By Vincenza Previte
Walker School of Business
This fall Webster University students will be able to enjoy a new major from the math and computer science department. The new B.S. in Computing with an emphasis in Mobile Computing is the first undergraduate degree in St. Louis to be offered as a major.
“I feel mobile computing has a really promising future. People nowadays cannot live without their smartphones,” Suo said.
Suo said the new program is promising for students since the IT market is changing towards a more smartphone-oriented industry. She also said many studies show that the use of mobile apps enrich students’ learning process.
A study conducted at Abilene Christian University found that students who used a statistics app in and out of the classroom understood the content of the class better and obtained significantly higher final grades.
Similar to the computer science major which focuses on teaching students how to solve problems related to hardware and software systems, the new mobile computing major teaches students the basics on computer science. However, its main focus will be teaching students how to understand the principles of portable computing devises to access the Internet.
Mobile computing includes a wide range of portable technologies such as small compact portable computers to personal digital assistants PDAs, which are small handheld computers like Blackberry smartphones and iPhones.
Computer Science professor Martha Smith, who helped organize the curriculum of the program, said though the new major aligns many computer science classes in its required courses it also requires the completion of new classes that focus on mobile technology, mobile computing and mobile development.
Introduction to Mobile Technology, offered in Fall I, will focus on the basics of the emerging mobile technology, its applications market and the commercialization of such applications. Mobile Computing I, offered in Fall II, will study the latest mobile computing technologies for professional software developers.
Suo said the new mobile computing program is relevant to the current job market, which means it will present better opportunities for graduates emphasizing in this program.
“When smartphones came out and the first generation of iPhones were popular, making applications for them became something people looked forward to,” Suo said.