Students interested in a career uncovering fraud and crime can get a fresh perspective through a new course in the Department of Accounting and Computer Information Systems.

Jim Harris, a professor in ACIS, began offering the topics course, “Computer Forensics,” in the Spring 2011 semester. The new class delves into the underworld of cybercrime.

Harris, who came to PSU 31 years ago after working in programming and software engineering for NASA, prepared for a year for the new course, which is focused on methods for uncovering the traces of computerized criminal activity.

“Students in this class learn the latest tools and procedures to properly trace evidence,” he said. “We knew it would be a course students pursuing this line of work would be interested in.”

At some point, said ACIS Chairperson Becky Casey, the course may become part of PSU’s fraud examination minor, which has been growing since it was introduced four years ago. A minor available to justice studies and ACIS majors, it looks at uncovering broad areas of criminal activity.

In the spring, students and professors from both departments traveled to Downstream Casino Resort in Quapaw, Okla., where they listened to casino officials present sessions on security and surveillance as well as money laundering. Security officials discussed the role employees and interns have in uncovering criminal activity such as theft, the use of counterfeit money, and cheating at gambling tables.