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Online M.S. in Information Systems


Fundamentals Course:

(May be waived based on experience, which will bedetermined during the admissions review process.)

IS 607 Introduction to Information Systems (4 credits)

IS 607 will give you a hands-on introduction to the major basic technologies used in the field of Information Systems. These technologies are: Networking and data communications, programming, databases, HTML, JavaScript and server-side processing. This course will require you to develop web pages and sites. This course uses only client-side technology that requires a web browser. You will also have to FTP files up to servers at UMBC. All details of this process are included in the course materials. Some lectures include movies that require QuickTime or an open source equivalent.

Core Required Courses:

IS 631 Management Information Systems (3 credits)

This course presents the applications of information systems in business processes and operations, in managerial decision-making, and in the strategic planning of organizations. The course covers information systems management fundamentals to include such factors as:

  • The information environment,
  • Decision-making,
  • The systems approach,
  • The management of information systems, and
  • The integration of information systems with an organization’s management systems.

CO-requisite: IS 607

IS 632 Networks (3 credits)

This course provides the fundamentals of network technologies, such as public-switched network, wide area networks, and local area networks, from the perspective of the current and future needs. The course also covers network architectures, networking standards, digital and analog signaling, the various transmission media, as well as equipment, applications, and services.

IS 633 Database Management Systems (3 credits)

The course covers most of the major advancements in database technology that have taken place recently. It does not assume any prior background in the field of databases, and hence starts with basic introductory concepts along with more advanced topics. The course will cover both conceptual and hands-on material in the area of database management, thus enabling student to have the maximum amount of comprehension and retention of the material covered in the course.

Pre-requisite: IS 607 or equivalent

IS 634 Structured Systems Analysis and Design (3 credits)

All of the activities required to progress from the initial identification of an organizational problem to the design of an IT-based solution are covered, as well as specific techniques for carrying out those activities. The emphasis will be on both learning the mechanics of the techniques and applying them to real projects.

CO-requisite: IS 607

Advanced Courses:

(All students must complete a total of six advanced courses)

IS 659 Principles of Cybersecurity (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the principles of cybersecurity. It focuses on theory and practice of cybersecurity concepts shedding a light on hacking, theft, and exploitation of information assets. Topics include authentication, access control, password management, cryptography, software vulnerabilities and malware, network security attacks, operating system attacks, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, etc.

IS 667 Interaction Design (3 credits)

The course starts by discussing fundamental psychological concepts needed to understand how humans interact with computer systems and how those systems can be better designed to support that interaction. Design and evaluation methods are presented to achieving this goal. This module builds on earlier courses, particularly Systems Analysis and Design (IS 634), but adds much more material about how to design for human interaction. These concepts are important for any information system in which human interaction is required. Students must successfully complete IS 634 prior to enrolling for this course.

Prerequisite: IS 634

IS 668 Enterprise-Wide Computing (3 credits)

The emphasis of this course is on distributed computing architectures and web services. You are assumed to have taken IS 632, have an elementary knowledge of server-side and client-side web technology, and have taken elementary programming. A major focus of the course is on doing technical, hands-on exercises and so one should enjoy that type of learning.

IS 669 Project Management Operations (3 credits)

This course is designed to give students both practical and academic insights into modern practices in the area of information systems project management. A general introduction to project management is followed by readings and exercises for topics that include:

  1. Integration and scope management,
  2. Time/cost/quality management, and
  3. Human resource and risk management.
  4. The traditional management aspects of initiating, planning, executing and controlling will also be examined.

The course will conclude with discussions involving what is involved in closing a project. Students must successfully complete IS 631 and IS 634 prior to enrolling for this course.

IS 670 Health Informatics (3 credits)

The health care industry in the United States consumes about 20% of the Gross National Product, touches everyone, and is information intensive. Information systems have spread slowly from the billing room to the examination room, but the pace of change is accelerating. Successful information systems applications must be managed by people knowledgeable in the issues relevant to both health care and information systems. This course examines those special issues and covers: Requirements and Design Providers and Payers Fraud Transactions Standards Privacy Security Personnel and Vendors Integration. Students must successfully complete IS 631 prior to enrolling for this course.

