Global Information Systems Course Description



What will you learn


Operational Matters

Introduction: How will you learn

By Global Information Systems we mean Web-based information systems.  Web itself can be seen as a global information system. Let us review the course philosophy first. Consider the situation that you are working the the company and your group embarks on a new project.  The project involves determining what new technologies should be used, then you need to learn about a recent technology that you did not learn in your university course or prior work, and since it is a new technology, you do not have a text book where you can find all material you need to be successful.  How would you go about identifying, learning about and utilizing this technology? This course will be taught in such a scenario.  We will identify a group project upfront, and you would learn about some fundamental concepts, some new technologies, and then utilize them in an exercise and/or your group project.  Your instructor will not be your traditional classroom teacher writing on the board and giving you written exams; rather he would be a guide and your project supervisor pointing you and directing to learn what you need to learn and apply what you learn.  Successful students will "learn how to learn" and get confidence in learning new ideas and technologies, and their applications.


What will you learn?

Here are some of the things you can expect to learn (some superficially, some in depth):

  • Examples of Global Information Systems: 
    • Within enterprises: Enterprise Content Management, Inta-Enterprise Portals
    • Across Enterprises: B2B and e-service applications
    • Pan-Web: Search Engines
  • Conceptual  bases of dealing with data/information: Syntax, Structure and Semantics; Data, Metadata, Information, Knowledge
  • Understanding types of data and their management on the Web:
    • Unstructured data
    • Semi-structured data
    • Structured data
  • Semi-structured data management and its importance to Global Information Systems; XML for data exchange, XML Schema, XML Query, native and non-native XML data management
  • Metadata, metadata standards, RDF and metadata processing, RDFS, RDF Query,  RDF storage and management
  • Techniques for content/data management:
    • Classification  and categorization
    • metadata extraction
  • Tools and possibly one commercial product
  • Core technologies and product categories: Application Servers, EAI, etc.
  • Research/Emerging Issues, Commercial Landscape:
    • Semantics : Ontology, OWL
    • Component architecture based on Web Services, Web Service Standards and Technologies
      • SOAP, WSDL, UDDI


Prerequisite (who may take this course, who should not)

This is an advance course, ideally suited for seniors and MS students.  The student must have understanding of and expertise in the following three areas:

  • database management: working knowledge of database schema and SQL; ability to write programs that access a DBMS
  • basic exposure to the Web, including HTML (must have created a home page), HTTP, XML (self-reading may be ok for a good student), and
  • very good programming skills, minimally in Java and any scripting language (just a course in data structures will not be good enough)

I particularly welcome students with lots of curiosity as well as research minded students. This course is not suitable for students who prefer highly-structured, text book based education.


Times and Places

  • Class is held in Hardman Hall 101
    • 3:35-4:35 Wednesday
    • 3:30-4:45 Tuesday, Thursday

How will Course be conducted?

There will be several components of the course:

  • instructor's lectures and student presentations
  • assigned readings, followed by classroom discussions
  • hands on exercises, some of these may involve use research tools and/or commercial products
  • a group project

It will be necessary for the student to attend ALL classes, except for legitimate health  reason (typically requiring doctor's note or a copy of prescription). Expect to spare time to read one chapter or paper per class at the minimum. Active classroom participation will be one of the components of your grade. Grading components will include (a) classroom presentation and class room participation (for 10 to 20%), (b) exercises (approx. 4 or 5, for a total of 40 to 50%) and (c) project (for 40%).

Educational Philosophy: I am interested in seeing you "learn how to learn" rather than just learn information already laid out by others.



Global Information System Course Home, Global Information System Reading/References , Course Material, Students