Information Course Schedule: Spring 2012

Lower-Division Courses

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid
Katie Gilmore
Kevin Gorman
Time: Tu 5-6:30
Location: 283 Dwinelle
CCN: 42503

How can we critically think about emergent phenomena of the Internet? Is the Internet a democratic medium for political action (a "networked public sphere") or a surveillance apparatus of centralized control? Who has access to digital information and what techniques are used to make information artificially scarce? How do trade group lawsuits against digital "piracy" affect a generation's perception of the law? Should we look at the growing sphere of copyright as a public interest problem, or celebrate the expansion of creators' rights? Can free software thrive independently from ideological backing? Why are peer production communities like Wikipedia and Linux affected by extreme gender disparity?

In this course, we will examine the societal implications of computer networks from critical and technical perspectives. We will collectively engage with issues of intellectual property, access to information, privacy, freedom of speech, representation, and peer production. We will be discussing provocative texts and media, doing hands-on exploration of emerging technologies, and practicing ethnographic fieldwork in online communities. We will also offer opportunities for field trips and guest speakers to provide us with different perspectives. Additionally, students will engage in a semester-long collaborative project in a flexible format.

This is a student-initiated group study course (DE-Cal). Please contact the student coordinator(s) for specific questions.

Must be taken on a passed/not passed basis.

Upper-Division Courses

Time: TuTh 9:30-11
Location: 155 Kroeber
CCN: 42509

According to conventional wisdom, the “information age” began just a few decades ago and promptly superseded everything that went before it. But the issues we are wrestling with now—questions about piracy, privacy, trust, “information overload,” and the replacement of old media by new—all have their roots in the informational cultures of earlier periods. In this class we will take a long view of the development of these cultures and technologies, from the earliest cave painting and writing systems to the advent of print, photography and the telegraph to the emergence of the computer and Internet and the world of Twitter, Pinterest and beyond. In every instance, be focused on the chicken-and-egg questions of technological determinism: how do technological developments affect society and vice-versa?

Instructor(s): Alex Braunstein
Time: MW 10-11:30
Location: 205 South Hall
CCN: 42511

INFO 146 (Foundations of New Media) is based upon the premise that New Media — a spectrum of technologies for representation and communication based on the paradigm of computation — represents a once in several century innovation in the representation of knowledge and culture. The goal of the course is to prepare students to participate in this process of innovation by analyzing the emerging genres of New Media and their history, and by designing new media.

To analyze the design challenges and opportunities of this moment, the class will examine key moments in media history — such as the introduction of the printing press, the telephone, and the camera — to gain perspective on the nature of the process of technological innovation and cultural change. Then the course will analyze the design of new media in the camera, the telephone, the web and computer games, using insights and methods from the humanities (i.e., theories of language, communication, and media), using social science techniques to analyze culture and media (i.e., participant-observation, interviewing) and applying basic computational understandings and skills (i.e., how computers work, what programs are, how to write simple programs). Weekly assignments will introduce and build these skills throughout the semester, using lectures, readings and lab sections to introduce basic techniques for the analysis and design of New Media.

(Prior to 2009, this course was offered for 4 units.)

Instructor(s): Paul Duguid
Katie Gilmore
Kevin Gorman
Time: Tu 5-6:30
Location: 283 Dwinelle
CCN: 42524

How can we critically think about emergent phenomena of the Internet? Is the Internet a democratic medium for political action (a "networked public sphere") or a surveillance apparatus of centralized control? Who has access to digital information and what techniques are used to make information artificially scarce? How do trade group lawsuits against digital "piracy" affect a generation's perception of the law? Should we look at the growing sphere of copyright as a public interest problem, or celebrate the expansion of creators' rights? Can free software thrive independently from ideological backing? Why are peer production communities like Wikipedia and Linux affected by extreme gender disparity?

