The Doctor of Professional Studies in Computing

The Doctor of Professional Studies (DPS) in Computing program began its first semester in the Fall of 1999. The program is now in its twelfth year and in May will graduate its tenth class. DPS students maintain full-time jobs, while completing the three-year program. Student dissertation areas have included:  Agile Methods, Pattern Languages, Visualization of Data, Genetic Algorithms, Distributed Systems Architecture, Software Component Integration, Web Personalization, Software Testing, Data Security, Information Assurance, Web Content Management, Knowledge Management, Software Product Quality and CMMI, Cybercrime, Biometrics, Pattern Recognition, Robotics.

Mark Ritzmann, a DPS graduate and an executive with the Information Warehousing Group at IBM, said in reference to the program, “The DPS program advanced my understanding and overall perspective of the profession, my depth of knowledge and, most tangibly, advanced my career at IBM.  I became the go-to person in my group.  There were many times when I took something I learned on a Saturday and immediately worked it into a presentation for Monday.”

  • The Students –With three classes in attendance in the Fall of 2010, there are a total of 45 students, a diverse group of 34 men and 11 women, from 12 states. They entered the program with master's degrees from institutions such as Binghamton, Brooklyn College, Carnegie Mellon, Fairfield, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Penn State, Polytechnic, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY, Villanova, and, of course, Pace.  DPS students are employed full-time by a wide range of employers including:  ALCOA, AT&T, CIT Group, FBNAfrica, Goldman Sachs, IBM, MetLife, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Moody’s, SUNY, The Lloyd Group, United Parcel Service, and Verizon among others.
  • Faculty and Staff – Dr. Fred Grossman, DPS Program Chair, holds primary responsibility for overseeing the DPS program with Dr. Charles Tappert, Associate Chair. Chris Longo handles administrative duties and provides support on the resident weekends.  The program also has a graduate assistant.

    Teaching faculty include Joseph Bergin, Howard Blum, Li-Chiou Chen, Paul Dantzig, Ronald Frank, Fred Grossman, Lixin Tao, and Charles Tappert. Other SCSIS faculty members participate in the Research Seminar Course and serve as dissertation advisers and dissertation committee members.

    Among the distinguished guest lecturers who visited DPS this year are:

    Dr. Jutta Eckstein from Braunschweig, Germany an experienced independent coach, consultant, and trainer for agile software development. Dr. Eckstein was recently elected into the top 100 most important people in German IT. Her latest book is titled, Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams: Staying Agile in a Global World.

    Dr. Leslie Lui, Research Staff Member, IBM Research, working on scalable and secure mobile management and programming systems on multiple platforms including iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian and Windows Mobile.

    Dr. Nalini Ratha, IBM Research, a member of the Exploratory Computer Vision Group working on several biometrics projects.

    Dr. Roberto Sicconi, Program Director, DeepQA Opportunities, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, who did an interesting overview presentation of DeepQA and the Jeopardy! Challenge and extension to Business Applications.

  • Curriculum – The first year's (fall, spring, and summer) integrated core curriculum is designed to provide an understanding of computing as a coherent discipline and the environments in which computer-based systems operate. In the second year, students pursue elective study in selected areas that support the projected dissertation research. In addition, students participate in a Research Seminar sequence for each of the six semesters of the first two years of study. These seminar courses introduce students to the various methods and styles of computing research. Students devote the third year to completing their research and to writing the dissertation. A total of 48 credits are required for graduation.

    Although students come to campus approximately once a month (5 times per semester), their participation in educational activities is ongoing. Outside of class, in addition to doing their assigned and supplementary readings, writing papers, and preparing presentations, they maintain on-going communication with the faculty and their fellow students via the Internet. Unlike traditional graduate programs, students do not feel isolated. Strong bonding occurs among the students and faculty.

  • Object Oriented/Agile/Java Workshop – Agile software development and object technology figure prominently in the three-semester sequence of courses on software design and development taken by all first year students. Therefore, a free, non-credit, "jumpstart" workshop is offered to entering students in August at the Graduate Center . Instruction continues online for four weeks, and in genuine workshop style, students proceeded at their own rates and in accordance with their interests in the more advanced topics.
  • Assessment – Feedback from both students and faculty is important. Course opinion surveys for students are completed at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters for first and second year DPS classes. Survey results have assisted in fortifying novel aspects of the program that are working well and in pinpointing shortcomings.
  • Recruitment – Efforts that seem to have the best results are bulk mailings and email blasts to targeted groups, Google AdWords on the Internet, e-mails to past inquirers, and DPS information sessions. Most of the DPS inquiries and applications are received through the DPS Web site,, as the Web site address is displayed on all promotional material. A total of eleven information sessions, seven at the Graduate Center and four at the Midtown Center, were held between December and June to promote the program. At each, Dr. Fred Grossman gives an overview of the program, and a representative of Graduate Admission explains the admission process. A professionally designed fact sheet, and full-page ad are used in our recruitment campaigns and promotions.
  • Special Events – A four-day orientation for new students

    A two-day Cloud Computing Event, arranged by Maria Azua, DPS Class of 2012, and VP of Advance Cloud Solutions and Innovation Lab at IBM. Eight IBM Cloud Computing researchers presented at the weekend event.

    Our annual barbecue in June attended by faculty, current students, newly accepted students, and DPS alumni.