May 23, 2024  
Graduate Record 2007-2008 
Graduate Record 2007-2008 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Systems and Information Engineering

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The Systems Engineering and Information Department provides education and research opportunities on the analysis, design, test, and integration of processes, products, and technologies affecting the operation of complex engineering systems. The program combines depth in methodological and analytical foundations with a comprehensive exposure to different application domains including infrastructure systems (communications, transportation, public utilities), healthcare systems, and systems for defense and national security.”

The central insight in systems engineering is that the analytical techniques for process and product improvement extend across applications. For example, the techniques used to improve communications routing may also apply to transportation routing and material handling in manufacturing systems. The formal disciplines that underlie these techniques constitute the basis for education and training in systems engineering.

The Department of Systems and Information Engineering provides instruction and conducts research in methodologies for systems analysis, design, and integration; and analytical techniques for making decisions and turning data into information.

Degree Programs The department offers three graduate degrees: Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. The plan of study is always tailored to the individual needs and interests of the student; however, each student must gain the knowledge of the fundamental methodologies and techniques of systems engineering.

The M.E. student first learns the fundamentals of systems analysis, design, and integration, and applies this knowledge to an ME project (non-thesis option).

The M.S. student first learns the fundamentals of systems, decision, and information sciences, and next applies this knowledge to a more focused research project leading to a master’s thesis.

The Ph.D. student first acquires the advanced knowledge in one area of systems, decision, and information sciences, and next contributes to knowledge through research leading to a doctoral dissertation.

Current basic research in the department explores theoretical and methodological issues in the following areas: computational statistics, performance evaluation, capacity assurance, and resource allocation; multivariate systems monitoring, discrete event simulation; probabilistic modeling, empirical model building, data fusion, and data mining; risk assessment and management; learning algorithms; optimization, dynamic programming, and Markov decision processes; Bayesian forecasting, decision theory; cognitive systems engineering, human-computer interaction, decision support systems design, control theory and systems integration.

Research Projects M.S. and Ph.D. students typically associate with an ongoing research project in the department. These projects involve both theoretical and applied elements and allow students to work closely with faculty on challenging, contemporary problems. Examples of current research projects include network optimization, intelligent transportation system, air traffic prediction system, probabilistic forecasting of weather, flood warning system, spatial knowledge discovery, regional crime data analysis, clinical and biological data integration, critical safety data analysis, mitigation of risk to cyber and physical infrastructure, credit scoring and credit portfolio management, valuation of intellectual property, design of hospital systems, and airline cockpit displays, and supervisory control of unmanned vehicles.

Televised M.E. Program A part-time degree program is available through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program. Regular courses are televised, which offers employed engineers the opportunity to earn credits toward the M.E. degree while requiring a minimum of absence from work. The program is designed so that over a three-year period all of the M.E. degree requirements may be completed through courses taken in the late afternoon or early evening. These courses are also available to those who wish to increase their knowledge of systems engineering but do not wish to enroll in a degree program.

For more detailed information about the department, degree programs, and research areas, visit the website at

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