In this course, we will examine the societal implications of computer networks from critical and technical perspectives. We will collectively engage with issues of intellectual property, access to information, privacy, freedom of speech, representation, and peer production. We will be discussing provocative texts and media, doing hands-on exploration of emerging technologies, and practicing ethnographic fieldwork in online communities. We will also offer opportunities for field trips and guest speakers to provide us with different perspectives. Additionally, students will engage in a semester-long collaborative project in a flexible format.

This is a student-initiated group study course (DE-Cal). Please contact the student coordinator(s) for specific questions.

Must be taken on a passed/not passed basis.

Core Courses

Instructor(s): Jenna Burrell
Time: TuTh 11-12:30
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42584

This course is designed to be an introduction to the topics and issues associated with the study of information and information technology, from a social science perspective. As a result, this course will continuously introduce students to applied and practical problems, theoretical issues, as well as methods for answering different types of questions.

The following three questions will guide the material throughout the course: 1) Why do social scientists study information and information technology, 2) What are some of the key topics and issues that are studied, and 3) How do we study these issues? As we work our way through many different topics and problems in information, we will focus on various levels of analysis. This includes the micro (i.e., interpersonal relationships and information in small groups) to the macro level (i.e., organizational and institutional problems of information). By the end of the course, all students will be familiar with the social science approach to information and information technology, as well as many of the key problems and the methods used to solve these problems. This knowledge is essential to having a well-rounded understanding of information issues in professional environments.

NOTE: This course was offered for 3 units in Spring 2010 and Spring 2011.

Instructor(s): Marti Hearst
Time: TuTh 9:30-11 (Lab: W 1-2)
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42587

Three hours of lecture and one hour of laboratory per week. Course must be completed for a letter grade to fulfill degree requirement. Technological foundations for computing and communications: computer architecture, operating systems, networking, middleware, security. Programming paradigms: object oriented-design, design and analysis of algorithms, data structures, formal languages. Distributed-system architectures and models, inter-process communications, concurrency, system performance.

Instructor(s): Michael Schaffer
Time: F 11:00 - 1:00
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42593

As information and information systems projects have become increasingly strategic, information workers at all levels and in all environments must demonstrate higher levels of professionalism, not only to perform their duties competently, but to remain competitive in the job market. This course, in conjunction with the School of Information final project, gives students insight into the source and best practice of professionalism, and gives students the chance to refine the essential skills in a simulated but realistic working environment.

Note: This course is being offered on a S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) basis.

General Courses

Instructor(s): Tapan Parikh
Time: TuTh 3:30-5
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42596

Three hours of lecture per week. User interface design and human-computer interaction. Examination of alternative design. Tools and methods for design and development. Human- computer interaction. Methods for measuring and evaluating interface quality.

This course covers the design, prototyping, and evaluation of user interfaces to computers which is often called Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). It is loosely based on course CS1 described in the ACM SIGCHI Curricula for Human-Computer Interaction (Association for Computing Machinery, 1992).

HCI covers many topics including:

  1. Human capabilities (e.g., visual and auditory perception, memory, mental models, and interface metaphors);
  2. Interface technology (e.g., input and output devices, interaction styles, and common interface paradigms); and,
  3. Interface design methods (e.g., user-centered design, prototyping, and design principles and rules), and interface evaluation (e.g., software logging, user observation, benchmarks and experiments).

This material is covered through lectures, reading, discussions, homework assignments, and a course project. This course differs from CS 160 primarily in two ways:

  1. There is an emphasis on interfaces for information technology applications; and,
  2. There is less emphasis on programming and system development, although some simple prototyping (for example, in visual basic or using JAVA GUI development tools) may be required. (CS 160 has a big programming project.)
Instructor(s): Nancy Van House
Time: TuTh 2-3:30
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42599

This course addresses concepts and methods of user experience research. The emphasis will be on methods of collecting and interpreting many kinds of data about real-world user activities and practices and translating them into design decisions. The course includes hands-on practice with a number of major user experience research methods, including heuristic evaluation; observation; interviews, surveys and focus groups. The emphasis will be on naturalistic/ethnographic (qualitative) methods, but we will also address major quantitative methods. Finally, we will discuss methods of bringing user experience research into the design process.

