Fairfield University

Schools of Engineering and Business

Introduction to Information Systems: GK415 - MS/MOT Program

Updated: 5/23/2001 12:34 PM

Instructor:      Jeffrey N. Denenberg

Home Phone:    (203) 268-1021                         Fax:      (978) 359-7977

E-mail:              jeffrey.denenberg@ieee.org       Office hours: 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on class nights

Web Site:         http://doctord.webhop.net or http://doctord.dyndns.org:8000 or http://doctord.dyn.dhs.org:8000

Course Description

The objective of this course is to provide insight to the prospective manager of technology, into the capabilities of modern software and computing systems, as they apply to the processing of information for business and industry. By this insight our students in the MOT program are to acquire an ability to discriminate between effective and ineffective information and data processing, as it relates to the activities under their management.

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Noting that the role of management is to plan and organize activities that effectively apply and control the use of necessary resources: This course deals with one of the major tools for accomplishing effective management, i.e. the information system.  The course objectives are to educate the student in such aspects of information systems that he or she may be involved.

  1. What one can expect to obtain from an information system?
  2. What is involved in the design and development of such a system to provide information for managing a specific business (organization or resource)?
  3. What products/milestones properly represent the development of an Information System?

In context with the foregoing the student will be able to answer the following questions, which are presented here as learning outcomes.

Texts and Reference Material

  1. "Fundamentals of Digital Logic and Microcomputer Design", M. Rafiquzzaman, Rafi Systems,
    ISBN 0-96-64980-3-8
  2. "Systems Analysis and Design Methods", Whitten, Bentley & Barlow; Irwin,
    ISBN 0-07-231539-3

References:  (available via the course web site)

  1. Computer-Microcontroller_Interfacing: Thanks to Mark Sokos
  2. DoctorD's Network
  3. Digital Logic Tutorial : Thanks to www.play-hookey.com (The interactions all work at the original)
  4. Byte Magazine article, “Evolution of Programming Methodology”, by Bill Nicholls: Part 1, Part 2.
         The originals can be found at: Part 1, Part 2
  5. Scott's Pencil Launcher – A Real-Time Programming Project
  6. PowerPoint Slides for "Systems Analysis and Design Methods":
         Additional interactive material is at: http://www.mhhe.com/whitten
  7. Database Tutorial: Based on MS Access - thanks to M. J. Brydon. (Uses PDF Files)
         Download the Adobe Acrobat Reader (4 - 8 MBytes depending on Operating System and options)
  8. Microsoft Project Tutorial (Thanks to George Vakki).

Course Requirements

Homework assignments are indicated in the Course Content and Schedule. These should be completed and turned in at the start of the next session, as homework will be discussed immediately after it is turned in.

Exams, tests and quizzes will be given throughout the course. Their grades are factored into your final grade.

Class Hours     6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Wednesdays starting May 23, 2001

Course Content and Schedule

Session Topics



What is a computer?
Input/output devices.
Overview of internal architecture
Internal PC components

Text 1;
Chapters 6.1 – 6.5


Reference 1

Ch. 6, pp 293

   Problems: 6.1, 6.2, 6.3

Truth tables & binary
Measurement in powers of 2 (kilo, mega, giga, tera)
& milIi, micro, nano, pico)
Binary, Octal, decimal, hexadecimal arithmetic.
How data is stored.
Bits, bytes, words, & bauds.
Memory division and addresses.
Logical OR as the basic internal operation.
NAND, OR as circuits.

Text 1;
Chapters 2, 3, 4

Reference 2

Ch. 2 pp. 64

   Problems: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4,
                    2.5, 2.6

Ch. 3 pp. 123

   Problems: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3

Ch. 4 pp. 166

   Problem 4.1

5/30a - Review



5/30b - Quiz



Software classes -Operating systems, Utility suites,
Assemblers, Compilers, and Interpreters
Language generations.
DBMS, Application programs.

Text 1;
Chapters 6.6 – 6.10


Reference 3

Ch. 6, pp 295

   Problems: 6.19, 6.20, 6.22,


Program compilation steps,
Syntax checking, Conversion to pseudo code,
Assembling, Linking and address resolution.
Types of programming -sequential vs. event based,
looping, subroutines, modules, objects,

What is an Information System?
How do Information Systems contribute to business management?
Why systems fail.

Text 1;
Chapter 6.1





Text 2;
Modules A & B
(ch. 8 in ref. 4)
Part 1

Ch. 6, pp 295

   Problems: 6.23

6/13a - Review



6/13b - Quiz



Systems development lifecycle -iterative & recursive
Systems Planning
Systems "analysis"
Conceptual Systems Design
Systems Evaluation and Selection
Functional Systems Design
Systems Implementation

Text 2;
Chapter 5, 9

Ch 5
pp. 166 Review 6 -12;
Ch. 9
pp. 640 Review 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9


Overview of project management and its tools.

PDMMURRE Analysis vs. synthesis Entity-Relationship diagrams.

Semantic Object models.

Text 2;

Chapters 5, 6

Ref. 6

Ch 5 pp. 203.
Review 1 -4;
Ch 6 pp. 255
Review 6 -9;

How does one design an effective information system?
Limiting scope.
Global, group & local systems.

Text 2;
Chapters 4, 7, 8


Ch 10 pp. 389
Review 2 -6;
Ch 15 pp. 530
Problems 1 -3;

Inputs and outputs -functionality and design.
System controls.

Text 2;
Chapters 8, 14

Ch 7 pp. 281
Review 1, 2, 3, 9;
Ch 12 pp. 458
Review 1 - 8

7/04 – Independence Day










7/18 – No Class, Project Assignment



Entity-Relationship diagrams,
Semantic Object models -revisited.

Text 2;
Chapters 7, 11

Ch 7 pp. 306
Review 1 - 6;
Ch 11 pp. 389

Problems 1 - 3;

Organizing the database. ERD vs. SOM.
Boyce-Codd normal forms.

Text 2;
Chapter 12

Ref. 5

Ch 12 pp.430
Review 1 – 9

Analysis vs. synthesis again.
Software design.
Coding and testing.

Text 2;
Chapters 10

Ch 10 pp. 346
Problems 1 – 4

Course and Project reviews.
Practice exercises.
Question time.



Comprehensive Final exam.



Course Grading Basis Grades are derived from: -

Above is subject to change at the instructor's discretion.


While it is understood that graduate students may find it necessary to absent themselves from class due to business commitments: the learning requirement does not change. Therefore the student is responsible to acquire the lecture notes and other material covered in the missed classes and to understand that material.