Mar 272003
Authors: Jason Kosena

In a world with Web sites and the Internet, many may believe that research and the availability of information is easier than ever before to get. However, the CSU Information Science and Technology Center (ISTeC) and its new director, Professor H.J. Siegel, are trying to find ways to increase information availability for faculty and students.

Siegel believes that the cooperation and sharing of information between the different departments at CSU is essential.

The important part is to get the “colleges and departments (at CSU) to interact and work together to share ability and knowledge,” Siegel said.

“We want to redesign the ISTeC Web page so that someone who is interested in what (Information Science and Technology) is doing at CSU, can go to the Web site and easily navigate to all of the departments and the research those institutions are doing,” Siegel said.

Siegel also believes seeking out faculty research and interests and placing them into a database will allow for better discussion on the topics and an easier way to access information.

“We will be soliciting from the faculty what their research and interests (in IST) are and will make a database with the information,” Siegel said.

Faculty interested in one particular area or subject will be able to search the database and find other faculty members who are interested in or have researched the same subject, Siegel said.

Siegel also believes that by initiating an easier way to bring about discussion between the different departments, the CSU resources can be used more efficiently. Because some courses overlap each other when considering material, resources and faculty can be better used.

“Duplication of effort to teach course x and course y, (when some of the material is being overlapped) can be eliminated by better discussion between departments on what is being taught,” said Siegel.

Because discussion between the departments is such an important part of the ISTeC plan, Siegel is the right man for the job, said Tony Frank, vice president for research and information technology.

“(Siegel) has incredible energy and enthusiasm about bringing all the players to discussion on where the program should go,” Frank said. “Direct engagement of the faculty in the program is critical.”

However, Frank believes that Siegel’s experience can benefit ISTeC and CSU in other aspects besides initiating discussion between departments. Frank said the academic credentials of Siegel are important for the program as well.

Siegel received bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also received two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree in computer science and electrical engineering from Princeton University.

Siegel taught in the School of Electrical Engineering at Purdue from 1976-2001. He holds the endowed chair position of Abell Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and is a professor of computer science at CSU.

“His own academic credentials bring a credibility to ISTeC that is central for any academic program,” Frank said.

Siegel also believes that his experience in the field will benefit the ISTeC program. “Twenty-seven years of being a professor, and with my background in computer engineering and computer science, I believe that I can help bring discussion to the faculty,” Siegel said.

For some students at CSU, the efforts of ISTeC may go unseen, but that does not mean the support is not there.

Andrew Platt, a junior psychology major, did not know about ISTeC, but agrees with the ideas the program is trying to implement.

“I didn’t even know (ISTeC) existed here at CSU, but it sounds like a good idea,” Platt said.

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