The University of Arizona

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Please visit our new site at SISTA


The School of Information: Science, Technology, and Arts has classes and programs that help you gain a deeper understanding of the role of computing and digital information in any major by placing it within the context of The Information Age - giving you that extra edge in today's and tomorrow's job market.  SISTA's classes are open to all majors and we offer interdisciplinary BS and BA degrees, a minor, and excellent opportunities for undergraduate research.

Computing is a foundation for research in the sciences, engineering, humanities and arts. Computing means more than building or programming computers: It means solving problems in an algorithmic way, or thinking about problems as if computers will implement the solutions.  SISTA’s mission is to provide expertise and promote research in computational methods and thinking across disciplines; and to teach students to understand the computational aspects of any discipline.

SISTA Research Mission:  SISTA is a home for interdisciplinary work at the University of Arizona (see our research page for examples). We welcome all students, faculty and others who want to start new projects or participate in current projects.

In Fall 2010 we began the campus-wide SISTA Colloquium Series. Since then we have featured two dozen speakers from 20 departments and programs.  Please join us for talks about computation in disciplines from all over campus.

Visit our About page to learn more of what SISTA has done in its first two years.

Featured Research

picture of a small robot

ARRG: Arizona Robotics Research Group

The goal of the Arizona Robotics Research Group (ARRG) is to gain a greater understanding of learning and development in humans by creating artificial agents- both softbots and robots- that have to solve many of the same problems that the developing human brain has to solve. Many robots in the ARRG are essentially baby robots, which are created with minimal skill sets and uninterpreted sensors and go on to develop higher-level motor and perceptual skills from prolonged interaction with the world. Other robots are designed primarily to learn about human-robot interaction, particularly human-robot teaching. Central to most of this work is focused on the idea of \"curiosity based learning\"- that is, robots who\'s primary drive is an intrinsic desire to better explain and control the world rather than the desire to maximize some external (human defined) reward.
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