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The School of Computing and Analytics

Computing and analytics touch nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives.

By earning a degree in one of the computing fields, a student gets a behind-the-scenes look at the digital world, moving from being a user of information technology to becoming a creator and a decision-maker.

The School of Computing and Analytics offers multiple degrees and operates as a combination of three program clusters:

  • Computer Science & Software Engineering (CS&SE)
  • Cybersecurity & Information Technology (CYS&IT)
  • Information Systems & Analytics (IS&A)

By earning a degree in one of the applied information systems fields, a student becomes a leader in this age of digital transformation, in which the worlds of business and healthcare rely on sophisticated technology for process management and data analytics. 

Graduates from our School become highly capable problem solvers who are intellectually agile, technically skilled and ethically responsible.

Preparing for a Career in Computing and Analytics

Micro-Credentials

Online micro-credentials can demonstrate your mastery of relevant workplace skills, abilities and competencies, which is professionally invaluable not only to you, but also to your employer!  We offer microcredentials with combinations of graduate courses ranging from introductory courses to cybersecurity! 

Information Technology

Research

All faculty have active research projects and provide research experiences for our undergraduate and graduate students.  

Department Research

Student/Alumni Spotlight

Image of Tyler Roth

Tyler Roth

Major: Computer Science

Minor: Mathematics and Honors

Graduated: Fall 2015

BIO
Tell us about your current role:

Since 2018, I have been a Senior Software Engineer at STACK Construction Technologies. STACK, a local Cincinnati based startup, helps construction companies bid and win more profitable work.

Involvement/Internships/etc during undergrad:

I was a member of the College of Informatics Ambassadors, worked for the Center for Applied Informatics, interned at a startup called Blue Seat Media, and chaperoned for the Cincinnati Tech Olympics.

Favorite NKU memory:

My absolute favorite memory while at NKU would be meeting my wife, who also majored in Computer Science and worked with me in the Center for Applied Informatics. My other favorite memory was attending college fairs to talk to potential new students about the College of Informatics. I built my communication skills, eased students' concerns about college, and assisted them in picking a program they found interesting. Since I graduated from NKU, I have enjoyed visiting campus to represent my employer at career fairs and helping transition from college life to their careers.

Advice for students:

The best advice I can give is to talk to your professors. It took me a long time to get comfortable with this, but eventually I realized that they want you to succeed and will help you in any way that they can.

Image of Abdikadar Ali

Abdikadar Ali

Major: Computer Information Technology

Minor: Information Security

Graduated: Spring 2022

BIO
Share your journey to NKU. Why did you choose to attend NKU?

After my high school graduation, I knew NKU was the right institution for my next educational journey. I chose NKU because it goes beyond professors' caring. At the Norse family, everyone cares. As a student here I have had countless mentors to be quite honest. Our faculty and staff do everything they can to see us succeed and provide us with exactly what we need to do our best, inside the classroom and outside of it.

Favorite NKU memory

My best memory from my time at NKU was meeting new people and making great friends. I definitely enjoyed and continue to enjoy every bit of my time on campus and the long-lasting friendships I have built.

Experiential Learning/Involvement in college

I have had the opportunity to be involved in various activities at NKU and have taken on leadership roles on campus. Served as the President of National Society of Black Engineers of NKU; Student Ambassador for the College of Informatics and Student Support Services (SSS TRIO) and Junior Advisor for Alpha Lambda Honor Society. Also, during my time at NKU, I have had the opportunity to be a Research Assistant as well as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Computer Science where I was able to explore various projects and put my skills and knowledge into practice.

Advice for future students

As I prospective NKU student, I would encourage you to get to know your professors outside of class. Because a mentor makes all the difference. Most freshman classes are in large lecture halls; it’s easy to feel lost and unmotivated. Also register for classes that will challenge you, and never be afraid to ask questions. Moreover, get involved in organizations around campus because oftentimes these are the most rewarding experiences.

Tell us about your current role and what you do.

