The notion of "information technology" (IT) as a separate field of study is undergoing a radical shift at some of the nation's foremost colleges and universities--and it is this shift that drew more than 250 deans, faculty members, and graduate students to Pennsylvania State University's University Park campus for a first-of-its-kind conference last week.

Conference participants came from schools where computer and information science departments have evolved into something known as "i-Schools." At what organizers called the first-ever i-Schools conference at Penn State, participants sought to clarify their definition of what an "i-School" is and address the


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