Informatics

Andy Ammons, Associate Professor of Biology
David Housman, Professor of Mathematics
Pat Lehman, Associate Professor of Communication
Kent Palmer, Associate Professor of Informatics

Introduction

Informatics is an exciting new program in which computers are used to solve problems. Informatics students take a core set of informatics courses, which gives them a solid foundation in the principles of computer science and information technology. Students also take courses in a cognate area. Students then use computers to solve problems in their chosen cognate area. The five possible cognate areas are business; biology; communication; mathematics; and peace, justice and conflict studies (PJCS). The PJCS cognate is a distinctive Goshen program not offered by any other college.

Goshen provides a number of opportunities for students to get practical computer experience during college. Students often work with Information Technology Services (ITS), ITS media, and the public relations department on campus. Internships and volunteer opportunities are also available with local businesses and nonprofit organizations.

The informatics program at Goshen College blends strong technology skills with a traditional liberal arts foundation. Informatics students are problem-solvers who understand the broader context for learning and how it applies in the world beyond technology. Informatics always keeps in mind the needs of people and the best and most appropriate uses for technology.

Career and postgraduate opportunities

Business and nonprofit organizations are looking for people that are able to use computer technology to solve problems. Goshen informatics graduates are in demand for their ability to increase business productivity, design effective websites, set up social media marketing campaigns, and create apps for smartphones and tablets. Students who elect to continue their computer studies at the graduate level have consistently been able to obtain research or teaching assistantships to fund their graduate education.

Major in informatics

59-65 credit hours (Informatics core plus one cognate area below)

Informatics core courses (38 credit hours)

  • Bus 220, Office Software Productivity 3
  • Comm 326, Creating for the Web 3
  • Info 200, Informatics I 3
  • Info 230, Programming I 4
  • Info 300, Informatics II 3
  • Info 330, Programming II 4
  • Info 340, Database Design 3
  • Info 350, Computer Networking 3
  • Info 355, Systems Analysis 3
  • Info 405, Project Management 3
  • Info 409, Capstone Project 3
  • One Statistics/Research methods course below 3
    Comm 240, Communication Research
    Econ 207, Business Research and Statistics
    Math 323, Probability and Statistics
    Psyc 380, Statistics in Research
    Soc 391, Methods of Social Research

Biology Cognate (27 credit hours)

Faculty contact person: Andrew Ammons

  • Biol 110, Ecology and Evolution 4
  • Biol 120, Cell Biology and Genetics 4
  • Biol 130, Organismal Biology 4
  • One of the following 4
    Biol 311, Advanced Molecular Genetics
    Biol 341, Advanced Cell Biology
  • Biol 331, Junior Research Seminar2
  • Biol 410, Senior Seminar1
  • Chem 111-112, General Chemistry 8

Business Cognate (21 credit hours)

Faculty contact person: Carlos Gutierrez

  • Bus 215, Entrepreneurship Finance 3
  • Bus 315, Principles of Marketing 3
  • Bus 318, Production/Operations Management 3
  • Bus 403, Management Strategy 3
  • Bus 409, Business Internship 3
  • Bus 410, Business Capstone Seminar 3
  • Econ 203, Principles of Microeconomics3

Communication and Media Cognate (21 credit hours)

Faculty contact person: Patricia Lehman

  • Art 107, Design 3
  • Art/Comm 108, Digital Design 3
  • Art 208, Graphic Design I 3
  • Comm 250, Writing for Media3
  • Comm 375, Animation 3
  • Comm 410, Senior Seminar 3
  • Info 345, Web Applications 3

Mathematics Cognate (23 credit hours)

Faculty contact person: David Housman

  • Math 205, Discrete Mathematics 3
  • Math 211, Calculus I 4
  • Math 212, Calculus II 4
  • Math 301, Linear Algebra 3
  • Math 321, Differential Equations 3
  • Math 351, Mathematical Modeling 3
  • Math 411, Seminar: History 1
  • Math 412, Seminar: Connections 1
  • Math 413, Seminar: Discoveries 1

Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies (PJCS) Cognate (22 credit hours)

Faculty contact person: Joe Liechty

  • Bibl 321, Biblical Themes of Peace 3
  • PJCS 325, Mediation3
  • PJCS 350, Dynamics & Theology of Reconciliation3
  • PJCS 370, Personal Violence & Healing 3
  • PJCS 410, Senior Advanced Work1
  • Any three additional PJCS courses9

Planning guide

First year

Goshen Core
Informatics I
Office Software Productivity
Programming I
Creating for the Web
Introductory cognate courses

Second and
Third years

Goshen Core
Upper level Informatics courses
Cognate area courses
Statistics or research methods course
SST

Fourth year Goshen Core
Remaining Informatics courses
Cognate area courses
Capstone Project
Senior Seminar (in cognate area)

Minor in informatics

18 credit hours

  • Info 200, Informatics I 3
  • Info 300, Informatics II 3
  • Other Informatics courses (at least 8 credit hours 300-400 level)12

 

Informatics courses


INFO 200 Problem Solving with Computers 3
This course focuses on functional problem solving methods. While solving problems, students will learn about how computers are used to solve problems, computer algorithms, storage of data, and data abstraction. Students will learn how to design, write, and test programs used to solve problems. Two important functional problem solving methods will be emphasized: recursion and high order problem solving. Most problems posed in the course will be related to storage, manipulation, and rendering of graphical images.

INFO 230 Programming I 4 (3-4)
This course focuses on using imperative programming techniques to solve problems. This course will also look at issues related to date representation, data abstractrion, memory management, arrays, linked lists, pointers, and assertion. It will also provide a brief introduction to use UNIX/Linux and shell scripting.

INFO 330 Programming II 4
This course focuses on using object-oriented problem solving techniques. Topics covered include object-oriented design, encapsulation, inheritance, algorithmic analysis, and data structures. It will also cover the use of an integrated development environment (IDE) (for example, Netbeans or Eclipse). This course will look at issues related to solving larger problems than were covered in Info 200 and 230. Prerequisite: Info 230.

INFO 340 Database Design 3
The proper design of databases and their construction through diagramming tools and SQL. Attention is also given to form and report development, data warehouse and data mining issues, and administrative issues such as user security. Students gain experience in robust database environments such as MySQL and in web environments. Prerequisite: Info 230.

INFO 346 Human-Computer Interaction 3
This course covers principles for designing, implementing, and evaluating user interfaces. The course will introduce user-centered design, rapid prototyping, experimentation, direct manipulation, and cognitive principles. Students will apply these principles in creating web sites. Prerequisite: Info 330.

INFO 350 Computer Networking and Security 3
Structure and components of computer networks, packet switching, layered architectures, and congestion management. Also covers principles of computer security, network security, application security, data security, threats, vulnerabilities, acess control, and cryptography. Prerequisite: Info 230 or consent of instructor.

INFO 355 Systems Analysis 3
A structured approach to solving organizational problems. The focus of the course is on determining the needs of the organization and meeting those needs through the design of an information system. Topics such as feasibility analysis, determining requirements, documenting processes and data requirements through modeling tools, designing a new system, and implementation issues are covered. Prerequisite: Info 330 and 340 or consent of instructor.

INFO 405 Project Management 3
Practice in managing the system life cycle; requirements determination for logical design, physical design, testing and implementation of a system. Other topics may include system and database integration issues; metrics for project-management and system-performance evaluation; managing expectations of superiors, users, team members and others related to the project; determining skill requirements and staffing the project; cost effectiveness analysis; presentation techniques; effective management of both behavioral and technical aspects of the project. Prerequisite: Info 355.

INFO 409 Internship 3
Work experience related to the use of information. Each student's internship is individually arranged with the instructor. The course is designed to give students practical experience applying what they learned in other classes. Students desiring an information internship must be an Information Technology, Computer Science, or Informatics major or minor and must have completed at least 15 hours of major/minor requirements. This course is repeatable.