Currently, I’m working for GE Aviation as a DTLP (Digital Technology Leadership Program). This role offers those with a passion in technology to grow their leadership, business acumen, and technical skills. Hence, I will be working with different business functions in Software Engineering, Cloud & Cybersecurity and Product development.

Anything else you want to share

Go Norse!

Image of Parker Kain

Parker Kain

Major: Data Science and Statistics

Minor: Honors and Computer Science

Graduated: Spring 2019

BIO
Share your journey to NKU. Why did you choose to attend NKU?

In short – I chose to attend NKU because of the trifecta of great programs, great location, and affordability. Towards the end of high school when I started seriously looking at colleges, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. To try to simply things a little, I set up a series of tours with local Universities to try to better understand their programs, get a feel for campus, and see what might be the best fit. Even from these early on tours, NKU stood out to me as a college that had an amazing value proposition and really valued individual students. My very first tour at NKU, I got to see campus, and even got to speak with professors from a few programs before I was even enrolled! This had a huge impact on me, and it meant a lot that professors would be willing to speak to me before I was even officially a student. Whereas other Universities occasionally felt cold and impersonal, like I was one of a million students, NKU made me feel like I was valued. On top of this – buildings like Griffin Hall (home of the College of Informatics) were stunning, and I’d be lying to say it didn’t feel cool to think about working in such a state-of-the-art building. As we got to talking more, I really started to see the value that NKU brought to the table. First was the quality of programs. I was interested in the intersection of Statistics and Computer Science, and it blew my mind to hear that NKU had a specialized program just for this. At the time, NKU was one of a few schools to offer an undergrad degree in Data Science, which was exactly what I was looking for! NKU, and the College of Informatics in general, focuses on having interesting, high impact programs that fit exactly the needs of businesses in the area, so it was exciting to hear NKU had a program that would prepare me so well for what I wanted to do. The next thing that hit me was affordability. NKU offers great scholarships and has a really competitive tuition rate. In a world where college is more expensive than ever, it felt to me like NKU understood the situation and did everything it could to help students afford college. If you click around the NKU website you’ll see a lot about accessibility and meeting the needs of the region, and I can personally attest that NKU keeps the student front of mind. Lastly was location. I am a Cincinnati native and grew up right in Anderson Township. While I loved the idea of living on campus no matter where I went, I also loved the idea of being relatively close to home, especially since I wanted to work in Cincinnati after college as well. Going to NKU meant I could still live on campus, make friends, and engage in the on-campus community, but also drive home when I wanted and steal a free meal from my parents back in Anderson! Even better, going to NKU meant I could interview and intern with businesses in the region, which is how I ended up working for 84.51 in downtown Cincinnati. Overall – NKU felt like the perfect package for me. A great program at a great price in a great region, with faculty and staff that cared about my success. I started to recognize that during those early tours and trips to campus, and looking back now I can see it even clearer that NKU truly has their student’s best interests at heart.

Favorite NKU memory

It’s hard to choose a single moment to sum up NKU for me, but I can certainly try! Of course I loved the classes, all of the research opportunities I had, and how NKU prepared me to enter the workforce, but often my fondest memories are the little things that happen in between that show the community that NKU has and how much the staff and faculty care. For example, my senior year, I helped to lead the College of Informatics Ambassadors. We had a weekly meeting for all of our members, and beforehand we would mull around and make small talk before the meeting began. I started to get into the habit of showcasing my (awful) artistic skills by using Microsoft Paint to try to draw a part of campus every week. One week, I decided to draw the Dean of the College of Informatics, Dean Kirby, which got some laughs from the other students and our faculty mentors. Somehow, this drawing made its way to Dean Kirby’s desk, and at the end of my last semester I was given a magnet with my drawing on that I still hold onto this day, and it still displays prominently at my desk at 84.51! This is really to show the strength of the communities at NKU. Every part of campus I got to interact with at NKU turned into another home for me. Some days it was the College of Informatics, others it was the Math/Stats department or the Honors College, but each had wonderful faculty and staff who weren’t just there to tick checkboxes, but to interact with students and enrich their college experiences. For every story like the one above I have a dozen more where NKU faculty and staff went above and beyond to make an impact with me, and I think back fondly on all of them!

