The Academy had its humble beginnings back in 1970 with Prof. Andries van der Walt as Chairman and Prof. Basie von Solms as the first lecturer. Until a few years ago it was known as the Department of Computer Science.
The Academy has come a long way in the past 30 years, boasting a contingent of ten full-time academic staff members, one academic officer, one extra-curricular course coordinator and two part-time secretaries. Prof. Ehlers heads up the Academy as chairperson. The Academy is made up of two sub-departments namely Computer Science and Informatics.
The Sub Department of Computer Science
Computer Science as subject investigates the fundamental building blocks of the computer – not hardware-wise, but specifically as far as software is concerned, because software really forms the heart of any computer system.
Computer Science therefore concentrates more on the technical aspects related to computer use, and includes aspects such as the operating system, data structures which are part of the formal building blocks of software, computer architecture and other systems software.
Problem solving and programming are central concepts throughout the course.
This subject will really give you a good understanding of the computer as a device used to solve problems.
The Sub Department of Informatics
Informatics is much more user-orientated than Computer Science, and investigates ways in which the computer can be used to solve problems.
Informatics investigates aspects related to the development of large software systems, specifically those needed in commerce and industry. Software engineering is therefore at the core of Informatics.
This subject will allow you to understand how the computer is used to really solve problems.
Also in Informatics, problem solving and programming are extremely important.
The Academy is situated on E-ring 2 (above the Sanlam auditorium). It houses both academic and administrative personnel. The offices were built to accommodate the growth that has taken place within the Academy over the past few years. The facilities include an honours lab with over 50 workstations and a postgraduate lab with several dedicated workstations and specialised equipment such as scanners, printers and CD-writers. There is also a data communications lab that hosts more than 20 workstations. An undergraduate lab has also been opened with over 230 new workstations, with a further computer lab housing another 220 computers.
The Academy has its own well-stocked library with many journals and academic publications. A laboratory with the latest technology is also situated in the Academy. The Academy strives to provide students access to the latest technologies to ensure that we remain leaders in the field of IT. All this just confirms again that the Academy for Information Technology is comparable with the best in the world.
The Academy hosts the honours computer lab that consists of modern Dell workstations.Each full-time Masters and Doctors student is assigned their own workstation on which to work on for the period of their studies. Due to different research and study interests there are a host of different Operating Systems and hardware configurations.