About the school

Information-based tools and devices are now a fundamental part of life in such diverse areas as education, medicine, finance, communication, and entertainment.

Justin Zobel

Professor Justin Zobel
Head of Department

At a personal level we are all familiar with information and computing technologies: camera phones and mp3 players that connect and entertain us; websites where we can buy and sell virtually anything; technologies for talking, gaming and file-sharing over the internet; seven-day weather forecasts on TV; finding information with Google and Wikipedia; sharing opinions, photographs, and commentary via social networking services; accessing money via ATMs and EFTPOS; the list is endless.

Similarly, scientists use computing technology to develop new understandings about drugs and disease, to model storms and disasters and how best to alleviate them if they occur, and to sift massive amounts of data looking for trends and patterns. And in the business world, high-quality information management and security, and effective delivery of information resources, are fundamental to success.

Computing and information technologies lie at the heart of this revolution.

At one level, it comes down to how we use algorithms to store and transform information, the basic building-block of computing. For example, in the area of computer science, advances in sound and image coding underpin camera phones and mp3 players; advances in efficient web-indexing underpin Google and Bing; advances in computer graphics underpin both life-saving medical imaging techniques and life-like gaming consoles; advances in language processing underpin the speech recognition systems that have brought automatic translation tantalisingly close; and advances in IT platforms and technologies underpin the scalable and seamless execution of applications on different types of computing infrastructure, from hand-held devices to utility computing clouds.

At a different level, in the area of information systems, it is the understanding of how people and organisations interact with technology that allows us to evaluate their benefits and limitations. Providing software-based support for socially isolated people allows them to enjoy a better quality of life than would otherwise be possible; and understanding how organisations adapt and use large-scale enterprise systems provides important insights into their effective uptake and management.

The computing disciplines — computer science, information systems, and software engineering — are helping to build an “information society” that profoundly affects every aspect of our lives. The School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne has been part of the technology revolution for more than fifty years, and is an international leader in both teaching and research. We provide undergraduate and graduate training across the full spectrum of computing and information technology, as well as internationally-recognised research programs.

Please take a few minutes to explore this website and to ask yourself two critical questions:

  • Do you believe that the rapid pace of development in information technologies will continue in the coming decades?
  • Do you want to help develop and apply those technologies?

If your answers to both questions are “yes” then you have come to the right place to pursue your ambitions.

Welcome to our excitement.