Experiential Learning/Involvement in college

Experiential learning and getting involved on campus were what really made NKU for me. NKU is special because of the wealth of opportunities it has for students to get involved and grow while also getting a degree! In terms of experiential learning, I did several research projects and internships while at NKU. The summer after my very first year at NKU, I had the opportunity to do a UR-STEM project, which was an 8-week paid research opportunity to work with Mathematics and Statistics faculty and was the first chance I had to work with R, an extremely popular programming language for data science. By the end of this project, I had valuable programming skills that set me apart when I went to interview for internships, and had a research poster I was able to present at several places during my sophomore year. My sophomore year, I was lucky enough to participate in a research-based class again within Mathematics and Statistics, where we, in small groups, partnered with organizations in the Cincinnati area to do work for them and gain further hands-on experience. My group partnered with Children’s Hospital, where we helped to determine the risk factors that would lead to Acute Kidney Injury in children developing into chronic kidney disease, which is often fatal. This further solidified my programming knowledge, was a fascinating project, and taught me amazing soft skills that would aid me in my career. My senior year, I completed my Honors Capstone working with the Dean of the College of Informatics, Kevin Kirby. This was a yearlong project that felt like the culmination of my degree, where we did exciting and challenging research in the field of deep learning. Not only was the project interesting, and I learned many technical skills along the way, the idea that I could even do research with a college Dean is such a unique element of NKU that sets it apart. Our faculty are so available and willing to work with students, which opened the door for the research opportunities I listed above and several others. NKU really helped to prepare me as well to do internships, which were the most impactful to my career at the end of the day. Thanks to the awesome research I was able to do, I found myself being competitive when it came to interview for internships, and I was able to land an internship at my dream company, 84.51 (the data people for Kroger), in my sophomore year. This meant I was able to spend two summers working with 84.51, learning even more technical skills along the way, and which pipelined into me now working for 84.51 today as a Data Scientist! In terms of getting involved on campus, there are so many wonderful options, whether you’re looking for leadership-type organizations or just something fun to do. I participated in a great deal of organizations, including Presidential Ambassadors (the campus tour guides), College of Informatics Ambassadors, STEM Ambassadors, and the Honors Student Association. These organizations really helped me to develop leadership skills and presentation skills, which really set me apart when it came time to interview for jobs. In addition, they built up communities on campus that made NKU feel like home, as I had made friends along the way. There’s also a lot of work opportunities on campus that can make it so you’re able to spend some more time on campus and get valuable experience while paying for college along the way. While I was at NKU, I worked a few jobs including being a student worker for the Vice Provost, being a TA for a Statistics class and a Computer Science class, tutoring in our Calculus lab, and doing paid research with faculty in the back part of my degree. The great part about everything I listed there is that all of these provided really amazing development for me that helped make me a stronger candidate for jobs, but also were paid and made the financials of college easier to navigate! To conclude, there really are an incredible diversity of things to be involved with at NKU, and these experiences are what made my college experience special. NKU offers great coursework, but all the stories I think back fondly involve the things that happened outside of the classroom. All this stems again from how involved and dedicated our faculty are, where often an email to a professor just asking, “hey, do you have any research opportunities?” could turn into a fulfilling multi-semester research project. I truly believe NKU has a stronger dedication to experiential learning and on-campus activities than any other college, and it’s my favorite thing about the University.

Advice for future students

My advice for future students is always just to be present, whether that’s in coursework or just spending time on campus! All the best opportunities for me happened I made connections with other students and faculty and heard through the grapevine about what was happening on campus! Whether it was a leadership organization recruitment event, a faculty needing students to help with research, or even something fun like a pizza dinner at Griffin Hall, just spending time on campus and connecting with others allowed me to immerse myself at NKU and find some amazing opportunities. At the same time, I know many NKU students work part or full time or have family obligations that keep them from campus, and I think my message there would be to make the most of the time you do have and seek opportunities that allow you to spend more time on campus when possible. There are a wealth of opportunities for student work on campus that can also further your academic pursuits, between being a TA, doing paid research, etc. and these opportunities also allow you to spend more time on campus, which is a huge win-win!

