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The Software and Systems Engineering Masters Program at Texas Tech University: A Computer Science and Industrial Engineering Collaborative Effort

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Software Engineering Curricula

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1346.1 - 25.1346.13



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Paper Authors


Susan Darling Urban Texas Tech University

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Susan D. Urban received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in computer science in 1976, 1980, and 1987, respectively, from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. She has been a professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Texas Tech University since 2011 and was previously a professor in the Department of Computer Science from 2007-2010. She was at Arizona State University from 1989-2007, where she currently holds the status of Emeritus Professor. She was also an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami from 1987-1989. Her research addresses integrated techniques for event, rule, and transaction processing to address data consistency and active behavior in distributed, data-centric applications. Urban has been the recipient of several grants from the National Science Foundation for her research on constraints, active rule processing in centralized and distributed environments, data consistency issues in service-oriented environments, the use of databases in engineering design, undergraduate research, and the development of innovative teaching concepts for database instruction. She has published more than 100 refereed papers and book chapters on the results of her research and is a co-author of Fundamentals of Object Databases: Object-Oriented and Object-Relational Design (Morgan Claypool, 2011). She currently serves in the Editorial Board of the Journal of Data Semantics and has previously served on the Editorial Boards of the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering and the Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering. In addition, she has served as the Co-editor of special issues in the Integrated Computer-Aided Engineering Journal, Computing Systems Journal, IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, Theory and Practice of Object Systems, and the Journal of Computing and Information Science and Engineering. She has also served on the organizing and program committees of numerous database conferences and workshops, including the IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering, the International Conference on Cooperative Information Systems, the International Conference on Ontologies, Databases, and Applications of Semantics, the International Conference on Objects and Databases, and the ACM Symposium on Computer Science Education. Urban is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, the IEEE Computer Society, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. In 2010, she was also inducted into the Golden Key Honour Society as an honorary member.

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Joseph E Urban Texas Tech University

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Joseph E. Urban joined the Department of Industrial Engineering at Texas Tech University as professor in Jan. 2011 after serving as chair of the Department of Computer Science during 2008 to 2010. He served as the Deputy Division Director in the Division of Computer and Network Systems of the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering at the U.S. National Science Foundation. He has published more than 120 technical papers. He has supervised the development of nine software specification languages. His research areas include software engineering, executable specification languages, prototyping software systems, web based software tools, engineering education, computer languages, data engineering, and distributed computing. He received the Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Susan A. Mengel Texas Tech University

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Susan Mengel joined the Department of Computer Science at Texas Tech University in the Fall of 1996 and is currently an Associate Professor. She received her bachelor's degree from Central Oklahoma University, her master's degree from Oklahoma State University, and her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, all in computer science. While here at Texas Tech, she helped to establish the master's in software engineering degree program, served as the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, served as Vice-President for the Texas Tech Faculty Senate, chaired the IEEE Software Engineering Education and Training Conference, served on the Steering Committee of the ACM/IEEE Computing Curriculum, and served on the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors. She currently serves on the Texas Tech Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects and is the Associate Editor of Computing for the IEEE Transactions on Education. Mengel conducts research in the area of web search where she is developing techniques to pinpoint needed information more accurately than current search engines, and developing ways to discern if the information on a web page or document is important enough to be archived for later use by a user. In addition, she is investigating the area of information security to determine how to keep intruders out of computer systems and applications, particularly on the web.

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William M. Marcy P.E. Texas Tech University


Patrick E. Patterson Texas Tech University

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Patrick Patterson is Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering at Texas Tech University. Previously, while at Iowa State University, he served as Chair of the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department and as Interim chair of the Industrial Education and Technology Department. He is a Professional Engineer (PE), a certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE), and a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. His research and teaching interests include safety engineering, interaction design, cognitive ergonomics, user-centered product design, biomechanics, and errors in complex systems. He has extensive experience in developing devices and device adaptations for individuals with disabilities. Recent work includes developing adaptive displays, the effects of product design on human error, evaluating display sophistication on information value, and the design of products for the aging population. He has also developed courses and training packages that use distance learning, streaming video, and interactive distance team collaboration.

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The Software and Systems Engineering Masters Program at Texas Tech University: A Computer Science and Industrial Engineering Collaborative Effort Susan D. Urban1, Joseph E. Urban1, William Marcy2, Patrick Patterson1, and Susan Mengel2 1 Department of Industrial Engineering 2 Department of Computer Science Texas Tech University In several recent reports, software engineering has been identified as one of the bestoccupations in the job market. Software engineering is a knowledge-intensive job, requiringcomputing professionals with skills that span from requirements elicitation, to software designand implementation, as well as testing, verification, and validation. Software engineers must alsohave project management and teaming skills coupled with sensitivity to the issues of software anddata security. Industry’s need for innovation, research and development, and a broaderunderstanding of the complexities of software development is contributing to this growth insoftware engineering job opportunities. The Internet and its impact on distributed applications,service-oriented computing, and cloud computing, are also creating a demand for new and bettersoftware applications, many involving social computing, ubiquitous and pervasive computing,and mobile computing. Over the last 20 years, at least 50 graduate software engineering degree programs have beenestablished. The Graduate Software Engineering Reference Curriculum (GSwERC) committeerecently conducted a survey of 28 of these programs, finding that many of the programs varywidely in curriculum. GSwERC has also compiled an updated report outlining curriculumguidelines for software engineering programs. One of the most interesting aspects of the report isa suggestion to integrate systems engineering concepts into software engineering degreeprograms. While software engineers use engineering concepts in the design and development ofsoftware systems, computer systems software engineers take a broader view of an organization’scomputing environment by integrating and coordinating hardware resources, softwareapplications, networking, and security, with an added focus on human factors, workflow,logistics, and technical support. ISO 15288, a systems engineering standard, describes anintegrated, software and systems engineering life cycle. The International Council on SystemsEngineering and the National Defense Industrial Association Software Engineering Divisionendorses the GSwE2009 curriculum guidelines, which is sponsored by the IEEE ComputerSociety and Association for Computing Machinery. The complexity of most modern softwareapplications demands a more integrated skill set for systems and software engineers. To address this need, the Department of Industrial Engineering and the Department ofComputer Science at Texas Tech University have collaborated to revise the Master of Science inSoftware Engineering (MSSE) degree program. The program emphasizes the integration ofsystems and software engineering concepts. The MSSE is a professional, online, degree program,focusing on developing graduates capable of defining, developing, testing, and maintainingcomplex software systems by using system requirements engineering techniques that integratehardware, software, human factors, economic, and application considerations. This paper willoutline the new curriculum for the MSSE degree program and discuss the challenges associatedwith bringing the computer science and systems engineering communities together in itsdevelopment.  

Urban, S. D., & Urban, J. E., & Mengel, S. A., & Marcy, W. M., & Patterson, P. E. (2012, June), The Software and Systems Engineering Masters Program at Texas Tech University: A Computer Science and Industrial Engineering Collaborative Effort Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22103

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