Information Course Schedule spring 1998

Core Courses

Three hours of lecture per week. Project planning and scheduling, process design, project management and coordination. Analysis of information needs, specification of system requirements, analysis of alternatives, design of alternatives. Quantitative methods and tools for analysis and decision making. Document management. Design, implementation, and evaluation of a project.

This is the fourth required course for all Masters students in the School of Information Management and Systems, and it is open for enrollment only to students in the School.

The course provides a general introduction to information and knowledge management in organizations, including:

  • An introduction to tools and methods for the analysis and design of information systems.
  • The management of the process of information system analysis and design, that is, project management.
  • Analyzing the social and organizational contexts of information technologies, in everyday work, in solving problems, and in managing organizational change.

One primary objective of the course is for the student to conduct an analysis of an information system and, if appropriate, design an alternate system. This system may be a manual procedure in need of improvement, a manual system that needs automation, automated procedures that need improvement, or an analytic study of an existing system. This analysis is due at the last lecture of the course and will be accompanied by a class presentation of its results. Projects are to be done on an individual basis.

The course provides the student with the tools to conduct the study. Among the topics covered in the lectures and readings are the process of identifying and selecting projects, project initiation, systems requirements determination, system data collection, interviewing and questionnaire development, workflow analysis and design, data flow diagramming, statistical and cost analysis, forms and screen design, and the implementation and evaluation of systems. It is up to the student to find a project for the course. The instructors will provide guidance. The break between semesters is a good time to begin looking for organizations and/or systems that need analysis and/or improvement.

Knowledge management topics include observing and analyzing organizational dynamics in working groups, in presentations and meetings, personnel actions and budget development, managing change and the role of institutional cultures in implementing technical change to increase productivity.

Part of the course is devoted to the use of Microsoft Project, a project management system. The student will use Project to develop a schedule of the activities for the project and will supply updated schedules to the instructors during the semester.

In addition to the analysis/design project, there will be additional assignments in specific management areas and to develop skills on the topics covered in the lectures. Among these assignments are the use of statistical analysis tools, spreadsheet programs, and data-flow modeling tools.

TTh 9:30-11 | 202 South Hall

General Courses

Three hours of lecture per week. Selection, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of information resources to meet individual and collective needs. Analysis of information environments, information flows, and user needs. Strategic uses of information in organizations. Design, management, and evaluation of information services and products.

This course is designed to be an introduction to:

  • assessing information needs and information seeking behavior
  • analyzing information environments (internal and external)
  • matching needs to available resources (locating appropriate information resources; search strategies; forms of intellectual access)
  • evaluating and analyzing information and information resources
  • examining and evaluating existing information services
  • planning, implementing, and evaluating new information services
in a variety of contexts and environments. This course is useful to those who are considering work as corporate information specialists; records managers; policy analysts; information brokers or consultants; reference librarians; networked information specialists.

Readings, discussion, projects, and guest speakers provide students with tools for:

  • identifying information resources
  • analyzing and evaluating information
  • designing, planning, and evaluating information services
TTh 12:30-2 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Charlotte Nolan

Three hours of lecture per week. This course provides both a general introduction to management and management science with a focus on issues in complex information organizations. The course is useful to those who will work in organizations and will be involved in the analysis, design, or delivery of information services and systems, especially those in management positions. The specific topics are chosen to complement the topics in INFOSYS 208. The course is designed for students who do not have a degree in management.

One focus is on both the internal and external issues and practices of management. Internal issues include organizational behavior, organizational theory, personnel, budgeting, and planning. External issues include organizational environments, politics, marketing, funding sources, and strategic planning.

The other focus is on management science tools, such as optimization, game theory, and queuing theory (the study of throughput and waiting lines).

Assignments will be on both an individual and group basis.

TTh 2-3:30 | 205 South Hall

Three hours of lecture per week. Theories and methods for searching and retrieval of text and bibliographic information. Analysis of relevance and utility. Statistical and linguistic methods for automatic indexing and classification. Boolean and probabilistic approaches to indexing, query formulation, and output ranking. Filtering methods. Measures of retrieval effectiveness and retrieval experimentation methodology.

This course is intended to prepare you to understand the underlying theories and algorithms of advanced information retrieval systems and to introduce the methodology for the design and evaluation of information retrieval systems. The course will introduce you to the major types of information retrieval systems, the different theoretical foundations underlying these systems, and the methods and measures that can be used to evaluate them. The course will focus on the both the theoretical aspects of information retrieval design and evaluation, and will also consider the practical aspects of how these theories have been implemented in actual systems. These topics will be examined through readings, discussion, hands-on experience using various information retrieval systems, and through participation in evaluation of different retrieval algorithms on various test collections. The prerequisite for the course is INFOSYS 202, though this may be waived with the consent of instructor. A good familiarity with computers and programming is highly desirable.

MWF 2-3 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ray Larson

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: This course is offered for a letter grade only.

