FHU to Offer New Interdisciplinary Major

JULY 3, 2013

Two Freed-Hardeman University departments will pair up to offer a new major this fall. The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Department of Fine Arts will combine resources for a major in interactive digital design.

The interdisciplinary program merges the fields of graphic design and software development. Students may choose between a Bachelor of Science with a developer emphasis and a Bachelor of Arts with a designer emphasis. The coursework will enable students to build skills necessary to create digital resources such as web pages, smartphone apps and social media sites. “By combining the two fields, students will be prepared to develop software that is both functional and beautiful,” Dr. Kenan Casey, assistant professor of computer science, said.

FHU computer science majors have already been collaborating with IT Web Services to create apps for mobile devices. In 2011, a team of computer science majors developed FHU’s first native iPhone application. Available from the iTunes App Store, it provides a campus directory, map and news feed.

Since then, that app has been updated and an app for the iPad has been completed.
The iPad app includes sections for news, the university calendar, media, Seasons, an improved map and a campus directory. The app is designed to provide information for prospective students, current students, alumni and parents. It can be downloaded at fhu.edu/fhumobile.

The departments decided to offer the new major after surveying current students for possible interest and researching job opportunities in the area. “Students with the combination of technical and artistic skill sets have fantastic employment potential in the fields of web and mobile development as well as interaction and usability design,” Casey said.

“We discovered by talking with our art alumni that graphic design today requires experience and skills in technology as well as design. This degree will prepare our graduates to better compete with others in the marketplace,” Barbara England, who chairs the fine arts department, said.

Those interested in learning more about the new major may contact Casey at kcasey@fhu.edu or England at blengland@fhu.edu.