achieving numerous Australian ‘firsts’ and performing strongly in national and international rankings.

“Computing and Information are the keys that will unlock a whole new wave of technological advancement in the 21st century, and it is critically important that we provide programs that encourage enquiring students to capitalise on these dramatic advances,” he said.

The concentration of the University’s IT disciplines in a single department will bring many benefits across research, teaching and administration.

The merging departments have already combined their operations on the fourth floor of the ICT Building. In the middle of this year, the Department will move to a new home in the refurbished Doug McDonell building, which will become the hub of IT research and study on campus and will be renamed to reflect its new purpose.

Professor Justin Zobel, recently appointed head of the new department, said CIS would continue to build on the long history of creation and discovery in IT at the University.

“IT is increasingly a component of every aspect of our society,” Professor Zobel said.

“The Department of Computing and Information Systems will provide a platform that ensures all students have the opportunity to understand how these technologies work, what their limits are and how they can best be exploited in any domain of human endeavour.”

Along with work required to create the new department, significant effort is going in to the review and redesign of IT courses to streamline programs. At the undergraduate level, new majors in Computing and Software Systems and Informatics will be introduced this year.

The merger will also strengthen the long tradition of research collaboration between the two departments.

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