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Blockchain is offered as a concentration because it is recognized worldwide as a serious disruptive force in the history of money as well as ledger technologies. In a short period, hundreds and thousands of blockchains have emerged to address multiple problems in financial, business, social, and even political arenas.

Program Goals

The student graduating with a Master of Science in the Next Generation Technologies program will be able to:

Program Lead

 Farooq  Anjum, Ph.D.

Farooq Anjum, Ph.D. Associate Professor

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Program Courses

This program requires a total of 36 semester hours: 15 semester hours from the core courses, 3 semester hours of an elective course, 6 semester hours of experiential courses, and 15 semester hours of Blockchain courses. The semester hour value of each course appears in parentheses ( ).

ISEM 500 – Strategic Pln for Digital Transform (3 credits)

This course introduces the basic principles (systems thinking and quantitative methods) of systems engineering and shows how these principles can be used to strategically plan, integrate, secure and administer the complex information systems that support and drive the current and future digital enterprises. Topics include: digital enterprises, aligning information technology strategy to business strategy, enterprise applications (customer relations management, procurement, supply chain management), ecommcerce, decision support, knowledge management, artificial intelligence (AI) applications, cost/benefit analysis and information technology infrastructure. These topics are explained through case studies and examples by using a strategic planning methodology.

ISEM 540 – Enterprise Architecture & Integr (3 credits)

Modern digital enterprises are characterized by increased automation, mobile services, extended B2B operations with global business partners, and on-demand business services. The main issue in such enterprises is to architect and integrate a very wide range of services quickly and effectively. This course presents a ‘systems’ perspective based on service oriented architecture (SOA) that combines processes, people and technologies, and highlights the role of information and communication technologies, enterprise models, and emerging SOA standards in developing flexible and integrated business architectures.

ISEM 515 – Commercialization of New Tech (3 credits)

This course is designed to prepare a Next Generation Technologist for taking their innovation to the public marketplace. It is an introduction to a wide range of practical aspects, which are important to realizing the commercial potential of the innovation. Topics include corporate formation, team recruitment, intellectual property protection, supply-chain development, production and scaling, marketing and sales, media relations, venture capital markets, investor relations, social and business networks, organizational culture, and business development.

ISEM 528 – Industry Analysis and Tech Patterns (3 credits)

Complex interdependencies exist between various industry sectors and emerging technologies. This course is designed to prepare a Next Generation Technologist for a broad understanding of industries and their dependence on emerging technologies. Topics include analysis of the key industry sectors in the digital age and an examination of their financial and logistical interdependencies. Focus is on industry ecosystem as the network of organizations – including suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors, government agencies, and others – involved in the delivery of a specific product or service through competition, cooperation, and organizational learning. Particular attention is paid to the role of substitute technologies that could disrupt an entire industry ecosystem. Several real-life case studies and examples with particular focus on supply chains will be used to illustrate the key points.

NGEN 585 – Prin of Software Architectural Patt (3 credits)

This course will serve as a catalog of commonly used design patterns, prominent and dominant software patterns, and their applications. This course is divided into three modules. First, Software Architecture Patterns covers the various architectural patterns of object-oriented, component-based, client server, and cloud architecture. The need for software patterns is described. The various architectural patterns are listed and explained in detail in order to convey the what, where, why and how of architectural patterns. Second, Enterprise Integration Patterns covers enterprise application integration patterns and how they are designed. Patterns of service-oriented architecture (SOA), event driven architecture (EDA), resource-oriented architecture (ROA), big data analysis architecture, and microservice architecture (MSA) will be carefully studied. Finally, Patterns for Containerized and Highly Reliable Applications covers advanced topics such as Docker containers, high-performance, and reliable application architectures. Key takeaways include understanding what architectures are, why they are used, and how and where architecture design and integration patterns are being leveraged to build bigger and better systems.

GRAD 695 – Research Methodology & Writing (3 credits)

This course guides the student to develop and finalize a selected research problem and to construct a proposal that effectively establishes the basis for either writing a thesis or launching an experiential capstone project. The course provides an overview of strategies for effective problem investigation and solution proposal. Research methodology is studies and applied as part of suggesting a solution to a problem. Writing and formatting techniques are also explored and applied as a communication tool for cataloging the investigation and recommending the solution.