IS 671 Electronic Commerce (3 credits)

This course will analyze how organizations are using electronic commerce to streamline operations, reach customers, and increase profitability. The technologies involved in electronic commerce will be examined. The organizational, behavioral, social, legal, security, and international aspects of EC will be discussed. The primary emphasis will be on Web based technologies and issues. This course will reflect the most current research and application. The course will mainly focus on e-commerce from a B2B and CRM point of view. Students must successfully complete IS 634 prior to enrolling for this course.

IS 672 Computer and Network Security (3 credits)

This course surveys threats to computer and network security and methods for preventing incursions at a graduate level. We study how vulnerabilities to these threats arise in the development and use of computer systems and survey the controls that can reduce or block these threats. The course will consist of weekly readings, homework questions, and hands-on labs.

Students must successfully complete IS 632 prior to enrolling for this course.

IS 673 Readings in Human-Centered Computing Research (3 credits)

This course examines and analyses cognitive and software concepts that underlie human-centered computing. The concepts include cognitive theories of memory organization, problem solving strategies, and linguistic comprehension. Interaction software technologies that are examined include menu selection systems, command languages, and direct manipulation techniques. This course is intended to introduce the student to the current literature and to prepare the student to prepare the student for conducting independent research and for designing appropriate interaction software.

IS 674 Information Architecture for the Web (3 credits)

As the web matures, so do users’ expectations about what a site should do. In addition to a pleasing design and working links, they also want sites that are clearly organized, relevant, accurate, up-to-date, and have interesting and easy-to-find content. This course will focus on the principles and practices of the user-centered information architecture design of websites that address these needs. We will study the creation and organization of web content that meets the information needs of end-users and serves the intentions or purposes of a site’s sponsors or creators. We will learn about the basic principles of writing and labeling web content and the usable design of websites. We will also learn about users’ web browsing and searching behavior and the design of search and navigation systems to support this behavior. We will explore options to set up search within sites and optimizing the findability of a site through search engines.

This course, however, is NOT a web graphics design, HTML or Web programming class, we will not build a website. Students will be researching the content and context of websites and the needs of users and sponsors. They will develop the purpose and strategy for a specific site of their choosing. They will design the information organization and labeling systems and develop the navigation system of the website. They will design page layouts and create content for the selected website. The will achieve these goals by planning and creating information architecture deliverables for the site prototype that facilitates consensus building among stakeholders and guides a designer or programmer in the production of a working web site. Students will also analyze the information architecture, navigation structure, audience awareness and usability of good and bad web sites.

IS 675 Data Science (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide an introduction to data science concepts and techniques. The course will include both theoretical foundations of commonly used data science methods as well as hands-on exercises using open source libraries like Python Scikit learn. Topics will include techniques such as data preprocessing, classification, clustering, and visualization. Various algorithms on each of these techniques will be covered in the course. Examples of such algorithms include the Apriori algorithm for logistic regression, support vector machines, and decision trees for classification; and k-means, DBSCAN, and hierarchical algorithms for clustering, and t-SNE for visualization. Several real-life applications will be discussed for each of these techniques.

Prerequisite: IS 633 or an equivalent

IS 676 Information Integration (3 credits)

This course focuses on the theory and practice of integrating systems and information with an emphasis on semantics. The problem of integrating information is extremely common in today’s world. When one organization acquires or merges with another, it usually inherits an entire IT department which may or may not be compatible with its existing infrastructure. Data systems and information must easily interoperate to meet the business needs of the organization.

This course investigates the various technologies in the field of information integration with an emphasis on semantics. Topics that are covered include: Data Integration Architectures, Modeling Data Semantics, Semantic Interoperability, Metadata, Semantic Integration Patterns, Context-Awareness, Semantic Networks, Mediation and Wrapper techniques, etc.

Prerequisite: IS 633

IS 677 Deep Learning (3 credits)

This course provides a solid understanding of what deep learning is, when it is applicable, and what its limitations are. The students will be familiar with the standard workflow for approaching and solving machine-learning problems and know how to address commonly encountered issues. Students will be able to use Keras and TensorFlow to tackle real-world problems ranging from computer vision to natural-language processing: image classification, time series forecasting, sentiment analysis, image and text generation, and other advanced topics such as reinforcement learning. Some prior background in machine learning with Python is expected.

