IS 400

Individual Study in Information Systems

IS 400 is an Independent Study course. From the catalog: "Course open to IS majors only and requires permission of IS associate director to enroll. Students considering enrolling in this course are encouraged to meet with their advisor well in advance of the semester in which they plan to enroll to discuss course requirements."

Each full time IS faculty member has their own 400 section number and may decide to allow students to enroll with them on a semester basis. Or not. It is up to the individual faculty member whether or not they will take on any 400 students, and if they do allow for enrollments the faculty member will be highly selective in which students get into their sections. Sometimes faculty will have a particular research project or job opportunity that may be available for a student to use as the basis for the 400 course. In other cases the student may have a project in mind that they would like to use as the starting point for the course. IS 400 is incredibly flexible in the range of options for participation.

IS 400 may be taken for a grade or for Pass/Fail. It may be taken for 1, 2, or 3 credits in a semester and it is repeatable up to 6 credits total.

Taking 400 with Tate Redding

If you are interested in taking 400 with Mr. Redding you need to talk with him before attempting to sign up for the course. Since enrollment is by permission of the instructor only you can't sign up you are approved to do so.

You should be prepared with an idea of what it is you want to do and how you want to do it. We can work together to iron out details and I will work with you throughout the semester to keep your project on-track.

If you have an IT job and would like to use your work experience as the basis for your 400 course we can do that. (Also be aware that we offer IS 399 which is a Cooperative Education course that is coordinated by the Undergraduate Director and is solely based on work experience.) For students doing 400 and using their jobs I require that you have a definable project at the job site because I don't give credit for showing up for work. I give credit for learning and creating something new.

My 400 students using their jobs for the course will have the following deliverables: First they must meet with me and develop a study plan which includes their defined project. Second the student must have their organization send me a note on letterhead indicating that the organization will allow the student to use information from the job as the basis for an academic exercise. Third- students will keep a journal of their experience. Fourth the student will prepare an academic report using published research articles and their own journal entries to examine their project in terms of comparable situations and as a summary of the experience with a prescription for any follow-up or improvements. For a 3 credit course there will be an extensive journal log with a 20-50 page report. Outstanding work may qualify for presentation during Undergraduate Research day.

For students doing research tasks with me the deliverables will be adjusted to meet the demands of the project.

Some examples of work my 398/400 students have done:

    Design and implementation of software and procedures to create a Help Desk facility.

    Red Light running enforcement software and procedures.

    Creation and management of the Daily Jolt site at UMBC.

    Participation in UMBC's K-12 IT mentoring program.

    Research, implementation, and evaluation of  a web caching program for a large corporation.

    Development of a test program for satellite transmission error correction at various bit level errors.

    Research and development of a qualitative analysis method to supplant a stagnant quantitative evaluation of customer satisfaction.