CIS@TCHS Calendar at a Glance:
(A Two-Week Projection)

This week in CIS:
Wednesday December 13th, 2017 12/14/2017 12/15/2017 Sat Sun 12/18/2017 12/19/2017
Summer Recess Summer Recess Summer Recess **** **** Summer Recess Summer Recess

Next week in CIS:
12/20/2017 12/21/2017 12/22/2017 Sat Sun 12/25/2017 12/26/2017
Summer Recess Summer Recess Summer Recess **** **** Summer Recess Summer Recess

Click the link below to download the TCHS 2012-13 school calendar (must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view): 2012-13 School Calendar

What is Computer Information Systems (or CIS)?

The term Computer Information Systems is historically defined as a 'bridge' anchored between the business world and computer science, but CIS is slowly evolving towards a well-defined science.1 Typically, Information Systems (or IS) include colleagues, procedures, data, software, and hardware (by degree) that are used to gather and analyze information.2 Today, CIS is a track within the computer science field pursuing the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their software & hardware designs, their applications, and their impact on society.3 Overall, a CIS curriculum emphasizes functionality over design.

Does this course emphasize understanding over common memorization techniques?

Yes, this course builds from the bottom-up and discovered that less memorization of seemingly arbitrary rules is required than in traditional programming courses.4 "Students understand that the rules make sense by the time a topic is taught, they have an awareness of how that topic is implemented at the levels below it."4

What are the course requirements for a student entering CIS?

Class participation and attendance will be graded daily which is at least 15% of a student's final grade for this course. Weekly assignments/projects, independent research, and teacher observations/assessments will be scored as the remainder 85% of the final marking-period grade. Therefore, it is imperative that every student arrives prepared for class and can meet the course requirements listed below:

How will CIS students be evaluated?

Student evaluations are based upon daily observations, class participation, research projects, and final assessments. Here's how the evaluations are categorized:

40%   Computer Science Projects
30%   Examinations & Final Exam
15%   Lab Participation & Volunteering
15%   Research Evidence & Development

What's more important: Computer Hardware or the Controlling Software?

Both are important, "...hardware and software are names for components of two parts of a computing system that work best when they are designed by someone who took into account the capabilities and limitations of both."5

Is there a difference between IS and IT curricula?

YES, Information Technology (or IT) follows a well-defined and proven set of techniques used in processing and retrieving information (for end-user support);2 whereas Information Systems (or IS) defines fundamental models and verifies techniques implemented within the IT field (for mutual support). Commonly, IS & IT literacy both respectively lead to fluency covered by the Computer Science umbrella/discipline. For example, inside any organization IS professionals have strong analytical and critical thinking skills to solve problems, which in-turn is mutually shared with IT professionals to build a solution toolkit or to establish a library for end-user support.

Can any student solve a complex problem?

YES. "Before leaving this topic, it is worth pointing out that it is not always possible to understand everything at the outset. When you find that to be the case, it is not a signal simply to throw up your hands and quit. In such cases (which realistically are most cases), you should see if you can make sense of a piece of the problem and expand from there. Problems are like puzzles; initially they can be opaque, but the more you work at it, the more they yield under your attack. Once you do understand what is given, what is being asked for, and how to proceed, you are ready to return to square one and restart the process of systematically decomposing the problem."6 (Emphasis Added)

What are the guiding assumptions about the Information Systems profession?
From: "IS 2002 Model Curriculum and Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Systems" (2002, ACM, AIS, et alii)

In conceptualizing the role of information systems in the future and the requirements for IS curricula, several elements remain important and characteristic of the discipline. These characteristics evolve around four major areas of the IS profession and therefore must be integrated into any IS curriculum:

  1. IS professionals must have a broad business and real world perspective. Students must therefore understand that:
    • IS are enablers of successful performance in organizations;
    • IS span and integrate all organizational levels and business functions;
    • IS are increasingly of strategic significance because of the scope of the organizational systems involved and the role systems play in enabling organizational strategy.

  2. IS professionals must have strong analytical and critical thinking skills. Students must therefore:
    • Be problem solvers and critical thinkers;
    • Use systems concepts for understanding and framing problems;
    • Be capable of applying both traditional and new concepts and skills;
    • Understand that a system consists of people, procedures, hardware, software, and data.

  3. IS professionals must exhibit strong ethical principles and have good interpersonal communication and team skills. Students must understand that:
    • IS require the application of professional codes of conduct;
    • IS require collaboration as well as successful individual effort;
    • IS design and management demand excellent communication skills (oral, written, and listening);
    • IS require persistence, curiosity, creativity, risk taking, and a tolerance of these abilities in others.

  4. IS professionals must design and implement information technology solutions that enhance organizational performance. Students must therefore:
    • Possess skills in understanding and modeling organizational processes and data, defining and implementing technical and process solutions, managing projects, and integrating systems;
    • Be fluent in techniques for acquiring, converting, transmitting, and storing data and information;
    • Focus on the application of information technology in helping individuals, groups, and organizations achieve their goals.

  1. Ken Hoganson, "Alternative Curriculum Models for Integrating Computer Science and Information Systems Analysis, Recommendations, Pitfalls, Opportunities, Accreditations and Trends*," (Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges, 2001) Abstract & p. 12
  2. WCU & Pearson Custom Publishing, Custom Program for CIS (CSC 110), (Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009) Glossary p. 694
  3. CSTA Committee, Allen Tucker, et alii, A Model Curriculum for K-12 Computer Science (Final Report), (Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., 2006) Abstraction & p. 2
  4. Yale N. Patt & Sanjay J. Patel, Introduction to Computing Systems from Bits and Gates to C and Beyond, second edition, (McGraw-Hill, 2004) Preface p. xxi
  5. Yale N. Patt & Sanjay J. Patel, Introduction to Computing Systems from Bits and Gates to C and Beyond, second edition, (McGraw-Hill, 2004) p. 5
  6. Yale N. Patt & Sanjay J. Patel, Introduction to Computing Systems from Bits and Gates to C and Beyond, second edition, (McGraw-Hill, 2004) p. 162