Tell us about your current role and what you do.

I am a Data Scientist working for 84.51 in downtown Cincinnati! We are the data folks for Kroger, helping Kroger to make data-driven decisions to help steer their business. Specifically, I work in pricing, which is a really interesting space to work on in the current economic environment. More or less, my job involves a lot of programming, and a lot of thinking of the best ways to help communicate the complex analyses we do at 84.51. While most people think that coming up with cool Machine Learning or AI algorithms is the hard part of a job, I think the challenging part is getting all stakeholders aligned on the requirements, constraints, etc of the analysis you are doing. Thus, an equal amount of my job is thinking about data visualization and data communication and how we can best present things in a way that makes sense to everyone!

Anything else you want to share

NKU is a phenomenal school, and I enjoyed it enough that I will be returning in the Fall to pursue a Master’s in Integrative Studies at NKU! My Masters will be combining Computer Science and Communication, which are both College of Informatics programs, and I can’t wait to come back.

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Jacob Koch

Major: Computer Information Technology

Graduated: 2022

BIO

My name is Jacob Koch, I am a cloud, edge computing, and virtualization specialist. I graduated in 2022 from the College of Informatics at NKU with my MSCIT degree after switching in 2018 from history and German in my undergrad. I am currently a student in UC's PhD in IT program and expect to graduate in 2026. I am a research assistant in the Smart Synergies lab in the Digital Futures Building, our research focuses on IoT systems and smart home research.

My dissertation research centers on cloud, virtual systems, and IoT in smart homes. Recently research that I presented on with a lab mate won an award at the Spring Research Conference co-hosted by UC, UK, and UofL. In January, I was part of a student-led team of researchers that received a $100K award from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). This grant was to develop a cloud system which will help ODOT identify bridges that are used by bats throughout Ohio. The justification is that ODOT benefits from identifying which bridges are used as important roosts for bats early in any planning process.

My goal post graduation is to be a tenure track faculty member that continues research in cloud computing in partnership with industry and agencies.

Image of Griffin Burkhardt

Griffin Burkhardt

Major: Business Information Systems

Minor: Business

Graduated: 2020

BIO

Tell us about your current role.

I have recently accepted a position with Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) as a Sourcing Analyst primarily focusing on the supply chain, finance, and analytics space. The term "sourcing" represents the process of purchasing medical supplies from vendors while jumping through the many hoops of determining the most efficient price, quantity, delivery process, business relationship, contract term, etc. With this, I provide a variety of analytical reports that require touches of data science, business intelligence, and data analytics within Excel to help make decisions on those vendors. Another way to describe my position is an analytical Jack of All Trades because the medical industry is always evolving, thus consistently producing new technological challenges. Those medical supplies from vendors will then eventually be delivered to our various hospitals and facilities for faculty to provide care for our patients!

Favorite NKU Memory

This is such a tough question, although my favorite memory, or memories, were meeting with the incoming Freshman class during summer orientation as an Ambassador. I was able to help the Class of 2021, 2022, and 2023 and it was always a pretty cool moment seeing the next generation of students gearing up for their next four years as well as reflecting on my first time stepping into the College of Informatics. I really enjoyed listening to the interests of each student and being able to provide my tidbits of advice as an upperclassman. Hopefully, something stuck with someone although, regardless, I knew that those students would be able to achieve great things while at NKU.

Experiential Learning/Involvement in College

My involvement in college ran the gamut, ranging from the College of Informatics Ambassadors, the Business Informatics Department Search Committee, the GriffinFest competitions, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Applied Informatics (Informatics+), hackathons at the University of Kentucky and Saint Louis University, volunteer work with local K-12 schools, and other miscellaneous things around. The most significant takeaway looking back on my past four years was the amazing environment the College of Informatics created to foster the ideas and passions of others. I felt that there were many opportunities to get involved not only with the college but with a group of students and staff that possessed the same excitement as myself. In conjunction with this, I believe experiential learning creates a much more engaging and realistic approach to learning material, whether that was through my extracurricular activities or my coursework. Getting hands-on classroom experience smoothly translates to industry experience in addition to creating an environment where students can become confident in their actions.

