Dean Edward A. Bogucz visits with students in the new environmental systems teaching lab.

      Bradley Strait studied under the outstanding electrical engineering faculty assembled by Galbraith, and has
Wilbur R. LePage
been connected with SU ever since. Strait entered SU as an undergraduate in 1950 at the tail end of the GI bulge, but enlisted for four years during the Korean War. He returned to SU and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1958. He became a teaching assistant at the college in 1960 while earning a master’s degree, and joined the faculty after earning a doctorate in 1965. Strait eventually became a professor and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, served as the college’s dean twice, and founded the Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering (CASE). “Syracuse University was well-known for electrical engineering around the world,” Strait says. “The faculty was so well thought of that when they hosted conferences, most of the top electrical engineers in the country attended. The man who really led that group was LePage. I believe he was one of the best educators of the 20th century in any field. I actually followed him as department chair in 1974, and it was like a puppy trying to follow a lion.”
                                                      steve sartori                               Bradley Strait

A New Direction
In the late 1960s, SU offered computer science at the doctoral level, but it was part of a troika of programs lumped in with biological and social science and linguistics under the title of systems and information science. At that time, the engineering college was almost 20 years into a nearly 40-year arrangement with IBM to provide graduate education for its workers at off-campus centers (see related story). IBM wanted SU to establish a master’s degree program in computer engineering instead of a doctoral program. As a result, when the college created the master’s program, an undergraduate degree in computer engineering was also born. In 1972, it became the second accredited undergraduate computer engineering degree offered in the United States.
      Around the same time the computer engineering program was developing undergraduate courses, the computer science program was doing so too. Starting in 1976, it became known as the School of Computer and Information Science (CIS). As an SU undergraduate, David Edelstein ’78 decided to focus on systems information, rather than pure computer science. It was the right choice: When he entered the workforce, Edelstein found himself on the leading edge of a new thought process surrounding computer usage. “I received a comprehensive education at SU,” says Edelstein, one of the early graduates of CIS. “They taught us an applied use of computer technology along with the actual design. I’m not sure how many programs around the country offered this kind of training, but it was clear when I interviewed for work after graduation that it was a unique proposition. Business schools at the time were starting to teach their students how to use computers, but it was so early on that people didn’t own personal computers—it was still ‘black magic’ in a way, and business people didn’t really grasp it.”
      Edelstein also benefited from the college’s affiliation with IBM. He worked for the company during the summer and was immediately offered a job as a programmer after graduation, becoming part of a pool of recently hired programmers working on a language called APL, which IBM had developed. Edelstein, who had worked with APL in college, found that he was the only person among the new hires already trained in the language. Three years later, he moved out of programming to work more closely with people using the programs he had written. After working at Bristol-Myers Squibb, he went on to his current position as chief information officer and chief regulatory officer at Dade Behring, a clinical diagnostic equipment company.
      In 1992, CIS merged with the College of Engineering, and the college was renamed the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. The connection between first-year students in both disciplines was strengthened in 1993, when a unified curriculum was established. In 1996, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) was created.

Continued on page 5
Continued on page 6
Back to page 1
Back to page 2
Back to page 3

Main Home Page Contents Chancellor's Message Opening Remarks
InBasket Shared Rewards Synergetic Strength A World Away
In Loving Memory Quad Angles University Place Student Center
Staff Circle Faculty Focus Alumni News/Notes Cover To Cover
View From The Hill

E-mail the magazine editor
E-mail the web guy
820 Comstock Ave., Rm. 308
Syracuse, NY 13244-5040