NGEN 520 – Foundations of Blockchain (3 credits)

Blockchain technology is recognized worldwide as a serious disruptive force in both the history of money and in ledger technology. In a short period of time, hundreds of thousands of blockchains have emerged to cater to multiple problems whether they are monetary, business, economic, social, or even political problems. It brings forth serious issues of governance as well as the need to reorganize multiple enterprises like state entities, corporations, banks, court systems, etc. This course introduces the student to the significance of this paradigm shift with broad coverage of important changes and the agents of the change. It explores origins of Bitcoin, technical details of underlying blockchain technology, elements of cryptography, supportive technologies, predominant concepts of distributed computing, and emerging layering of internet protocols and their role in new wealth systems.

NGEN 525 – Evolution of Crypto Assets & Tokens (3 credits)

After the emergence of Bitcoin, hundreds of crypto-currencies have surfaced with a vast supportive infrastructure for exchange of this value. This has resulted in diverse responses from governments and other regulating bodies. This course contains a comprehensive history of crypto-assets and infrastructure built since 2012, including exchanges, wallets, prominent tokens, central bank-issued digital currencies, and the state of regulations. This course will give the student an introduction of top-rated blockchain assets, their security mechanisms, investment strategies, and crypto-trading modes, as well as explain how government jurisdictions are responding to this unique disruption.

NGEN 534 – Implementing Smart Contract & DApps (3 credits)

Open blockchains, particularly Ethereum, have spawned a unique category of crowdfunding options that standardize the entire process of how capital is raised and allocated. Specific technical expertise and a detailed knowledge of how decentralized applications are fast emerging as the new players in the ecosystem are required to navigate Open blockchains. This course offers a specific understanding of how the Ethereum blockchain has become a standard mechanism for launching new ICO (Initial Coin Offering) projects and DApps. This course will take the student through multiple phases of building an ERC20 (Ethereum Request for Comment) standard token and its deployment in real-life conditions. This course offers not only a core developer experience that stands behind an ICO, but also offers a comprehensive survey of how the Ethereum and non-Ethereum smart contract platforms have contributed to a completely new offering of DApps as blockchain-as-a-microservice.

NGEN 540 – Major Blockchain Trade-off & Choice (3 credits)

Blockchain Technology has ushered in a range of public and private chains. Both have serious trade-offs in terms of scalability, interoperability, and decentralization. While open blockchains have disrupted the capital market with ICO as a new way of borderless crowdfunding, private chains are building tokenization frameworks for existing assets like stocks, bonds, debt instruments, financial derivatives, land titles, etc. This course begins with a basic introduction to growth challenges faced by blockchains and how that has evolved into multi-blockchain ecosystem. It offers a detailed description of the state of deep-impact blockchains dominating in the current climate and what the scale of their applicability is at present. This course also teaches the student how governments/regulatory forces are accepting/reacting to these new forces and the major templates of this response.

NGEN 545 – Blockchain & Blockchain-as-a-Servic (3 credits)

If enterprises are to adopt blockchain technologies, they need easy-to-implement blockchain platforms. Multiple players have emerged to offer such kind of solutions. Before any specific choice is made in this regard, it is critical to understand the sector and use-case specificity where blockchain needs to be applied. Since there are some standard responses to blockchain applications, this course offers a new way of approaching sectoral applications via building innovation templates. Once standard responses are stabilized, further nuances can be built over it. The major use cases to be covered are digital identity, supply chain, entertainment distribution, and provenance. This course not only offers a capacity building model for multiple industries, but also enables right platform choices in appropriate context.

NGEN 560 – Internet of Money & Future BlcChain (3 credits)

Blockchain is a fundamental disruption in the history of ledger technology, and it will deeply impact the future of all ledger-centric institutions such as central banks, commercial banks, companies and exchanges, as well as the currencies and assets that are transacted and traded inside them. Since peer-to-peer settlement would always be efficient, cost-effective and risk-free as compared to third-party settlement, the future of money and value will be different from what it is now. This course explores how the new consensus mechanisms will emerge for exchanging value across borders, assets, and economic sectors, as well as the new avenues offered by AI and how blockchain can magnify its impact. This course is basically a bridge between what is present and what could be the future trends. It offers not only a meta-narrative of this potential change, but also elaborates on the new change agents and their strategies. Topics will include design of the business models for decentralization and scale, convergence of AI and blockchain, and design of projections-centric studies for blockchain systems.

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Information for International Students

The University is home to more than 5,000 international students representing 110 countries.

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