This course is appropriate for both 1st and 2nd-year MIMS students, and for students from other departments with a strong interest in user experience research, with the instructor's permission. Students will complete at least one major group project related to needs assessment and evaluation. Second-year MIMS students may use this project to meet their capping project requirement.

Time: W 9-12
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42602

This course covers the practical and theoretical issues associated with computer-mediated communication (CMC) systems. CMC includes many different types of technologies such as email, newsgroups, chat, and online games. We will focus on the analysis of CMC practices, the social structures that emerge when people use these applications, and the design and implementation issues associated with constructing CMC technologies.

We will primarily take a social scientific approach to computer-mediated communication (including research from psychology, social psychology, economics, and sociology). We will investigate questions such as: How do we represent identity and perceive others in CMC environments? How are interfaces and visualizations used in CMC to help make sense of relationships? Why do some Wikis "succeed" while others do not? How is the production of open source software such as Linux similar to (and different from) a social movement? Why are reputations useful in some online environments, and not in others? Can we really develop meaningful relationships and perhaps even love-purely through CMC?

This course was previously offered as INFO 290-12.

Time: Tu 1-2:30 & Th 2-3:30
Location: 205 South Hall
CCN: 42605

Three hours of lecture per week.
Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

As it's generally used, "information" is a collection of notions, rather than a single coherent concept. In this course, we'll examine conceptions of information based in information theory, philosophy, social science, economics, and history. Issues include: How compatible are these conceptions; can we talk about "information" in the abstract? What work do these various notions play in discussions of literacy, intellectual property, advertising, and the political process? And where does this leave "information studies" and "the information society"?

Info 235. Cyberlaw (3 units)
Instructor(s): Brian Carver
Time: MW 11-12:30
Location: 202 South Hall
CCN: 42611

Three hours of lecture per week. The emergence of global digital networks, such as the Internet, and digital technologies that enhance human abilities to access, store, manipulate, and transmit vast amounts of information has brought with it a host of new legal issues that lawyers preparing to practice in the 21st century will need to understand and address. Although many are trying to "map" existing legal concepts onto problems arising in cyberspace, it is becoming increasingly evident that this strategy sometimes doesn't work. In some cases, it is necessary to go back to first principles to understand how to accomplish the purposes of existing law in digital networked environments. The course will explore specific problems in applying law to cyberspace in areas such as intellectual property, privacy, content control, and the bounds of jurisdiction. Students with familiarity with the Internet and its resources or with backgrounds in some of the substantive fields explored in this course are especially welcome, but there are no formal prerequisites. Grades for the course will be based either on a series of short papers or on a supervised term paper.

Note: This course is cross-listed with Law 276.1.

Instructor(s): Michael Porath
Time: Tu 5-8
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42619

Information visualization is widely used in media, business, and engineering disciplines to help people analyze and understand the information at hand. The industry has grown exponentially over the last few years. As a result there are more visualization tools available, which have in turn lowered the barrier of entry for creating visualizations.

This course provides an overview of the field of Information Visualization. It follows a hands-on approach. Readings and lectures will cover basic visualization principles and tools. Labs will focus on practical introductions to tools and frameworks. We will discuss existing visualizations and critique their effectiveness in conveying information. Finally, guest speakers from the industry will give an insight into how information visualization is used in practice.

All students are expected to participate in class discussion, complete lab assignments, and create an advanced interactive data visualization as a semester project.

Priority for attending this class is given to I School students. The semester project involves programming; therefore students are expected to have some coding experience. Interested students from other departments are invited to join the class if they can demonstrate the required skills.

Note: Until 2014, this course was offered for 3 units.

Special Topics Courses

Instructor(s): Nancy Van House
Time: TuTh 11-12:30
Location: 205 South Hall
CCN: 42626

Visual media are central to much of what we do in the I School, as well as other professions and research domains. Easy and low-cost video and still cameras, cameraphones, and audio recording devices make it easy to record such things as activity and interviews. Reports and presentations, face-to-face and distant, online and off, rely heavily on the visual. In design work, media are used both to inform design and to present design concepts and use scenarios.