Prerequisite: IS 675 or an equivalent

IS 678 Data Analytics in Cybersecurity (3 credits)

Cyber security is a pervasive problem affecting individuals, organizations, and governments. This is due to the acceptance and adoption of technology in the form of multiple types of non-traditional devices. Thus, cybersecurity has to address challenges emerging in the areas of not only computer networks but also sensor networks, industrial control systems and user devices.

One common thread in all these types of devices and end users is data. Increasingly, the focus of cybersecurity is shifting to analyzing data in not only a retrospective manner but also a prospective manner across different segments of cybersecurity domain such as software vulnerabilities, network data from intrusion detection systems, network traffic data, and user roles to name a few. Due to the seamless nature of the internet it has become more important to attribute cyber security events to geographic domains. Thus, data analytics has to go beyond the traditional themes of security and seamlessly weave across several domains including geospatial data and temporal data. This course is an introduction to data analytics for cybersecurity.

The course will look at data from different perspectives such as geospatial, temporal, social network, and sensor networks to assess cyber threats and knowledge about cyber-attacks. The course will provide an introduction to cybersecurity and different aspects of it, study different types of cyber attacks, anomalies and their relationship to cyber threats, introduction to data mining and big data analytics, methods for discovering anomalies, tools for data analytics and anomaly detection, and hands-on exercises for data analysis. The course will include lectures and hands-on analytics tasks.

Prerequisite: IS 633 or experience in database design and query processing.

IS 679 Social Media Application and Analysis (3 credits)

The rise of social media has brought fundamental changes to individuals, businesses, and organizations in how people and organizations interact with one another. Social media have helped to not only connect everyday users with their friends and like-minded others, but also give them a voice that can have considerable influence on individual and business decision making. Social media transforms how individual users retrieve, organize, store, and share information, how they create and use knowledge, how they interact with one another, and how they build new relationships and maintain existing relationships, etc. This course will take an integrative approach to studying social media by providing an in-depth look into social media phenomenon, social network data, social network analysis, and social network application. The course will introduce relevant concepts, methods, knowledge, perspectives, and practical skills required to leverage the opportunities inherent in social media and user-to-user social interactions for achieving business, marketing, organizational, and personal objectives.

Prerequisite: IS 631

IS 680 Readings in Advanced Structured Systems Design (3 credits)

This course is an advanced study of structured systems development. Emphasis is on strategies and techniques of structured analysis and structured design for producing logical methodologies for dealing with complexity in the development of information systems.

Prerequisite: IS 634 or IS 636

IS 698 Special Topics in Information Systems (3 credits)

This course explores advanced topics in Information Systems that are not covered in other courses. Since the topics vary each semester, this course may be repeated for credit.

IS 701 Independent Study for IFSU (3 credits)

This is a course in independent research for master’s students, and is supervised by a member of the Information Systems faculty. The purpose of this course is to give students the opportunity to study a topic of interest which is not available from the existing course offerings.

Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

Note: A particular faculty member must agree in writing to supervise the proposed study before the student may register for this course. The approval of the Department is required before the student registers.

IS 707 Applications of Intelligent Technologies (3 credits)

Intelligent technologies explore the fundamental roles and practical impacts of artificial intelligence and knowledge management in various paradigms. The purpose of this course is to offer students an in-depth understanding of concepts, methodologies, techniques, applications, and issues of a variety of intelligent technologies. The topics include, but are not limited to, intelligent agents, semantic Web, ontology, information retrieval and reasoning, social network analysis, and Web mining. Intelligent technologies will be discussed in the context of popular information system applications such as search engines, e-commerce, computer-mediated communication, and intelligent user interface.

Prerequisite: Graduate student standing and permission of the instructor.

IS 799 Master’s Thesis I (3 credits) *

See your faculty advisor for more information regarding the specific requirements.

IS 799 Master’s Thesis II (3 credits)

See your faculty advisor for more information regarding the specific requirements.

*Thesis Option:
Students have the option to choose to do a masters thesis. Students must complete IS 799 over the course of two semesters (3 credits each semester). Students must also choose a thesis advisor from the department and form a three member committee that oversees and accepts the thesis. An MS Thesis defense must be scheduled with your advisor and committee. Student must present this defense in person and the student is responsible for scheduling and travel arrangements. The thesis must be pre-approved by the advisor and submitted to the thesis committee at least four weeks prior to the proposal or final defense.