Advice for students? 

Do not let fear hold you back. College naturally brings some of the most intense and stressful moments for students and it is important to face them head-on and accomplish them rather than pushing them aside. Some of my most impactful moments throughout my undergraduate were also some of my most intimidating moments, however, I knew that they were obstacles that would really help my future self—they were the catalyst that provides the life I am able to live today! While it is easy to get caught up in the present moment with the mountain of assignments, projects, and exams, remember that there are a small handful of one-time-only opportunities at school that may just influence the next five to ten years of your life. As Elon Musk once said, “I could either watch it happen or be a part of it.” You got this, friend!

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Griffin Goepper

Major: Business Information Systems

Minor: Business

Graduated: Fall 2020

BIO

Upcoming Plans

I was just hired at GE Aviation in their Digital Technology Leadership Program after I interned with them this past summer.  I start next month.

Extracurricular and Involvement at NKU

I was in Pi Kappa Alpha, held various positions with PIKE.  

Favorite NKU Memory

Playing intermural Flag Football, all my fun times in the fraternity, and every NKU Homecoming Tailgate.

Advice for Students

Don’t just get involved in organizations.  Lead in organizations.

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Karen Seidler

Major: Library Informatics

Minor: English

Graduated: Spring 2021

BIO

Goals After Graduation.

I plan to work at my local library while attending graduate school.

Favorite NKU Memory

My senior capstone experience working with Dr. Mary Chesnut and Dr. Jennifer Smith of Steely Library. 

Advice for students? 

Always do your best work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help. Be open to new opportunities and most of all, be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. 

Image of Emma Verst

Emma Verst

Major: Business Information Systems

Minor: Business

Graduated: Spring 2020

BIO

"As [a COI student] ambassador, I was able to volunteer to help faculty explain everything about the college and its programs. This was a great opportunity to get to know faculty that I hadn't met yet and to be able to talk/give advice to the incoming freshman from a current student's perspective."

Tell us about your current role.

I currently work at Great American Insurance Company as an Associate Business Analyst in the Product, Data, Compliance Department (PDC).

I am part of a team in PDC that is working with other teams to develop a new policy entry system for our Business Units in order to retire our old system. I work closely with IT in analyzing policies and data that flow through our systems to ensure there are no issues/defects that need to be addressed. My team acts as system support for rules and data compliance as we work through our phases of the project: Development, User Acceptance Testing, and into Production.

Favorite NKU Memory

I loved every minute of my time at NKU, so I am sure I could name quite a few. One great memory at NKU would be Homecoming week every year. I feel like this was a good chance to go enjoy all the fun events NKU would put on for their students. A few of my favorite Homecoming events to attend with my friends would've been the student Talent Show, the Hypnotist, the Step Show, and the Homecoming basketball game. Another favorite NKU memory was being a part of the COI Ambassadors. I barely knew anyone with my major going into college, and being part of this group gave me so many friendly faces as we passed one another in Griffin Hall. This program allowed me to experience new things and gain new personal and career opportunities. One of my favorite events put on by the COI Ambassador Program was when incoming students came to tour Griffin Hall and The College of Informatics for Freshman Orientation. As an ambassador, I was able to volunteer to help faculty explain everything about the college and its programs. This was a great opportunity to get to know faculty that I hadn't met yet and to be able to talk/give advice to the incoming freshman from a current student's perspective. Events like these are what helped me to become a confident leader, which has definitely transitioned over into my working position today.

Experiential Learning/Involvement in College

I was involved in College of Informatics Ambassador Program and Kappa Delta Sorority. In my Junior year at NKU, I started an internship at Great American as a Auto Insurance User Acceptance Tester. This was a great learning experience, as it helped me transition into my full time role at Great American.

Advice for students?

