White Plains, N. Y. — After a rigorous three-year academic journey, 20 students will share the distinction of being the first recipients of Pace University’s Doctor of Professional Studies (D.P.S.) in Computing at commencement ceremonies on Monday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Westchester County Center.
Peter Denning, a prominent computer scientist from George Mason University who has helped define Information Technology (IT) as a profession, will address the graduates and receive an honorary degree in conjunction with this milestone.
The D.P.S. in Computing is a unique, post-master’s doctoral degree designed to meet the needs of the practicing IT professional. It is an interdisciplinary program that encompasses the field of computing in its broadest sense and is structured to be completed in three years of part-time study. Traditional doctoral programs are generally narrowly focused, require a full-time commitment and can take up to 10 years to complete.
Pace D.P.S. students attend classes at the Graduate Center in White Plains one weekend per month. Between these monthly sessions students do coursework, pursue their dissertation research (which begins during the first semester of study), and interact with faculty and fellow students on an ongoing basis over the Internet. Unlike most traditional doctoral programs, student interaction becomes an essential part of the learning experience.
Of the 20 students in the D.P.S. class of 2002, four are women, which by percentage is higher than the national average in such programs. The class is also ethnically diverse with five African-American and five Asian-American students. The program’s structure also attracts students from a wide geographical area. Thirteen students are New York residents, two are from California, two are from New Jersey and the balance hail from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The students bring a considerable amount of professional diversity to the program, holding positions in areas such as software development, telecommunications management, data management and e-commerce with employers such as IBM, Verizon, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Wyeth Ayerst Research, E*Trade and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“Now that the program has gone full cycle we see extraordinary synergy between faculty and students and among students,” said CSIS Dean Susan M. Merritt. “These are highly experienced and talented professionals who are contributing regularly to the knowledge base and profession of information technology. Their work is outstanding.”
The breadth of the students’ educational exposure is reflected in their dissertation topics which include: in-depth studies in aspects of data warehousing, genetic algorithms, and Web site personalization and privacy.
Pauline Mosley, a lecturer at Pace in New York became the first member of the class to successfully defend her thesis, “The Cognitive Complexities Confronting Developers Using Object Technology.”
Among the graduates, two will be cited for their outstanding accomplishments. Thanh Van Lam of Hurley, New York has been named the Outstanding Student of the Year for his excellent academic performance. In addition to this award, he received special recognition from IBM, his employer, for an idea relating to the programming of complex data entry systems that evolved while writing software for his D.P.S. projects. Christopher Iervolino of Amawalk, New York will receive the Student Service Award for outstanding service at the doctoral level.
The program was implemented in 1999. School of Computer Science and Information Systems Dean Susan Merritt originally conceived the idea after several years of development with input from faculty, members of the New York State Department of Education and a team of prominent outside reviewers.
Pace is a comprehensive, independent University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County, and a Hudson Valley Center located at Stewart Airport in New Windsor. Nearly 13,500 students are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, Lienhard School of Nursing and Pace Law School.