Ray Trygstad Elected as ACM SIGITE Chair

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By Casey Moffitt

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Ray Trygstad Elected as ACM SITIGE Chair

Ray Trygstad, industry professor of information technology and management and associate chair of Illinois Institute of Technology’s Department of Information Technology and Management, has been elected as the new chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Information Technology Education (SIGITE).

Trygstad has served on the ACM SIGITE Executive Board since 2015 and as its vice chair for the past three years. He will take the reins as chair on July 1 and will continue in this role until May 31, 2024.

“I look forward to seeking new ways to advance information technology as an academic discipline and forging new partnerships with the industry to help us accomplish that,” Tygstad says. “We also hope to find more ways to make it possible for underrepresented populations to enter the profession. We have a great track record of that in the Illinois Tech Department of Information Technology and Management, where our undergraduate population is nearly 65 percent minority, and 54 percent women and underserved minorities.”

ACM SIGITE has been a major influence in developing academic curricula in the areas of information technology and cybersecurity. Its members created the ACM/Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers-Computer Society Information Technology Curricula 2017: Curriculum Guideline for Baccalaureate Degree Programs in Information Technology, as well as drafted Cybersecurity Curricula 2017: Curriculum Guidelines for Post-Secondary Degree Programs in Cybersecurity. These references have had a profound effect on the ABET criteria for accreditation in both fields. Trygstad says his role as SIGITE chair should provide an academic benefit to Illinois Tech students.

“The academic benefit is a clear alignment of our information technology and cybersecurity curricula with established models, and an enhanced ability to influence those models as well,” he says. “My experience working with others in the field through ACM SIGITE and my roles at ABET allow us to apply broader perspectives to ensure our curricula are optimal for student success when [students] graduate and move into their working lives.”

Trygstad also says he intends to pitch Illinois Tech as the host of ACM SIGITE’s 23rd Annual Conference on Information Technology Education in fall 2022, which will allow more Illinois Tech faculty to attend and give more Illinois Tech students an opportunity to publish research as they will not have to travel to the conference.

SIGITE's mission is to provide a forum for the interaction of practitioners, educators, and others in the field of information technology education to exchange ideas and engage in activities that advance the knowledge of its members, the curriculum and teaching on information technology curriculum, and the development and transfer of innovative concepts and applications in technology and pedagogy.

“I also look forward to taking a greater part in SIGITE’s role in the promotion and advancement of competency-based education,” Trygstad says. “Because of those efforts, folks are starting to realize that knowledge and skills are not enough. Graduates of computing programs must have the ability to ‘read the room’ and know when, why, and how to best apply their knowledge and skills.”