The School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities is one of the youngest schools within University of Sao Paulo.
It has a single organizational structure without any academic departments.
The aim of EACH is to prepare professionals and researchers for a complex vision of society, culture and science. It is based on a strict commitment to the development of inter-, multi- and transdisciplinary perspectives as well as the pursuit of knowledge innovation. Two of its key features are the Basic Cycle, a series of common studies to all undergraduate programs, and the establishment of a strong connection with local low-income communities through research projects and extension activities.
Every year, 1,020 students are admitted in the undergraduate programs, alocated into morning, afternoon and evening periods. EACH currently has approximately 5,000 students in undergraduate programs, and 150 students in graduate programs.
In the new millennium, computer-based systems are predominantly used in all human activities. However, since the economy and social relations are centered on computers and devices connected via a network, the use and reliance on computing systems have expanded in recent years. In this new economic and social context, basic human activities such as trade, services, manufacturing, education, entertainment and interpersonal relationships occur in the digital space.
Meanwhile, technological advances have enabled constructing increasingly complex computational systems that process large volumes of data in different formats (such as image, sound, multimedia, and three-dimensional environments). This is because these systems deal with highly complex problems. For example, in the two largest U.S. stock exchanges (NYSE and Nasdaq) most stock transactions are largely performed by automated systems, without human interference. These systems use computational intelligence and data mining concepts to make stock buying and selling decisions in a matter of milliseconds. Consequently, a part of the global economy is largely dependent on the accuracy and reliability of computational systems. Another recent example is the mandatory use of simulators for issuing driving licenses in Brazil. These simulators integrate concepts of graphics processing, databases, software engineering, human-computer interaction, among others, a construction which entails high-complexity activity.
These highly complex systems do not have their behavior determined separately. Instead, their behavior is dependent on their organizational positioning, and their interaction with users and other systems that can operate in collaboration or in competition. Thus, what is observed is not the behavior of each system individually, but the behavior emerging from the interaction among the various systems. Problems of this nature are handled by computing systems in the areas of natural resource management, intelligent control of energy systems, natural disaster response, consumption and demand for media products (film, radio, television), among others.
In this scenario, problems require professionals and researchers who study, develop and manage diverse knowledge in multidisciplinary fields. These professionals are not only required to have expertise in computer science, but also in areas such as economics, management, business, psychology, sociology and health. In other words, these systems are based on socio-technical concepts.
The endeavor of the Graduate Program in Information Systems (PPgSI) of the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, regards contributing to the solution of highly complex real problems. This goal involves the development of scientific research directed to address these problems and to train human resources with extensive knowledge to solve them. PPgSI offers an Academic Master of Science in the Computer Science field.
Aimed at contributing to the solution of real problems, PPgSI defines an area of concentration which includes its research activities, denominated Information Systems (Computing Methodology and Techniques). The purpose of this area of concentration is proposing, developing, implementing and evaluating methodologies and techniques in key fields of computer science which, when integrated, provide solutions to the challenges of different application areas of knowledge.
Additionally, these computational methodologies and techniques can result in tools and products, which in turn can viably provide innovation and technology transfer to the productive sector. Ergo, PPgSI has a robust focus on applied research. Furthermore, the startups that have emerged in recent years have set forth solutions to urban problems by integrating data from different settings and contexts in order to provide extremely useful applications, and even changes in customs among people. Examples of solutions presented by such startup companies include: product pricing search (integrating images, data from companies and social networks); search for job candidate profiles in various social networks; and hiring different services (such as taxis and meals) considering the integration of GPS data, images and telecommunication. Some of these companies are consolidated and market leaders in their segment, bringing technological innovation to various sectors of society. PPgSI is driven by this paradigm, so that the in-depth knowledge of computational methodologies and techniques, coupled with knowledge of the challenges in society, can provide intelligent and innovative solutions to these issues.
Within the area of concentration “Information Systems (Computing Methodology and Techniques)”, PPgSI encompasses two research lines: Systems Development and Management and Systems Intelligence. The former covers aspects of management and development of these complex computing systems, constituting research areas related to Database, Software Engineering, Information Technology Management and Human-Computer Interaction, although other computing areas are not excluded. The latter aims at promoting the development and use of intelligent techniques to assist in solving highly complex systems related to challenges in society, encompassing traditional research computing areas such as Artificial Intelligence,Graphics Processing and Pattern Recognition.
In addition, to contribute to the solution of real problems, PPgSI directs its research efforts across ten application areas, namely: Enterprise Environments and Business Processes; Bioinformatics; Biometrics; Economics; Education and Distance Learning; Internet and Social Networks; Games; Linguistics and Natural Language; Chemistry; Robotics; and Health. These application areas are dynamic, within PPgSI, with respect to the researchers’ interests, society needs and established partnerships.