Professor Harry R. Lewis, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Information technology is really a dynamic, versatile field, filled with open problems and possibilities for creative invention. The concentration in information technology is made to educate students skills they’ll use immediately and concepts they’ll exploit later on with techniques unimaginable today. Because it affects every facet of society, graduates with information technology levels have available to them a massive number of careers—engineering, teaching, medicine, law, fundamental science, entertainment, management, and numerous others.

Computer scientists have to know fundamental mathematics, the lingua franca of all of the quantitative sciences they have to comprehend the abstract appliances describe universal computational phenomena plus they have to know how computers are made, programmed, and used. Concentration needs usually are meant to ensure balanced programs with focus on subjects which will endure through rapid technological change. Simultaneously, the needs are flexible and enable students to select courses that reflect their individual interests.

Students are encouraged to have the needed mathematical background at the start of their careers. Information Technology 50 can serve as the opening course in information technology ideally prospective concentrators will require this program newcomer year, but it’s fairly simple to consider Information Technology 50 throughout the sophomore year but still complete the honors-qualified program. The Information Technology concentration is run through the Paulson School of Engineering and Systems, which is particularly simple to transfer to Information Technology in the other SEAS concentrations—Applied Mathematics and regions of Engineering.

The Information Technology concentration has got the following learning objectives. Our graduates will be able to:

- Design and code correct methods to problems.
- Design a method, identifying trade-offs on dimensions for example performance, usability, sturdiness, security, and sturdiness.
- Design an formula to resolve an issue. Reason concerning the algorithm’s properties—correctness, specifications, time complexity—informally a minimum of, and formally whenever possible.
- Beginning from a casual, British language description of the problem, provide a fully formal description from it, and prove something concerning the behavior from the system.
- Compose a sizable data set from networked sources, draw some inferences about this, and provide individuals conclusions effectively to other people visually and verbally.
- Provide a 1-hour speak with a newcomer about how exactly computers work, in the hardware to some user-visible application.
- Let you know that an answer created for a particular domain does apply to a different domain.
- Explain the suitability of different system designs towards the social context where the system could be used.
- When given a technical means to fix an issue, formulate some questions that probe the answer because of its soundness.
- Do an “experiment” to review an formula or system, ideally one created by another person.
- Get and use new environments (languages, APIs, OS-es, simulators, etc.) individually and efficiently.
- After hearing a CS colloquium talk, fairly evaluate and critique the job.
- Apply computational approaches within the natural sciences, the social sciences, and also the humanities.
- Decompose a sizable problem into an accumulation of manageable, interrelated tasks.

Additionally to those technical objectives, we identified five softer objectives. Hopefully our graduates can:

- Present ideas clearly and forcefully, both orally as well as in writing.
- Solve problems cooperatively as well as in an ethically principled way.
- Apply their strengths to regions of known weakness and discomfort.
- Work productively, responsibly, and effectively inside a group.
- Adjust to alterations in the technological landscape.

You will find four kinds of concentrations in Information Technology: Fundamental concentration, Honors Concentration, Joint Concentration, and also the Mind, Brain, Behavior tabs on the Information Technology concentration.

The amount of credits needed for every degree depends upon the student’s mathematics placement. The ranges given here rely on if the student starts mathematics in the Mathematics 1a, Mathematics 1b, or Mathematics 21a level. (With higher planning it’s also easy to earn a Information Technology degree beginning with Mathematics Ma.) For instance, a fundamental concentration requires 48 credits (12 courses), which Mathematics 1a and/or Mathematics 1b could be waived, based on placement, to lessen the amount to 44 or 40 credits (11 or 10 courses). No student may reduce concentration needs by omitting other courses: any needed course not taken should be substituted with an identical course in a more complex level.

The 4 concentration options share a typical requirement structure, that is part “Required” and part “Elective.”

- Fundamental mathematics
- Fundamental software
- Theory

- The breadth requirement
- Other electives

Fundamental Needs: 10-12 courses (40-48 credits)

- Needed courses:
- Fundamental mathematics (2-4 courses):
- Mathematics 1a and Mathematics 1b, as needed as preparation.
- Multivariable calculus: Mathematics 21a, Applied Mathematics 21a, Mathematics 23b, Mathematics 25b, or Mathematics 55b.
- Straight line algebra: Mathematics 21b, Applied Mathematics 21b, Mathematics 23a, Mathematics 25a, or Mathematics 55a.

To be able to limit to 12 the utmost quantity of courses needed for any fundamental concentration, students who takes the 3 of Information Technology 20 and Mathematics 1a and Mathematics 1b isn’t needed to consider Mathematics 21a (or equivalent). (Mathematics 21b or its equivalent is needed, but doesn’t have 21a like a prerequisite.)

Students usually take two courses with similar number within the natural sequence, but any combination is allowed, as lengthy because it includes both a multivariable calculus along with a straight line algebra course. For instance, it might be appropriate to consider Mathematics 23a and Mathematics 21a, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to consider Mathematics 21a and Applied Mathematics 21a. Students who feel they’ve background equal to Mathematics 21a and/or Mathematics 21b just before matriculation may, with prior consultation, substitute more complex analysis and/or algebra courses, correspondingly.

