Computer science is an enormously vibrant field. From its inception over half a century ago, computer science has become the defining technology of our age. Computers are integral to modern culture and are the primary engine behind much of the world’s economic growth. The field, moreover, continues to evolve at an astonishing pace. New technologies are introduced continually, and existing ones become obsolete in the space of a few years.
Much of the change that affects computer science comes from advances in technology. Many of these advances are part of an ongoing evolutionary process that has continued for many years. Moore’s Law—the 1965 prediction by Intel founder Gordon Moore that microprocessor chip density would double every eighteen months—continues to hold true. As a result, we have seen exponential increases in available computing power that have made it possible to solve problems that would have been out of reach just a few short years ago. Other changes in the discipline, such as the rapid growth of networking after the appearance of the World Wide Web, are more dramatic, suggesting that change also occurs in revolutionary steps.
The evolutionary and revolutionary changes have had a profound effect on computer science discipline. These changes have also placed an increasing demand for highly qualified computer scientists in the Kingdom at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
In light of the rapid growth, change, and high demand in the discipline of computing, the ICS department at KFUPM developed two master programs to cope with the advancements and the market needs: the Software Engineering Master Program and the Computer Security Master Program. Such developments coupled with the changes in the computer science discipline since 2003, the last time the MSCS Program was revised, require that the ICS department revise and enhance its MSCS Program to match not only these latest changes and developments of computing in the past decade, but also endure through the next decade.
The rapid growth and change in the discipline of computing had made it imperative on the department of Information and Computer Science (ICS) to revise the MSCS program. There has also been an increasing demand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Computer Scientists with the advanced knowledge and skills needed in this age of the information society. Any revision of the MSCS Program must ensure high quality, meet the job market demand in the Kingdom, and be in-line with current and most popular curriculum design and pedagogy adopted at reputable universities in North America. We strongly believe that the revised program meet these criteria.