…and Information Science

I’m finally beginning to appreciate the and Information part of my Computer and Information Science degree.


Figure 1: Word Cloud of Wikipedia Entry on Information Science

I have a degree in Computer and Information Science. With apologies to Claude Shannon and those that designed my degree program, I am only now coming to appreciate the and Information part of the degree.

I got into the field because I thought programming was cool. Having friends with accounts on the local DECSYSTEM-20, who were into BASIC, FORTRAN, ALGOL, PL/I, and assembly and having printouts of the TECO-based Emacs source lying around the house didn’t hurt.

I spent the first 15 years of my career earning a living by writing code. My first job was at CompuServe working on the runtime libraries for BLISS and the locally developed BASIC and FORTRAN compilers (by Steve Wilhite) I wrote a WinCIM based web browser c.a. 1995 that was never released. Who knew this Web thing was going to catch on? :-\

I moved on to doing cyber (nee, “network and computer”) security things in part to remain focused on technology (routers, networks, firewalls, databases, perl, etc.). But a funny thing has happened along the way. Two things really. First, I’m becoming convinced that {computer,network,cyber}security is more about social behaviors (“e.g. phishing” than about technology (e.g. Intrusion Detection System) rules. Second, I’m becoming convinced that that a large number of these behaviors can be described using data (information), analysis and statistics. Third (ok, three things) is the rise of “big data”, associated tools, and an explosion in the amount of available data. Much of this leads to what is being called Data Science and visualization of information (thank you Edward Tufte).

It’s been a long road, but I’m finally appreciating the wisdom of those that designed my degree program … and it looks like they long ago dropped Information from the department name https://cse.osu.edu/


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