James Madison University

What is ISAT?

Our degree programs address major real-world problems by promoting solutions that are vital, innovative, pragmatic, global, and integrated.

Vital


  • All of our programs employ coursework and underlying research that addresses major local, national, and global challenges.
  • A key guiding aim for our research and teaching is to understand and develop integrated solutions for critical real-world problems whether technological, scientific, societal, and/or environmental.
  • We offer a critical service for our local, national, and global community by contributing to a wider understanding of the nature of, and possible solutions to, major contemporary challenges facing people, governments, and industries across our world.

Innovative


  • In our research and teaching, we look for new answers to key problems, using the latest and most relevant scientific and technical tools, social understanding, and analytical methods.
  • Our faculty and student research both explore new subjects of interest and new methods to address them as well as apply existing technologies, methods, and knowledge in new contexts.
  • We are innovative and entrepreneurial by fostering a spirit of openness to new ideas in research, teaching, administration, and collaboration (both internally and externally). A willingness to experiment in all areas of scholarship is one of the defining features of our degree programs.
  • All our degree programs embrace innovation and flexibility in teaching, such as team teaching, the thoughtful use of technology in the classroom, and extensive student opportunities for hands-on learning in the field, in the lab, and in the community.

Pragmatic


  • We build the skills needed to address problems practically. Building on scientific, social, environmental, and global understandings, we equip students with analytic methods to become versatile, thoughtful, and effective problem-solvers in the real world.
  • As a confederation of scholars with an understanding of both academic and real-world perspectives, our insights can be of real value to local, regional, national and global communities.
  • With a range of technical, methodological, and social understanding, from diverse faculty and students, we can offer appropriate and effective solutions to many complex, multi-faceted problems.
  • Our graduates have knowledge and skills that allow them sufficient flexibility to adapt to and thrive in a rapidly evolving world.

Global


  • Our students benefit from the global understanding offered in many courses within the department. Each degree program encourages a wide scope to convey the integrated global reality of contemporary human, environmental, societal, and technological challenges.
  • Our students and faculty develop global, as well as philosophical and practical, understandings as a way to see problems in their context and offer appropriate solutions.
  • Our students and faculty can contextualize problems and thus can develop appropriate and effective solutions.

Integrated


  • We look across disciplinary boundaries to develop the best solutions to contemporary challenges. Technological, social, and environmental problems cannot be neatly categorized by academic discipline; they require a range of scientific, technological, social, and human understandings. Each program’s research and teaching reflects that reality, seeking the best way to address the issues facing our world today.
  • As a result, faculty frequently develop courses and research programs that go beyond the bounds of their disciplinary origins. And often these courses and research programs address subjects and methods that are themselves not adequately addressed by traditional academic disciplines.
  • Collaboration between diverse faculty across different programs, within and outside the department (and the university), is part of the ethos and culture of the ISAT Department. Collaboration with relevant external partners in government, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and industry is also strongly encouraged.

Announcements


  • September 12
    6:00 p.m.
    ICCE Event: Innovation, Collaboration, Creativity, Entrepreneurship
    Festival and Student Conference Center 
  • September 19-20
    Capital One/JMU Hack-a-Thon 
    ICE House
  • September 29-30
    Fall Career and Internship Fair
    11:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m.
    Festival Ballroom
  • October 10-12
    Family Weekend
  • November 1 
    Homecoming