New Jersey Institute of Technology Unveils The State’s First College of Computing Sciences

NEWARK, Oct. 4-- New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), a pioneer in computer education, has achieved another first. The university recently opened New Jersey’s first College of Computing Sciences. The school is one of the nation’s largest colleges of computing sciences with more than 2,440 enrolled undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. To create the college, NJIT upgraded the status of the department of computer and information science, formerly part of the College of Science and Liberal Arts.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: NJIT celebrates the opening of the college Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 4 p.m. in the ground floor circular lobby of the William S. Guttenberg Information Technologies Center located on the NJIT campus. To attend and reserve parking, please contact the public relations office. )

Why the change? "We had witnessed for a number of years an astonishing growth in enrollment in computer science and information systems, making this department one of the largest in the region, if not the nation,” says NJIT President Saul K. Fenster. “The demand for talented graduates knowledgeable in these areas continues to grow. It makes sense to respond to our future students, and the needs of the economy, by offering more intensive, inspiring and expanded educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students studying computing sciences and by expanding our research activities in the many fields associated with the mission of the college."

The dean of the new college is Stephen B. Seidman, Ph.D., the former chair of the department of computer science at Colorado State University. Seidman, a noted expert in software engineering and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), sees limitless prospects for the college. “I intend to expand the already solid educational opportunities offered to NJIT students in the computing disciplines, to foster research in existing areas of excellence and create new ones, and to promote fruitful collaborations with industry,” he says. The college has 40 tenure-track faculty, and Seidman hopes to expand that number to 60.

“Computing and information technology have driven about a third of the nation's economic growth since 1992 and the pace is accelerating,” adds Fenster. “The new marketplace demands an understanding of computing systems, global communication networks and interactive information resources. It requires the ability to apply computational ways of thinking to design, to writing, to experimentation, to artistic expression and to problem solving -- to the very core of human intellectual activity. Just as higher education requires writing skills that go beyond the mechanics of sentence and paragraph structure, the Information Age requires scientific skills that go beyond the mechanics of programming and the use of software packages.”

The new college offers several undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including new programs in information technology, information systems and human-computer interaction. The college encompasses two departments. The department of computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of computing and the development of new computer software systems. The department of information systems deals with applications of computers involving people and organizations.

The college’s areas of research excellence include algorithms, databases, learning technologies and bioinformatics. Members of the senior faculty include the following notable individuals who specialize in the areas of research excellence. (For more information about these faculty members, as well as others whose areas of research reach beyond the ones denoted here, see the enclosed “Guide To 14 Faculty Members.”)

Creating a Database To Improve Distance Learning: Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Ph.D., distinguished professor of computer science, pioneered the concept of distance learning. Hiltz also originated the concept of the Virtual Classroom® and is building an educational database for the web. The base, funded by the Sloan Foundation, will improve the effectiveness of distance learning.

Software Engineer: Ali Mili, Ph.D., professor of computer science, is an internationally renowned expert in the area of software engineering. His expertise includes software architecture, software specification and design, software reuse, and software validation and verification. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and The National Aeronautic Space Administration (NASA) have supported his research.

Internet Stability and Protocols: Teunis J. Ott, Ph.D., professor of computer science, a former senior scientist at Telcordia Technologies, the successor to Bellcore, has been researching the stability of the Internet and the performance of Internet protocols. He holds several patents that deal with solutions for traffic flow and routing in telecommunications networks.

Learning Styles of Children: Ricki Goldman Segal, Ph.D., professor of information systems, is an expert on using computers to understand how children think. Her laboratory at the University of British Columbia, where she formerly taught, studied how people-both young and old-of different races, cultures, and genders use computer-based text, sound and images.

Helping Disabled People: Marilyn Tremaine, Ph.D., professor of information systems, is well known as an expert in the creation and evaluation of new human-computer interface technologies. These technologies enable researchers to develop simpler hardware and software systems for people with disabilities. Tremaine recently developed a virtual reality-based program to rehabilitate stroke victims.

Learning Technologies: Murray Turoff, Ph.D., distinguished professor of information systems, pioneered along with Hiltz the concept of distance learning. Turoff, chair of the department of information systems, developed the first computer-mediated communications technology in 1976, better known as the Electronic Information Exchange System (EIES).

To learn more about the College of Computing Sciences, visit the web site at


NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet Life magazine cites NJIT as a “perennially most wired” university.

Contact Information:   Sheryl Weinstein
Robert Florida
Public Relations 
(973) 596-3433