Information Course Schedule: Summer 2013

Upper-Division Courses

Instructor(s): Blake Johnson
Time: MWF 10-12:30 (Session D: July 8 - August 16, 2013)
Location: 213 Wheeler
CCN: 49805

This course explores the history of information and associated technologies, uncovering why we think of ours as "the information age." We will select moments in the evolution of production, recording, and storage from the earliest writing systems to the world of Short Message Service (SMS) and blogs. In every instance, we'll be concerned with both what and when and how and why, and we'll keep returning to the question of technological determinism: how do technological developments affect society and vice-versa?

Time: MW 2-4:30 (Lab: F 2-4:30) (Session D: July 8 - August 16, 2013)
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 49810

This course focuses on understanding the Web as an information system, and how to use it for information management for personal and shared information. The Web is an open and constantly evolving system which can make it hard to understand how the different parts of the landscape fit together. This course provides students with an overview of the Web as a whole, and how the individual parts it together. We briefly look at topics such as Web design and Web programming, but this course is not exclusively designed to teach HTML or JavaScript. Instead, we look at the bigger picture and how and when to use these and other technologies.

The Web already is and will remain a central part in many information-related activities for a long time to come, and this course provides students with the understanding and skills to better navigate and use the landscape of Web information (for example, Wikipedia), Web technologies (for example, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript), Web tools (for example, delicious and Yahoo pipes), and common Web patterns (for example, mashups).

May not be taken for credit if student has taken 190-02 (Spring 2009 or Spring 2010).

Instructor(s): Paul Laskowski
Time: MWF 9-11:30 (Session D: July 8 - August 16, 2013)
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 49820

An introduction to high-level computer programming languages covering their basis in mathematics and logic. This course will guide students through the elements that compose any programming language including expressions, control of flow, data structures, and modularity via functions and/or objects. Covers traditional and contemporary programming paradigms including sequential, event-based, and object-oriented programming.

Students will also work towards writing code that integrates the graphical user interface, multiple input/output modes, and network connected computers. The course will culminate in web application programming in light of the emerging possibilities of Web 2.0. Programming style, multi-person programming projects, and debugging strategies will be covered as well.

Uses the PYTHON language.

Time: MWF 2-4:30 (Session A: May 28 - July 3, 2013)
Location: 210 South Hall
CCN: 49825

This course will encourage students to think broadly about the interplay between technological systems, social processes, economic activities, and political contingencies in efforts to alleviate poverty. Students will come to understand poverty not only in terms of high-level indicators, but from a ground-level perspective as ‘the poor’ experience and describe it for themselves. The role played by individuals and societies of the developing world as active agents in processes of technology adoption and use will be a central theme. Technologies connection to socio-economic development efforts will be put into historical context by exposing students to several phases of intensive interest including the ‘green revolution,’ the push towards industrialization, the ‘appropriate technologies’ movement, and more recent interest in digital technologies.

Introductory material for the course will challenge students to think about exactly how ‘technology’ is defined and about the wide variation amongst devices/systems covered by the term. Course topics will be explored through a series of case studies that will be supplemented by cross-disciplinary readings. The use of illustrative case studies will make the course accessible to undergraduates with diverse disciplinary backgrounds. In our discussion of ‘information technologies’ we will explore not only key form factors such as computers, the Internet, and mobile phones, but also their incorporation into broader practices such as micro-business and agriculture.