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Computing Curricula: The History And Current Status Of 4 Year Computing Programs

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Computing Curriculum

Tagged Division

Information Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.346.1 - 11.346.11



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Paper Authors

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Michael Bailey Brigham Young University

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Barry Lunt Brigham Young University

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Gordon Romney Brigham Young University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Computing Curricula: The History and Current Status of 4-Year Computing Programs


The invention and creation of the digital computer in the mid-20th century gave rise to a host of new industries and dramatic changes in some of the programs offered at 4-year academic institutions. The first of these was the discipline of computer science, followed by the disciplines of information systems, computer-based library science, computer engineering, software engineering, and information technology. Additionally, there are newly-emerging programs in disciplines that are heavily computer-dependent, such as animation, industrial design, bioinformatics, and others.

The purpose of this paper is to present the history and current status of the five core computing academic disciplines as described in the Computing Curriculum document: computer science, information systems, computer engineering, software engineering, and information technology. The information summarized includes the number of programs in existence, the development of a standardized curriculum for each, and the development and implementation of accreditation standards for each.


The closing of the Second World War brought great change to society in the developed world. In addition to the upheavals resulting from retooling industries from militarily dominated economics to more peaceful pursuits, from the unemployment problems resulting from disbanded armies, and from reconstruction of destroyed industries, other revolutions were forming in the intellectual landscape of society. Much has been written about the competing economic and political competitions that arose among the survivors, but less notice is given to the technological capital that was produced during the war and its transfer to the peacetime economy. Notable technologies that were largely developed during this dark time include nuclear energy, radar, spread-spectrum communications, and of course, the computer.

Over time, these technologies flowed from the defense research labs to industrial and academic institutions. Inevitably, as the research progressed in these technologies, a body of knowledge was built up which began to be transferred to bright students. At the time of this writing, academic courses are being taught in Universities all around the world in each of these subjects, and in the case of computers, several distinct degree programs have formed around the technology.

There is little doubt that computer technologies have had great impact on society. It is difficult to find a workplace without a computer, from the corporate offices teaming with computer-laden cubicles to the plumbing contractor who keeps her books in a home office. In the home, computers have penetrated all but the poorest neighborhoods of America. From an even broader perspective, it can be observed that computers are

Bailey, M., & Lunt, B., & Romney, G. (2006, June), Computing Curricula: The History And Current Status Of 4 Year Computing Programs Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--625

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