However, our knowledge about how to effectively make, use, summarize, and present these media trails far behind our ability to create hours and gigabytes of content.

In this seminar, we will address both theoretical and practical issues of capturing video, audio, and still images and creating narratives and presentations. We will read from such areas as visual anthropology and visual studies; and we will get hands-on experience creating and editing our own media.
This is not a technical course; nor is it a media production how-to. But we will cover some of the basics of making and editing media. Both theory and hands-on practice are needed to really delve into this domain.

No prior experience is necessary, but students who are already grappling with visual (and audio) media will find this course especially useful.

This course is appropriate for master's and Ph.D. students from the I School and other disciplines. 

It would be an excellent companion to I214, User Experience Research, or to I272, Qualitative Research Methods for Information Systems and Management, or equivalents, although there are no prerequisites.

For second year I School master's students, we'll pay special attention to visual media for final projects and presentations.

Instructor(s): Kimiko Ryokai
Time: M 12:30-3:30
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42629

How does the design of new educational technologies change the way children learn and think? Which aspects of creative thinking and learning can technology support? How do we design systems that reflect our understanding of how we learn? This course explores issues in designing and evaluating technologies that support creativity and learning. The class will cover theories of creativity and learning, implications for design, as well as a survey of new educational technologies such as works in computer supported collaborative learning, digital manipulatives, and immersive learning environments.

Currently offered as Info C263.

Instructor(s): John Danner
Time: Th 9-11
Location: 205 South Hall
CCN: 42637

Every business depends on information — about customers, competitors, trends, performance, etc. Entire curricula have been focused on the technological, systems, strategic, and management challenges associated with that dependency. This course, however, looks at a different intersection between information and business. Specifically, it will explore how entrepreneurs across the world are developing ventures fundamentally centered on new and emerging information technologies and the business models and strategies they make possible. These include not only the Googles, Amazons, and Facebooks of the world, but also ventures like Comat and Samasource. In some cases, these are efforts on the proverbial cutting edge of technology; more often they involve creative application and/or integration of existing information technologies in innovative ways.

We will first examine the key elements of business models and the entrepreneurial process, before looking in more detail at a variety of ventures leveraging information-based technologies and strategies in an array of markets. Using of mix of case-study discussion, short lectures, and focused conversations with active entrepreneurs, this will be a highly interactive and collaborative course — not a sit-listen-take-notes type of class.

Expect to be actively involved in a series of in-class and outside assignments, both individual- and team-based, that will help you develop an understanding of how entrepreneurs are using information-centric technologies to create new markets and redefine old ones, and the lessons learned along the way. You may also explore your own ideas for new ventures along the way.

NOTE: This course is currently offered as 290M. Information-Centric Entrepreneurship & Startup Strategies.

Instructor(s): Coye Cheshire
Time: Th 12-2
Location: 202 South Hall
CCN: 42638
This is a 2-hour, intensive weekly discussion of current and ongoing research by Ph.D. students with a research interest in issues of information (social, legal, technical, theoretical, etc). Thus, we welcome Ph.D. students from inside and outside the I School who focus on these issues. Our goal is to focus on critiquing research problems, theories, and methodologies from multiple perspectives so that we can produce high-quality, publishable work in the interdisciplinary area of information research. We welcome a mix of older and newer Ph.D. students, which usually means we will have a mix of dissertation chapters from some and potential qualifying papers from others. For newer PhD's, a separate article or very new project idea might make more sense. No matter what you present to the group, the goal will be to compliment, critique, and suggest specific improvements. We want to have critical and productive discussion, but above all else we want to make our work better: more interesting, more accessible, more rigorous, more theoretically grounded, and more like the stuff we enjoy reading.
Time: Th 3:30-6:30
Location: 107 South Hall
CCN: 42641

The internet — as a global, "always-on" platform — poses unique challenges to legal and political frameworks premised on territorial jurisdiction. Operating in this global marketplace exposes companies, and sometimes individuals, to conflicting normative, legal and political commitments. Through case studies, this course considers the options in (i) developing technologies and business strategies to address the varied, and sometimes competing, laws of different countries; (ii) amending laws and otherwise engaging in policy development for the global internet; and (iii) explaining these choices and limitations to regulators, business partners and users. It will consider the implications of these various strategies on an issue-by-issue basis in the areas of content regulation, intellectual property, information security, and privacy, and explore the cross-cutting consequences and dependencies between choices in these various issue areas.

