Informatics: A Novel, Contextualized Approach to Software Engineering Education

  • André van der Hoek
  • David G. Kay
  • Debra J. Richardson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4309)


Over the past decade, it has been established that a good education in software engineering requires a specialized program of study different from traditional computer science programs. What should constitute such a specialized program of study, however, is still a matter of debate. Here we bring to this debate a new perspective that describes how we believe software engineering education should be framed, namely through the context in which software eventually is placed. That is, we must study software and information, development and design, technical and social issues, synthesis and analysis. At UC Irvine, we have designed and now offer a program of study that provides this focus – a four-year B.S. degree in Informatics. In this paper, we present our view of software engineering education, the principles underlying our Informatics curriculum, an overview of the curriculum itself and its pedagogy, some reflections on our experiences to date, and a concluding list of challenges that our approach addresses and that are critical for any approach to software engineering education.


Software Engineering Software Engineer Degree Program Contextualize Approach Organizational Impact 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • André van der Hoek
    • 1
  • David G. Kay
    • 1
  • Debra J. Richardson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Informatics, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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