Appropriate computer science dissertation?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by sanantone, Apr 17, 2024.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I came across a guy with a bachelor's degree in computer science, JD, LLM, and PhD in computer science from CapTech. I saw his dissertation title and wondered if he should have been put in their PhD in Cyber Leadership program instead. This doesn't look like a computer science dissertation. It's more of a cyber law or criminal justice dissertation. He's now teaching at CapTech; CapTech hires many of its own graduates.

    "Framework Proposal to Regulate Lawful Hacking within Criminal Investigations"
  2. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    "Framework Proposal to Regulate [x] within Criminal Investigations" certainly points away from computer science.

    But "Lawful Hacking" might point enough to computer science? Here's a 2014 scholarly article about lawful hacking. Although it's from a law review, its authors are all computer scientists (from Columbia, Penn, and a Guggenheim Fellow at the time).
  3. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    It is not unusual for people to publish in journals outside of their field. Economists publish in criminal justice and education journals. I came across a group of computer scientists who are studying whether dogs can learn complex language skills. Certainly, some skills can apply to other fields, and other fields can have an impact on one's field. However, how is someone proving mastery of computer science and adding original knowledge to the field by doing a dissertation on law?

    In addition, the PhD in computer science has no content coursework; it's entirely dissertation work. Since he's been working in the legal field and doesn't even have a master's degree related to computer science, he hasn't demonstrated that he's qualified to teach computer science at the college level. He's not currently teaching computer science; he's teaching cyber law, which he could have done with a cyber leadership, law, or protective services doctorate.
  4. housecat

    housecat Member

    Hmmmm I would argue "depends on the school" as computer science tends to cover more and more ground every time I look it up. There are lots of options like MSc Computer Science with Cyber Security now. Line blurring would allow it I feel. Good post, that got me thinking!
  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    This wouldn't even be suitable for a cybersecurity PhD. The dissertation is non-technical and is basically a 200-page literature review of laws and regulations surrounding law enforcement investigations. He didn't add any new knowledge to the fields of computer science or cybersecurity, and he hasn't demonstrated that he has the technical knowledge to teach CS or conduct CS research.
    housecat likes this.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I once came across a dissertation on cybersecurity, mainly talking about frameworks, regulation, and privacy, but the degree is a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware. I brought it up to one of the professors at Nova Southeastern University. He also found it was strange.
  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    That is strange.

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