Technology moves fast, as does the technical jargon and meanings we associate with key terminology. Head of the re-named School of Computer Science, Athman Bouguettaya tells us how the new school name better reflects its current expertise and ambitions to be #1.
When Professor Athman Bouguettaya, Head of the newly re-named School of Computer Science, started at the University of Sydney in late 2016, he already aspired to take the school to the top of the Australian rankings and rub shoulders with the best computing universities in the world.
Changing the school name, Professor Bouguettaya says, is just one part of a comprehensive strategy to achieve this goal.
Research commissioned by the Faculty of Engineering and IT among industry partners, alumni, staff and students also revealed that what the market now associates with ‘information technologies’ has changed significantly since the school moved from the Faculty of Science in 2007.
We were pleased that the market research supported our own intelligences. Computer science underpins all of our activities and more accurately describes our research strengths and relevance to industry.
The school’s research and teaching activities focus on algorithms, information systems, human-centred technology, biomedical technology, distributed and high-performance computing, and Artificial Intelligence. Industry and alumni respondents highlighted that ‘information technologies’ was considered much broader terminology, often associated with vocational training, and not aligned with the level of academic qualification offered by the University of Sydney.
“When we looked at the global ARWU top 20 universities, 80 percent included ‘computing’ or ‘computer science’ in their nomenclature,” he said. “We wanted to bring the School name into line with this international practice as well as our academic endeavours.”
The School of Computer Science is already working to deliver new, sustainable and innovative academic programs, particularly in the postgraduate space but also as majors in the new undergraduate Advanced Computing degree. Ensuring that technology trends such as cybersecurity and the Internet of Things are further embedded into the current curriculum is a priority for the school.
“Our strong industry connections mean that we can keep pace with the fast-paced technology trends and equip our students to meet the ever-changing needs of employers,” adds Professor Bouguettaya.
The change of name heralds an exciting time for the School of Computer Science and a celebration event for staff, students, industry and alumni will be held early in the new year. To register your interest in being a part of the celebration, you can email the School or keep up to date with the latest news including this event via Ignite.