School of Computing Director Leads International Efforts in Information Systems and Data Science Standards
June 16, 2021
Grand Valley State University (GVSU) School of Computing Director, Dr. Paul Leidig, has been leading several international efforts to design new curriculum and accreditation standards. Leidig serves on the boards of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Education Board, and the accrediting board ABET. He chaired several taskforces that developed new competency guidelines for information systems programs (IS2020), the first guidelines for computing competencies of data science programs (CCDS2021), and the first set of accreditation criteria for data science programs.
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Association for Information Systems (AIS) recently released the report IS2020: Competency Model for Undergraduate Programs in Information Systems. IS2020 attempts to ensure students have the practical skills and competencies they need upon graduation. IS2020 represents an international focus, with taskforce members from North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia/Pacific. Additionally, IS2020 is one of the first guidelines that will be published as a living document with changing technological needs regularly propagated to a publicly available website.
One of the more cutting-edge activities led by Dr. Leidig was the development and publication of the first set of curriculum guidelines, and the first accreditation criteria, for Data Science programs. These guidelines define required computing competencies for data science graduates, and serves as the first implementation of a complete set which will also include statistics and other domain skills. ABET is recognized as the appropriate accreditation body for data science programs, regardless of the academic unit offering such programs. In leading this effort, Leidig was instrumental in the American Statistical Association (ASA) joining CSAB in an effort to bring statistics into the computing realm when it comes to curriculum and accreditation standards.
In addition, Leidig also served on the taskforce for the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Computer Society that issued Computing Curricula 2020 (CC2020): Paradigms for Global Computing Education. Developed by a 50-member task force drawn from 20 countries, CC2020 outlines international recommendations for baccalaureate degrees in computing. CC2020 is designed to be comprehensive, delineating the latest curricula for computing disciplines including computer engineering, computer science, information systems, information technology, and software engineering. CC2020 builds upon a CC2005 report by including new disciplines such as cybersecurity and data science, as well as other significant “add-ons” to reflect the changing dynamics of computing, computing education research, and the workplace.