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Graduate Calendar Archives: 2007 / 2008

Information and Systems Science


See the School of Mathematics and Statistics; Department of Systems and Computer Engineering; and the School of Computer Science.


The Committee

Chair of the Committee: Jean-Pierre Corriveau

The program of graduate study and research leading to the degree of Master of Science in Information and Systems Science is offered by the Committee with the cooperation of the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, the School of Mathematics and Statistics, and the School of Computer Science.

The purpose of the program is to provide training in the use and application of computers, to those who have not studied extensively in this field at the undergraduate level. The process of using the computer in problem solving is stressed. The program is flexible, though individual concentrations are usually in one of three broad areas:

  • computer applications in a particular field (e.g., communications, energy systems)
  • algorithms and methodologies for solution of complex problems by computer (e.g., graph theory, operations research, optimization, simulation and modeling)
  • computer methods and technologies (e.g., databases, software engineering, computer languages)

Close links are maintained with the scientific, industrial, and technological communities, and an effort is made to direct students to project work of current practical significance.

Master of Science

Admission Requirements

Applicants should have an Honours bachelor's degree, or equivalent, with at least high honours standing, in mathematics, engineering, physics, chemistry, computer science, operations research, experimental psychology, econometrics, management science, or a related discipline. Undergraduate preparation should include a minimum of four half-credit courses in computing (at least one of which is at the third year level or higher), and a minimum of six half-credit courses in mathematics (at least two of which are at the third year level or higher). In addition, the student is required to have some knowledge of quantitative applications, such as numerical analysis, simulation, operations research, etc.

Admission to the program will be made through one of the three participating units. Since space, laboratory facilities and supervision will be provided by one of the units, students should apply through the unit with which they wish to be most closely associated.

Program Requirements

The normal program comprises 4.0 credits and a 1.5 credit thesis; additional requirements may be stipulated, depending upon the individual student's background. With the approval of the Committee, students who have substantial work experience may be permitted to substitute, in place of the thesis, 1.5 credit courses, one of which must be a graduate project course.

Students must take at least 1.0 credit from the department in which they are registered, and at least 0.5 credit from each of the other two participating units. Students must also take course ISYS 5802.

Each student should consult with his/her faculty adviser in the selection of a course pattern related to his/her principal area of interest.

Each candidate submitting a thesis will be required to undertake an oral examination on the subject of his/her thesis.

Course work may be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis. Thesis research normally requires full-time residence at the University; however, a candidate may be permitted to carry out thesis work off campus provided that suitable arrangements are made for supervision and experimental work, and prior approval is given by the Committee.

Guidelines for Completion of Master's Degree

Full-time students in the M.Sc. in Information and Systems Science will normally complete the degree requirements in two years and part-time students within four years. In order to meet this goal, full-time students should arrange a thesis supervisor within the first term of study, and should try to complete the course requirements as quickly as possible.

Graduate Courses

Not all of the following courses are offered in a given year. For an up-to-date statement of course offerings and to determine the term of offering, consult the class schedule at:

Graduate Course Descriptions

Refer to the corresponding unit in this Calendar for course descriptions in Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics, and Systems and Computer Engineering.

ISYS 5802 [0.5 credit]
 Introduction to Information and Systems Science
An introduction to the process of applying computers in problem solving. Emphasis is placed on the design and analysis of efficient computer algorithms for large, complex problems. Applications in a number of areas are presented: data manipulation, databases, computer networks, queuing systems, optimization. (Also listed as MATH 5802, SYSC 5802, COMP 5802.)
ISYS 5908 [1.5 credits]
M.Sc. Thesis in Information and Systems Science

(Also listed as MATH 5908, SYSC 5908, COMP 5908.)

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of ISS, a student will, in some cases, benefit by taking an undergraduate course at the 3000- or 4000-level as part of his/her program. Where a 3000-level course is to be taken, it will be extra to the degree requirements; or else arrangements will be made to enrich the subject matter, normally through a directed study course with the professor. Students may include 1.0 credit at the 4000-level in their program without penalty, with the approval of the unit. Students in the program are prohibited from taking COMP 4804 Design and Analysis of Algorithms due to overlap of course material with ISYS 5802.

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