The History of DINS

DINS has had a long history - its origins at Pitt date back to the 1960s when both the Information Science and Computer Science disciplines were in their nascent years. Here is an approximate timeline of the evolution of the department (Source).

Late 1960s-71: A proposed program on “communication science” was named the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Information Science (IDIS) - provisional for 3 years.

1973: The Interdisciplinary Department of Information Science (IDIS) is created in the School of Library and Information Science. Its focus is on the convergence of human behavior and technology to augment the capabilities of society.

1974: The Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) is approved at Pitt. And, 230 degrees are awarded in its first seven years! IDIS is one of the few departments in the country in any discipline with data communications in its curriculum.

1979: The BSIS, one of the very first undergraduate majors in Information Science in the country, is introduced.

Mid 1980s: The Master of Science in Telecommunications (MST) starts with support from AT&T. The Telecommunications Program starts with Dr. Fritz Froehlich, formerly from Bell Labs as its director.

Mid 1990s: A concentration in Telecommunications is established with the PhD in IS. By then, the current DINS was called the Department of Information Science and Telecommunications (DIST) with a mostly autonomous Telecommunications Program Committee (TPC).

2003: DIST is dissolved in the School of Information Sciences (SIS). The Graduate programs in Information Science and Technology (the MSIS, IS-PhD) and Telecommunications and Networking (the MST, IS-Tele PhD) are formed. The Information Science major (BSIS) continues as an upper-level undergraduate degree at SIS.

2004: The Information Science and Technology and Telecommunications and Networking graduate programs are certified by the NSA to meet the standards set by the US government's Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS).

2016: DINS is conceptualized -- the Information Science and Technology and Telecommunications and Networking graduate programs come together with the Information Science undergraduate major in anticipation of the creation of the new School of Computing and Information (SCI).

2017: DINS is one of the three departments in the new School of Computing and Information.

2020: The BSIS major sees a substantial revision. The MSIS and MST are revised to reflect changes in the disciplines.

2021: The BS in Computational Social Science is approved by Pitt. This is a joint major between DINS and the Department of Political Science.