Instructor(s): Patrick Schmitz
Time: MW 9:30-11
Location: 202 South Hall
CCN: 42644

Resource and metadata management in Museums, Archives and Research collections, with an emphasis on tools and practices for information and resource modeling, specification, and metadata migration. Students will build upon a range of I School topics, and learn to apply aspects of business process analysis and user-centered design, web architecture, and XML, HTML and related web tools, in the context of a practical, real-world deployment of a new collections management system for campus museums.

Topics covered will include Enterprise IT architectures (e.g., multi-tenant SaaS models), Enterprise Content Management, issues with dissemination, access and integration, use of standards, business practicalities, and internationalization issues. Particular emphasis will be placed on tools and practices, including Business Process Analysis, the intersection of User Centered Design and data modeling, basic XML tools to work with information and web-services, HTML templates, resource bundles, and configuration models for customization, ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) tools used in metadata migration, data warehousing, etc., and report authoring tools.

Assignments will be drawn from (and will contribute to) a current migration of a campus museum from a legacy system to CollectionSpace, a community-source project in which UC Berkeley is a leading development partner. Student teams will interact with museum staff and work with collections resources and metadata in a series of exercises that explore key steps in the migration process.

Info 290. ICTD Research Seminar (Sec 12) (1 units)
Instructor(s): Jenna Burrell
Time: Th 1-2
Location: 205 South Hall
CCN: 42647

The ICTD group seminar will discuss topics of current interest in the emerging multidisciplinary field of Information and Communications Technologies and Development, or ICTD. Each semester will be focused on a particular topic or set of topics, under the direction of appropriate faculty from the I School's ICTD group. The course content will consist of paper discussions, invited lectures from both within and outside the class and a some relatively short written assignments. Students will also be responsible for presenting during at least on class session, either on their own research, ideas or on a selected set of papers relevant to the semester's chosen topic.

Instructor(s):
Time: F 1-4
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42650

The purpose of this course is to train students in:

  • Data mining and big data analytics (and a subset of topics in information retrieval, extraction, and machine learning);
  • Providing an intelligent business services context (in areas and topics such as digital marketing and computational advertising, financial analytics, service analytics, energy analytics, social media and social networks)

Specifically, we hope to:

  • Provide an overview of issues and trends which will shape the need for and structures of data mining, information extraction, and analytics in business information systems within areas and industries such as online marketing and ads, financial services, energy services, social media and networks, and service centers.
  • Identify and explore key topics, followed by the development of analytic methods, for data mining, analytics, and information extraction, in these contexts

We will have industry speakers and industry projects as well, to provide real-world perspective and real-world engagement.

(Currently offered as Info 290T. Data Mining and Analytics in Intelligent Business Services)

Instructor(s): Roy Bahat
Time: M 4-6 (January 23 - March 19)
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42875

News, online, movies, advertising, television, mobile, videogames, music, books, social media — all part of the industry of informing and entertaining, and all being revolutionized. In this course we will do a quick overview of the media business — from startups to global conglomerates.

We will address a wide range of topics: the economics of media organizations (and industries), their organizational structures, cultures, brands, and approaches.

Some of the questions we'll discuss:

  • ­How do traditional media address changing technologies?
  • ­How is the media business driven by metrics and data? How is it driven by artistic creativity?
  • ­Are media companies too big? Are they too small?

Students will present strategies for media companies, hear from guest speakers, and discuss the transformations happening in media. Students should expect to have significant input into the companies and topics we discuss.

We will make every attempt to avoid predictions about the future; we might occasionally succeed.