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

TTh 11-12:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Marti Hearst

Three hours of lecture per week. This course is concerned with the use of Database Management Systems (DBMS) to solve a wide range of information storage, management and retrieval problems, in organizations ranging from large corporations to personal applications, such as research data management. The course combines the practical aspects of DBMS use with more theoretical discussions of database design methodologies and the "internals" of database systems.

A significant part of the course will require students to design their own database and implement it on different DBMS that run on different computer systems. We will use both ACCESS and ORACLE.

In the theoretical portion of the course, we will examine the major types or data models of DBMS (hierarchical, network, relational, and object-oriented). We will discuss the principles and problems of database design, operation, and maintenance for each data model.

TTh 3:30-5 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ray Larson

Special Topics Courses

This course provides an introduction to economic aspects of communications and information. It starts with a macro view: what are the definition and scope of the "information economy" and how have occupational and industrial structures been changing? The focus then changes more toward micro-economics and the next topics relate to information as a factor of production and productivity in the information/service sector of the economy. We then turn to a detailed analysis of economics of scale and economies of scope--both in general and in the specific case of publishing and telecommunications. The issues relating to efficient and equitable pricing have re-emerged with the current changes in telecom regulation and the growth of the Internet. In our review of several pricing studies, we will cover areas such as network economies and risk analysis. Depending on time and interests, additional topics may be included.

Section: 4
M 2-5 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Yale Braunstein

Indexing and, more broadly, all categorizing are concerned with naming and/or describing. It is, therefore, a kind language activity and the terms and codes used can be considered a form of vocabulary. This course examines indexing and categorization with an emphasis on language aspects. It is a reading and discussion group for students interested in the Organization of Information, in bibliographic description, and, more generally, in language aspects of Information Management. The readings depend on the interests of those who participate.

Section: 1
F 9-11 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Michael Buckland

Are you curious as to why some technologies and products that embody superior technology fail in the marketplace, so that you can participate in products that have both good technology and are successful? Are you interested in why the industry increasingly revolves around consortia like W3C, OMG, IETF, etc? Are you curious as to why there is a battle being waged between Microsoft and "everybody else", and the government is even getting involved? Would you like a better understanding of the industry structure and operation, so that you can operate more effectively within it? Would you like to develop an understanding of strategies and tactics to cope with standardization, industry consortia and collaboration, and competition? Would you like to collaborate with a cross-disciplinary group of students to address such these issues?

Today the design of successful products in the computing and communications industry has to take into account many non-technical as well as technical factors. In industry and its technologies are affected by many crosscurrents, such as standards, industry consortia, economics factors that are peculiar to these industries, the management of intellectual property, etc. Any successful product must complete in an industry where a number of complementary products have to interoperate to provide value to the customer. Increasingly design effort stresses less core infrastructure and more applications, where an understanding of the user needs and where the application fit with complementary and competitive products is the key to success or failure. Overall these non-technical issues are, along with the technology itself, major considerations in product strategies and success.

This course covers: Industries addressing both applications and infrastructure, software and hardware, for computing, networking, and especially networked computing.

Section: 2
MW 9:30-11 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): David Messerschmitt, Hal Varian David Hodges

This seminar explores issues of design and structure of Web-based resources. The course has been developed to complement the paid work of SIMS students building Web-based support for large undergraduate courses (see Examples from students' on-the-job experience fuel discussion of longevity issues, issues of dealing with clients, and consideration of more advanced Web tools (such as database back-ends, multimedia, virtual environments, etc.). Enrollment is limited.

Section: 3
F 10-12 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Howard Besser

Seminars & Colloquia

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.

Section: 1
F 3-5 | 107 South Hall

In this course we explore the emerging area of social informatics and its application to digital libraries. The emerging multidisciplinary field called "social informatics" attempts to put information activities and institutions in their larger social context, addressing the complex interaction of information and society. We consider such issues as the social context of information; the role of information in social reproduction and transformation; and the interaction among information activities, practices, artifacts, institutions, organizations, and communities of practice.

Our approach is three-pronged: we read some key fundamental works in social theory; we investigate some related areas of social research such as situated action; and we consider Digital Libraries (DLs). DLs give us a way to consider the implications of these conceptual approaches for information behavior and institutions, and for research into them; and the conceptual bases give us a framework for talking about the social aspects of DLs.

This course is aimed primarily at doctoral students from SIMS and related units. Master's students will be admitted with the permission of the instructor.

The course will require extensive reading, active participation in discussions, and a term paper.

Section: 2
Th 4-6 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Nancy Van House

This seminar is intended for doctoral students who are interested in the design and analysis of transaction logging systems for online information retrieval systems such as library catalogs, web interfaces to library catalogs, and web information retrieval systems. There are readings in the area of tools and models for transaction analysis as well as application studies for the analytic methods. Class meetings are devoted to discussion of the readings and of the instructor and student projects. Students are expected to conduct an analytic study of a transaction log and prepare a research paper containing the conclusion from the study.

Section: 5
Tu 2-4 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Michael Cooper