- Fundamental mathematics (2-4 courses):
- Fundamental software (2 courses): Two from the following three courses: Information Technology 50, Information Technology 51, and Information Technology 61. Since Information Technology 50 is really a prerequisite for Information Technology 51 and Information Technology 61, students who skip Information Technology 50 will need to take both Information Technology 51 and Information Technology 61. Students taking Information Technology 50 need take only either.
- Theory (2 courses). Either Information Technology 121 or Information Technology 125, plus anyone additional theory course, including Information Technology courses numbered within the 120s and 220s. Applied Mathematics 106, and Applied Mathematics 107. Students might not receive credit for Information Technology 125 and only Information Technology 121 or Information Technology 124.
- Technical electives (4 courses): Courses might be attracted from the list below:
- Information Technology courses numbered more than 50 (including 91r). Students who takes the 3 of Information Technology 50, Information Technology 51, and Information Technology 61 may count either Information Technology 51 or Information Technology 61 like a technical elective.
- Statistics 110
- Mathematics 154
- Applied Mathematics 106, 107, 120, and 121
- Engineering Sciences 50 or Engineering Sciences 52
- Many—but not all—MIT “Course 6” courses can be used technical electives. Consult the DUS before enrolling.

Breadth Requirement: To guarantee breadth within the program two from the four technical electives should be Information Technology courses from various course groupings, recognized by the penultimate digit from the course number. For instance, Information Technology 61 and Information Technology 165 have penultimate digit “6.” Physics 123 or Engineering Sciences 153 counts like a Information Technology hardware (penultimate digit 4) course.

- 3: Financial aspects and Computation
- 4: Hardware and Systems
- 5: Programming Languages
- 6: Systems
- 7: Graphics, Visualization, and User Interfaces
- 8: Artificial Intelligence

Observe that theory courses (penultimate digit 2) don’t count toward the breadth requirement.

Information Technology courses with penultimate digit , 1, and a pair of are valid technical electives, but don’t lead towards the breadth requirement. However, no Information Technology course numbered under 20 can be utilized inside a concentration program, and Information Technology 20 only in honors programs.

- Approved courses: Using the approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies, courses apart from individuals in the above list enables you to satisfy needs. Statistics 121 is going to be treated as equal to Information Technology 109. To fulfill the needs 1A, 1B, or 1C, a substituted course should be within the same section of mathematics or information technology but finer quality than the stipulated course. Students must secure advance approval for course substitutions by filing an agenda of Study to become authorized by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Program of Study form along with a description from the tactic to submit the shape are available here .
- Pass/Fail and Sitting/Unsat: No courses accustomed to satisfy concentration needs might be taken Pass/Fail. While Information Technology 50 will count for concentration credit if it’s taken for any grade of Sitting, students planning to concentrate in information technology must take the program for any letter grade.
- Credit for prior work: No credit for prior jobs are typically given, though students with strong computer-programming background might be able to replace Information Technology 50 having a more complex software course.
- Plans of study: Concentrators must file an agenda of Study showing the way they plan to satisfy these degree needs, and their plan of study current until their program is finished. When the plan’s acceptable, a student is going to be notified that it’s been approved. To petition to have an exception to the rule, a student should file a brand new plan of study and inform the Director of Undergraduate Studies from the rationale for just about any exceptional conditions. Approval of the plan of study may be the student’s be certain that confirmed group of courses will satisfy degree needs. The Program of Study form along with a description from the tactic to submit the shape are available here .

Needs for Honors Eligibility: 12-14 courses (48-56 credits)

- Needed courses:
- Fundamental mathematics (2-4 courses): Just like Fundamental Needs. Note: for that Honors needs, students who begin with Mathematics 1a might not replace Mathematics 21a with Information Technology 20.
- Fundamental software (2 courses): Just like Fundamental Needs .
- Theory (2 courses): Just like Fundamental Needs .
- Technical electives (6 courses): Courses might be attracted from the list below:

- Information Technology courses numbered more than 50 (including 91r). Observe that students who takes the 3 of Information Technology 50, Information Technology 51, and Information Technology 61 may count either Information Technology 51 or Information Technology 61 like a technical elective.
- Statistics 110
- Mathematics 154
- Applied Mathematics 106, 107, 120, and 121
- Engineering Sciences 50 or Engineering Sciences 52
- Many—but not all—MIT “Course 6” courses can be used technical electives. Consult the DUS before enrolling.

To guarantee breadth within the program, three from the six technical electives should be Information Technology courses from various course groupings recognized by the penultimate digit from the course number. For instance, Information Technology 61 and Information Technology 165 have penultimate digit “6.” Physics 123 or Engineering Sciences 153 counts like a Information Technology hardware (penultimate digit 4) course.

