Graduate Programs in Software Engineering will celebrate its 15th anniversary with Ann Winblad, venture capitalist and University of St. Thomas board member, as a featured speaker at 12:30 p.m, Friday, Sept. 22, in 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall, on the St. Paul campus.
Winblad is a co-founding partner of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, a $520 million fund focused exclusively on software investments. Winblad’s will discuss "Hot IT Areas for Venture Capital Funding.”
GPSE started in spring 1985 with 52 students. Today there are more than 833 active students enrolled in the graduate program in software engineering. In addition, the department serves more than 5,000 professionals each year through seminars, special lectures and mini programs. Dr. Bernice Folz, GPSE director for 15 years, has served on the university’s faculty for 24 years and has been the primary developer of the graduate programs in software engineering as well as the professional development opportunities for software developers.
Throughout the development and dramatic growth of the university’s software graduate programs, a commitment to serving business and industry has been at the forefront, Folz said. “We’ve always sought out prudent advice from business and industry,” she said. “This collaborative approach, this partnership, is the reason our programs are responsive to the software development community and why the theory taught in our courses and seminars applies directly to the workplace.”
The software engineering program has grown in popularity over the years; UST offers three master’s degree programs and three graduate certificate programs, all focusing on the needs of the working software professional, with classes offered in the evenings and on Saturdays at the university’s St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses. The three master’s degrees are Master of Science in software engineering, Master of Software Design and Development in information systems, and Master of Software Systems. The three graduate certificate programs are Certificate of Advanced Study, Certificate in Information Systems, and Certificate in Software Design and Development.
The Master of Science in software engineering is offered on site at Carlson Marketing to 25 of their software engineers with another cohort of 25 to start in January.
Beyond the graduate programs, GPSE offers a variety of professional development seminars. These seminars are designed to give the working professional additional training on a variety of technology topics and software programs such as: C++, HTML, JAVA, JavaBeans, Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, Relational Databases, Software Project Management, Visual Basic, UNIX, Web Design and more. Customized seminars for any of these topics are offered at corporate sites.
Professionals interested in state-of-the-art methodologies, concepts, and issues in software development are attracted to the Mini Master of Software Design and Development and Mini Master of Science in Software Engineering programs which consist of 12 three-hour sessions covering topics taught in the master’s degree programs. The Mini Master of IT & IS covers eight, three-hour sessions on trend setting IT & IS topics and issues. These mini programs are offered each semester at the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses, Assisi Heights in Rochester, and at several corporate sites. Continuing Education Units are awarded for completing professional development seminars.
GPSE, through its alumni board, sponsors four roundtable meetings each semester. Guest speakers discuss leading-edge software concepts. These meetings provide an opportunity to meet peers, network, share resources, and learn about leading edge software ideas. The alumni board also sponsors a yearly picnic for GPSE alumni and students.
GPSE continues to collaborate with business and industry on sponsoring special events that are of interest to the professional software world. GPSE co-sponsors events and conferences with local organizations such as NetSuds, Learning Byte International, and others. GPSE has been active in the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) and continues to work with other organizations that are members of the MHTA, such as Soft Center in Duluth.
GPSE full-time faculty are collaborating with computer science faculty from the University of Havana and ISPJAE in Havana, Cuba. GPSE full-time faculty have given presentations at conferences in Havana and will return in January 2001 to give a series of lectures on software engineering topics.
GPSE continues to work with the community by offering non-profit and for-profit organizations an opportunity to have a software development project completed by a graduate student at no cost to the organization. The graduate students complete these software development projects in lieu of a master’s thesis.
GPSE faculty and their graduate students are engaged in applied research with local organizations. Full-time faculty are members of several local organization’s Board of Directors, Advisory Boards, and serve as guest speakers to local and state professional organizations. GPSE also has a job posting board for openings in software engineering and related software areas.