Recently, under the leadership of Dean Michael Dunn at IU Bloomington and Professor Darrell Bailey at IUPUI, Indiana University created the School of Informatics. The goal of this School is to develop programs that address the need for technically savvy professionals in the state and the nation. As described by the School's documentation, "The School of Informatics will educate students broadly in the technical, psychological and social aspects of information technology and will help them apply this knowledge to their chosen area of study."
Europeans have long used the term "Informatics" (or "Informatika") to define the study of science and application of information technology to various disciplines. The School of Informatics at IU defines this term as the "art, science and human dimensions of information technology. It is information technology applied to human problems." Furthermore, the School views "Informatics" as a discipline distinct from such fields as computer science, information science and other traditional disciplines related to information technology. The School views informatics as "more general, basic and applied than any of these related disciplines. It is more general in that it emphasizes breadth across issues in all of the related disciplines, and also includes social and ethical issues regarding the 'information revolution.' It is more basic in that it examines foundational questions about the very nature of information and computation. It is more applied since the aim is to produce qualified information technology professionals to meet the rapidly rising need in our region."
We expect that much of the projected growth in computer and technology related jobs will not be strictly in technical areas, such as hardware and software development. Instead, we believe that much of it will be in the skilled use of powerful software technology in other disciplines such as medicine, psychology, biology, the arts and humanities.
Indiana University envisions the School of Informatics as a university-wide school with programs at all IU campuses. Toward that end, the IU South Bend campus received approval to offer the BS in Informatics in Spring, 2003, and implemented the program in Fall, 2003. IU Southeast received approval in Spring, 2006, and implemented the program in Fall 2006.
The Informatics program will enable IU campuses to meet the needs of their respective regions for graduates with the knowledge and skills to apply information technology in a broad range of fields. It is this audience that we expect will benefit from an interdisciplinary program such as the Bachelor of Science in Informatics.