Personally, I found that college was all about balance. I learned to balance a social life and an academic career. I definitely think it is important to meet new people, try new things/go to events you normally would not, and to join groups and programs. Have fun along your college journey, but also remember your future career is what you are working towards over these few years. Always be looking to network when possible. Start early with reaching out to professors and faculty for guidance on internships or any opportunity that will push you to excel academically. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for advice, because everyone at NKU wants to see you succeed.

Image of Celine Wardrop

Celine Wardrop

Major: Computer Science

Minors: Psychology and Mathematics

Graduated: May 2021

BIO

Tell us about your new job and what you will be doing?

After graduation I will begin working as a software developer for Invar Systems, a company in Northern Kentucky that develops warehouse automation software.

Co-Curricular activities/involvement in college?

During my time at NKU I worked as a teaching assistant for the Introduction to Programming course where I helped students learn foundational concepts for Computer Science. I also helped in reforming the Women in Informatics club which sought to provide a space for women in IT related fields to connect and help each other. Outside of NKU, I worked as a programmer/analyst intern at Western & Southern Financial Group which gave me my first exposure to applying programming concepts to solve real-world problems.

Favorite NKU Memory?

I had the opportunity to attend two Tri-State Women in Computing (TriWiC) conferences, one smaller conference held at Owensboro Community & Technical College and a larger conference held at Eastern Kentucky University. Both of those conferences were amazing experiences where I was able to connect and network with other people in my field and also spend time getting to know fellow NKU students. 

Advice for students?

My main advice to students is something that has really helped me out a lot over the last four years. And that is to remember that other people aren’t worried about you as much as you think they are. It can sometimes feel like you have a spotlight on you and everyone is watching and taking note of what you do, but the reality is that everyone is just worried about themselves and is probably not paying attention. As a secondary piece of advice, I would highly recommend engaging with your professors. They can and want to provide opportunities for you to learn, grow, and succeed. Those connections you make will be incredibly valuable. 

Image of Nick Kaufman

Nick Kaufman

Major: Mathematics and Computer Science

Graduated: May 1985

BIO

Responsibilities

I was Vice President of Software Solutions for The Kroger Co. reporting to the CIO.  Our teams were responsible for developing and implementing the various software applications that supported our lines of business including supply chain, e-commerce, store operations, pharmacy, finance, merchandising,  human resources and data analytics.

Giving Back

I have served two separate terms on the NKU COI Dean's Advisory Board.  During my Kroger career I was a huge advocate for NKU and we hired many NKU intern and co-op students.   We also established the Kroger Innovation Lab on the 4th floor of Griffin Hall to help NKU students find rewarding career paths within Information Technology.  I have been involved with several charities over the years but the most rewarding was being part of the Big Brother / Big Sister program for 12 years.

Favorite NKU Memory

I met my wife Kathy at NKU in 1984.  She was a Chemistry major.  We met in the Mathematics Lab in what used to be the Natural Science Center. (I think it is called Founders Hall now.)  We have been happily married since 1986.  

Advice for Students

Never stop learning.  Technology is constantly evolving.  Have several trusted sources (peer groups, blogs, user conferences, advisors, etc.) to help you understand where your industry is heading and how technology will define it. 



Griffin Hall NKU Campus

Congratulations

NKU'S Computer Science Department receives the 2020 Academic Unit Excellence in Access Award.

image of students looking at a computer

PROGRAM RENEWS NSA DESIGNATION

NKU's designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education has been renewed by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security!

Click here to read more.

FaceApp logo and example of the old age filter

When Filters Compromise Security

Dr. Maureen Doyle explains what actually happens when someone downloads FaceApp.

"When you agree to use the app and download it, you're saying they can take that picture and use it in whatever way they want, so they might as well own it,” said Dr. Doyle, professor and chair of the computer science department at Northern Kentucky University.

Click here to read more.

A cartoon photo of computer ad frustration

Professor Tackles Ad Tracking

Currently, targeted ad tracking is a threat to personal privacy, but it is not a business-level threat. Yi Hu, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Northern Kentucky University, agreed. His research concentrates on data security, data mining, information assurance, database systems and trust management in cyberspace.

Click here to read more.  

Past, Present, and Future Success