- 3: Financial aspects and Computation
- 4: Hardware and Systems
- 5: Programming Languages
- 6: Systems
- 7: Graphics, Visualization, and User Interfaces
- 8: Artificial Intelligence

Observe that theory courses (penultimate digit 2) don’t count toward the breadth requirement.

Information Technology courses with penultimate digit , 1, and a pair of are valid technical electives, but don’t lead towards the breadth requirement. However, no Information Technology course numbered under 20 can be utilized inside a concentration program, and Information Technology 20 only in honors programs.

- Approved courses. Just like Fundamental Needs .
- Pass/Fail and Sitting/Unsat. Just like Fundamental Needs.
- Credit for prior work. Just like Fundamental Needs .
- Plans of Study. Just like Fundamental Needs.
Needs for Joint Concentrations: 36-44 credits for CS field (9-11 classes for CS field)

Joint concentrations with certain other fields are possible. This method is meant for college students who’ve interests within the intersection of two fields, not merely within the two fields individually for instance, a combined concentration in information technology and linguistics may be appropriate for students having a special curiosity about computational linguistics. Course needs overlap with for that Needs for Honors Eligibility. with the exception that only three technical electives are needed. These 3 technical electives must fulfill the breadth requirement as mentioned in 1D, using the further provision that certain semester of Information Technology 91r enables you to fulfill the breadth requirement of joint concentrations. Such courses can also be double-counted for the needs from the other field. Joint concentrations aren’t “double majors.” Joint concentrators should want to consider the overlap between two fields, not merely both in. A thesis within the intersection from the fields is needed for joint concentrators, read by both concentrations. A student is usually awarded the minimum honors suggested through the two concentrations individually. These needs, such as the thesis requirement, are identical whether Information Technology may be the primary field or even the allied field from the joint concentration. Students thinking about combined programs should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies in an early date and really should work carefully with concentrations to make sure all deadlines and needs of both concentrations are met. Students with separate interests in several field should think about another as opposed to a joint concentration, or just using a few of their electives to review among the fields.

Your Brain, Brain, and Behavior Program

Students thinking about addressing questions of neuroscience and cognition in the outlook during information technology may pursue a unique program of study associated with the College-wide Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative, that enables these to participate in a number of related activities. (Similar programs can be found with the Anthropology, Background and Science, Human Transformative Biology, Linguistics, Neurobiology, Philosophy, and Psychology concentrations.) Needs with this honors-only program derive from individuals from the information technology Needs for Honors Eligibility. with the exception that:

- Statistics 110 or Information Technology 124 replaces the 2nd theory course. Statistics 110 is definitely an choice for the idea requirement only within the MBB track.
- In item 1d, the six courses comprise:
- MCB 80,
- one approved biology or psychology course,
- an authorized MBB junior tutorial,
- Information Technology 181 or 182,
- and 2 courses from various course groupings, recognized by the penultimate digit from the course number (3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Group 8 isn’t an choice for the breadth requirement in MBB programs, but Information Technology 91r could also be used to fulfill the breadth requirement. (SLS 20 isn’t an approved course for that Information Technology MBB track.)

- In item 3, a computationally-oriented thesis on the Mind, Brain, and Behavior-related subject is needed. Students going after thesis research might want to sign up for Information Technology 91r under item 1d.

Students going after your brain, Brain, and Behavior track are assigned an advisor within the field and therefore are likely to have fun playing the College-wide Mind, Brain, and Behavior research milieu, together with a non-credit senior year seminar for Mind, Brain, and Behavior thesis authors. To have fun playing the MBB track, students must both complete the Information Technology concentration Plan of Study and register at the outset of every academic year around the MBB website. Interested students should contact the Information Technology liaison towards the MBB program, Professor Stuart Shieber (shieber@seas.harvard.edu ).

Students thinking about concentrating in Information Technology are advised to see the Director of Undergraduate Studies early and frequently for suggestions about placement in courses and selection among courses. The Director of Undergraduate Studies is satisfied to talk to freshmen and sophomores regarding their Plans of Study and also to respond to questions. Whenever a student enters the concentration mid-way with the sophomore year, the Director of Undergraduate Studies assigns a professor for everyone because the student’s faculty advisor. Every effort is built to match the student’s special interests to the help of the advisor. Students should consult their advisors regularly, certainly at the outset of each term. Whenever a faculty advisor is on leave, a student is temporarily reassigned to a different advisor. Students desiring a big change of advisor unconditionally should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Director of Undergraduate Studies can also be open to discuss problems or questions of any sort with students within the concentration.

How To Get MORE

Students thinking about information technology are asked to participate the subscriber list for that Information Technology E-newsletter, which carries bulletins of recent courses, colloquia, job and internship possibilities, and a number of get-togethers for that Harvard information technology community. Details about the e-newsletter along with other community sources are available around the Information Technology website .

For more information, students should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Harry R. Lewis (cs-dus@seas.harvard.edu ).

ENROLLMENT STATISTICS

Quantity of Concentrators by December