The genesis of the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department at Buffalo State College was the introduction of a major in Information Systems Management (ISM) in 1976. This new major was housed in the Technology Department. At the time, the Math Department was also interested in hosting the degree and put up a failed fight to have it fall under their department. The ISM degree was marketed as “A unique program that blends Computer Programming, Management and the Liberal Arts.” The faculty for this new program had a home with the Technology Department in Upton Hall. Some early computing facilities in the program were housed in the basements of Rockwell Hall and Twin Rise consisting of terminals that linked to a shared mainframe computer in Binghamton.
In the early 1980s, ISM became its own department and moved to Chase Hall which previously served as a student dormitory. Many of the lab facilities at this time were housed in the rather dreary basement of Chase.
Dr. Larry Scott was an early faculty member in the department and for many years was a distinguished program coordinator and chair of the department as it evolved into CIS.
A significant achievement in the history of the program was the development of the computerized Student Audit System by Bob Clark, ISM faculty member, with help from several of his students (including Sean Bradley who received the President’s Medal for Outstanding Student in 1992). This system was adopted by many campus departments as an early predecessor to Degree Works. Prior to this, degree requirements and student progress were recorded on letter sized card stock called audit sheets. They were kept in files in department offices and updated by secretaries and/or chairs.
The late 1980s saw the introduction of an Educational Computing Master’s degree (EDC) which started as an interdisciplinary program but moved to the CIS department in the early 1990s. The EDC program was aimed primarily at K-12 teachers, providing an immersion in various technological tools and concepts.
In the 2010s, the EDC program evolved into a Learning Design and Educational Technology (EDT) program, continuing to serve K-12 teachers and educators from higher education, as well as trainers from government, business, and industry.
The early 1990s saw a change of department name from Information Systems Management to Computer Information Systems to more closely match the development of the major curriculum.
Many new computing paradigms in the areas of Systems Design, Database Management, Networking, Programming Languages, Web Development, and Mobile Programming have been introduced into existing courses and spawned new courses in the program.
In the fall of 2013, the department moved to the second floor of the newly built Technology Building. The CIS facilities in the building include four teaching computer labs, two networking labs, a student work lab, a television studio, a small research lab and a smart classroom.
Two current areas of faculty research are associated with the support and training of middle and high school teachers and their students in computer science education sponsored by a series of CS4HS grants from Google, and the use of neural network algorithms in image processing.
Several notable alumni of the ISM/CIS program:
The above individuals are highlighted as examples of what some of our graduates are doing but the department is proud of all its alumni. Buffalo State CIS graduates are working at a myriad of companies and schools throughout the WNY area and beyond, successful in their careers and lives and doing good, quality work in the field of computer technology.
Back to Top
Some content on this page is saved in PDF format. To view these files, download Adobe Acrobat Reader free. If you are having trouble reading a document, request an accessible copy of the PDF or Word Document.