The Holistic Problem Solving Spine is introduced during the third year. This four-course sequence integrates content from other BSISAT courses into a holistic problem-solving framework. In the first two courses (190 and 290), students learn and apply systems thinking methodology to investigate, define, and describe complex problems. In the second two courses (390 and 391), students practice the holistic problem-solving approaches to analyze and propose solutions for complex problem case studies that involve a mix of scientific, technological, and societal elements. The Holistic Problem-Solving Spine culminates in the Capstone Experience, where students independently address a real-world complex problem.
Also during the third year, students choose any three of the six strategic sectors for more in-depth study. The strategic sectors, developed from national critical technologies lists, represent areas of current strategic importance in the world economy. The sectors are
- Applied Biotechnology
- information/Knowledge Management
- Telecommunications, Networking and Security
Taking three sets of sector courses allows ISAT majors the opportunity to sample different interest areas while still maintaining a broad technical knowledge base. Any three sectors can be combined, providing maximum flexibility and customization for each student.
Students can also work with their advisor to create a custom concentration to address their unique interests.