Note: This course is cross-listed in the Haas School of Business.

May not be taken for credit if student has previously taken Info 290: Media, New and Otherwise.

Instructor(s): Clark Kellogg
Time: F 9-11 (January 20 - March 16)
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 42908

In your present and future work, you will increasingly face what have been called “wicked problems.” They are volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Dealing with them requires new ways of thinking about issues and new ways of innovative leadership. This class focuses on having you learn about and practice some of the processes and tools — drawn from the fields of critical thinking, design thinking, systems thinking and creative problem solving — that will help you grapple with the “wicked problems” presented to you in school and beyond. Specifically, we’ll work with ways of collecting information to characterize a problem, framing and re-framing that problem, coming up with a range of solutions and then gathering feedback to assess those solutions. We’ll work in a “learn-by-doing” mode in five zones: observations, insights, ideas, solutions and stories and apply those processes and tools to designing and redesigning in real settings.

NOTE: Class attendance is required during the first week of instruction. Students who do not attend during the first week will be dropped from the class.

Seminar Courses

Instructor(s): Steven Weber
Time: M 12:30-2
Location: 205 South Hall
CCN: 42653

One hour colloquium per week. Must be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Colloquia, discussion, and readings are designed to introduce students to the range of interests of the school.

Info 296A. Information Access (Sec 1) (3 units)
Time: F 3-5
Location: 107 South Hall
CCN: 42656

The seminar explores selected advanced topics relating to 'digital libraries' with special emphasis on:

  • Access to networked resources
  • Use of two or more resources in conjunction
  • Combined use of two or more retrieval systems (e.g. use of pre- or post-processing to enhance the capabilities)
  • The redesign of library services

It is expected that these issues will require attention to a number of questions about the nature of information retrieval processes, the feasibility of not-yet-conventional techniques, techniques of making different systems work together, social impact, and the reconsideration of past practices. More generally, the seminar is intended to provide a forum for advanced students in the School. Anyone interested in these topics is welcome to join in -- and to talk about their own work. This is a continuation of the previous Lynch/Buckland seminars.

Instructor(s): Ramakrishna Akella
Time: W 2-4
Location: 202 South Hall
CCN: 42658

The seminar explores leading-edge trends in data science and analytics at Silicon Valley and tech firms. The speakers will include executives, entrepreneurs, and researchers from leading firms.

The topics covered will include (a subset of):

  • Data analytics and “Big Data”
  • Machine learning and scalability
  • Business analytics including online marketing and advertising, financial services and risk analytics, operational and service analytics
  • Information retrieval (search)
  • Information extraction
  • Social networks and social media
  • Healthcare analytics
  • Energy analytics

The seminar will cover the types of problems being addressed in data science and analytics, the component methods and technologies being developed, and fruitful areas for research and entrepreneurial efforts.

This requires attendance and participation in the seminar series and is open to the broader student and faculty community.

Instructor(s): Ramakrishna Akella
Time: W 11-2
Location: 422 Sutardja Dai Hall
CCN: 42878

The project course explores leading-edge trends in data science and analytics at Silicon Valley and tech firms, at the doctoral and masters level of research.

The topics covered will include (a subset of):

  • Data analytics and “Big Data”
  • Machine learning and scalability
  • Business analytics including online marketing and advertising, financial services and risk analytics, operational and service analytics
  • Information retrieval (search)
  • Information extraction
  • Social networks and social media
  • Healthcare analytics
  • Energy analytics

The course and projects will cover the exploration of leading edge analytics, data mining, and machine learning techniques at Silicon Valley firms in a research project mode, with associated readings and final report and paper.

This requires project work based on strong mathematical training and prior exposure to data mining, analytics, machine learning, optimization, statistics, stochastic modeling, and/or economics (Minimal level: One or more representative analytics courses such as EECS 281A/STAT 241A, Info 240, Info 271B, EECS 227A, CS 188/189, CS 288, EE 227A, EE226A, EE 229, IEOR 262A, IEOR 263A, Econ 240A.)