Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Record 2005-2006 
Graduate Record 2005-2006 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Systems and Information Engineering

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Systems engineers design and implement process, product, and operational improvements in large-scale, complex collections of humans and machines. These collections are systems organized around a central purpose, such as communication, transportation, manufacturing, and environmental protection. The improvements to these systems can target any phase of the life-cycle, from requirements analysis through forecasting, design, development, testing, operation, maintenance, to retirement or replacement.

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 also apply to transportation routing and material handling in manufacturing. 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 two domains: 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 next studies either additional techniques or an application area.

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.

Both the M.E. and M.S. students have opportunities for specializing in one of several areas: intelligent decision systems, communication systems, control systems, manufacturing systems, transportation systems, environmental systems, urban systems, health care systems, energy systems, economic systems, financial systems, management systems, risk assessment and management, and information technology.

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: systems 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; financial engineering; learning algorithms and dynamic games; optimization, dynamic programming, and Markov decision processes; Bayesian forecasting and decision theories; cognitive systems engineering, human-computer interaction and decision support.

Research Projects Both 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 complex networks optimization, intelligent transportation system, air traffic prediction system, probabilistic forecasting of weather, flood warning system, semiconductor operational modeling, 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.

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 www.sys.virginia.edu.

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