De Paul University College of Computing and Digital Media - History


CDM originated as the Department of Computer Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1981 with Helmut Epp as its founding chairman. That same year, the department moved into 243 S. Wabash Ave., one of three buildings recently purchased by DePaul University and named as part of its Loop Campus. On 1 July 1995, the department was established as a freestanding school within DePaul.

Initial degree offerings for CTI included:

  • undergraduate and graduate degree programs in:
    • Computer Science (Which is taught by Jean Philippe Labruyere)
    • Telecommunications and Information Systems
    • Software Engineering
  • a Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS) offered jointly by CTI and DePaul's College of Commerce

In the 1995-1996 academic year, CTI introduced a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The following year brought the introduction of the Bachelor of Science in HCI, the Master of Science in Distributed Systems, and another joint program – this time a Bachelor of Arts in Computing with DePaul’s School for New Learning.

Another new degree program was added in each of the next two academic years. In 1998, the Master of Arts in Applied Technology marked the second joint program with the School for New Learning. The Master of Science in E-Commerce Technology followed in 1999, along with the establishment of CTI’s E-Commerce Research Institute. In the spring quarter of that academic year, CTI introduced the fledgling version of its Course OnLine distance learning software system to support students enrolled in on-campus courses.

Three bachelor's degree programs were added during the 2000-2001 academic year: the Bachelor of Science in Computer Graphics and Animation, and Bachelor of Science in E-Commerce Technology and the Bachelor of Science in Network Technology. That spring, CTI began using Course OnLine, distance learning software developed by the school, to offer distance learning courses and added media arts programs, including the MS in Computer Graphics and Animation in the fall of 2001.

In the Spring of 2002, CTI received permission from its accrediting body to begin offering the Master of Science degrees in Computer Science, Telecommunications and Distributed Systems entirely online. The 2002-2003 school year was relatively uneventful; only one new program, the BS in Mathematics and Computer Science, was added.

The following year saw the introduction of three new master’s degree programs: the Master of Science in Instructional Technology Systems (ITS), the Master of Arts in Information Technology (MAIT), and, most notably, the Master of Science in Computer, Information and Network Security (CINS), which would become one of CTI’s fastest growing programs. Also introduced were two joint programs with the DePaul University College of Law, the JD/MS and the JD/MA, and accelerated BS/MS programs completion plans. The School also received approval from its accrediting body to offer all of its degree programs online using the Course OnLine system. This approval allowed CTI to begin offering six more programs online.

The BS and BA programs in Digital Cinema were also introduced during the 2003-2004 academic year. The Digital Cinema program focuses on combining digital technology along with classic cinema narrative theory and aesthetics. The year also marked the start of a partnership between CTI and the Permanent Missions of the United Nations, through which CTI students would develop the websites of a number of developing countries. CTI’s American Sign Language research project, which combines computer technology and linguistics research to bridge the communication gap between deaf and hearing individuals, was named "Most Innovative Solution" from the editors of Speech Technology Magazine.

In the fall of 2004, CTI introduced the BS in Computer Game Design, the Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, and re-launched a new MIS degree as the Master of Science in Business Information Technology. In the following spring, CTI completed construction on a Collaboration Lab on the first floor of building.

Two honors were bestowed on CTI during the 2005-2006 school year. DePaul CTI was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance education by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA). The same year, CTI was one of four institutions selected as inaugural participants in the Sony Imageworks Professional Academic Excellence (IPAX) program.

Two new programs were also added that year: the Master of Science in Computational Finance, a joint program with the College of Commerce, and the Bachelor of Science in Information Assurance and Security.

At the 2006 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals, students from DePaul CTI placed 29th, earning DePaul a place as one of three U.S. universities in the top 30 (Massachusetts Institute of Technology placed 7th, Princeton University placed 28th).

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