Information Course Schedule fall 2000

Upper Division Courses

Information 142 explores how information about American cultural heritages arises, is managed, and used. It is a seminar-style introduction to issues in the preservation, description, and use of tangible forms of cultural heritage. Other topics include documentation, ownership, and control of access to cultural heritage resources in the U.S.A. The course also discusses cultural groups, cultural identity, cultural objects, cultural policies, and cultural institutions (libraries, media, museums, schools, historic sites, etc.). This course satisfies the American cultures requirement, and also the Social & Behavioral Science Breadth requirement.
TTh 11-12:30 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Michael Buckland

Core Courses

8 weeks; 3 hours of lecture per week. This course introduces the intellectual foundations of information organization and retrieval: conceptual modeling, semantic representation, vocabulary and metadata design, classification, and standardization, as well as information retrieval practices, technology, and applications, including computational processes for analyzing information in both textual and non-textual formats.

This is a required introductory course for MIMS students, integrating perspectives and best practices from a wide range of disciplines.

NOTE: Before Fall 2017, Info 202 was offered as a full-semester course for 4 units.

TTh 9:30-11 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Marti Hearst, Ray Larson

Three hours of lecture per week. The impact of information and information systems, technology, practices, and artifacts on how people organize their work, interact, and understand experience. Social issues in information systems design and management: assessing user needs, involving users in system design, and understanding human-computer interaction and computer-mediated work and communication. Use of law and other policies to mediate the tension between free flow and constriction of information.

Designing and managing effective information systems requires an understanding of the circumstances of their use: real people use them for specific purposes under specific circumstances. Information systems (computer-based and traditional) both shape and are shaped by their users and their context. In the first half of this course, we consider the social nature of information and information systems, and their design and use as part of how people make sense out of their worlds, interact with one another, and coordinate action across time and space. We consider such issues as the social construction of information; knowledge communities (including organizations) and the collaborative nature of knowledge; the self and community in an electronic world; assessing user needs; involving users in system design; and issues in human-computer interaction, and computer-supported cooperative work.

Designing and managing effective information systems also requires having a larger understanding of law and policy issues arising from the uses of information. Sometimes these laws, especially intellectual property laws, provide important sources of protection against unauthorized uses or appropriations of information. Sometimes, as with state privacy and federal encryption regulations, the law places limits on what uses can be made of information or what kinds of security systems can be used to protect information. Sometimes, codes of conduct within an industry also constrain the freedom of firms to do whatever they want with information. Because information law and policy is evolving at a fairly rapid pace in response to new technologies, it is important to have a sense of some of the larger information policy debates going on at national and international levels, such as those requiring libraries to filter content and those concerning privacy, because what is a policy debate now may turn out to be a regulation or a broader rule at a later time. As information becomes the principal commodity of the information economy, traditional "freedom of information" policies need to be adjusted.

This course is required of all entering SIMS students and serves as an introduction to other courses in the curriculum treating these issues in greater depth.

TTh 12:30-2 | 202 South Hall

7 weeks - 4 hours of laboratory per week. This course introduces software skills used in building prototype scripts for applications in data science and information management. The course gives an overview of procedural programming, object-oriented programming, and functional programming techniques in the Python scripting language, together with an overview of fundamental data structures, associated algorithms, and asymptotic performance analysis. Students will watch a set of instructional videos covering material and will have four hours of laboratory-style course contact each week.

NOTE: Before Fall 2017, Info 206 was titled “Distributed Computing Applications and Infrastructure” and was offered as a full-semester course for 4 units.

TTh 8-9:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Doug Tygar Warren Sack

General Courses

This course examines information from an economic perspective. We will introduce a range of seminal theories that describe how information is created, shared, and valued. Our focus covers both the role of information in the general economy, as well as the specific behavior of information markets. Topics will include information technology, knowledge production, markets with hidden information, digital goods, and networks. While this is a theoretical course, the tools and insights it provides may benefit any student navigating issues in the information economy.

W 10-12 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Yale Braunstein

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 2-3:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ray Larson

Three hours of lecture per week. Quantitative methods for data collection and analysis. Research design. Conceptualization, operationalization, measurement. Modes of data collection, including experiments, survey research, observation. Sampling. Basics of data analysis.

WF 2-3:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Rashmi Sinha

Special Topics Courses

This course explores electronic publishing from a project-based framework. Students are expected to define and develop an electronic publishing project, which can be experimental in nature and should propose new directions. The course is as concerned with the design and development process as with the end product.

The students examine and adapt project development methodologies usually associated with software development, including Rapid Prototyping and Object-oriented Design. We emphasize building flexible, multi-purpose systems that are open to change and reuse. In addition, students evaluate the technology behind electronic publishing systems and become familiar with emerging trends in designing and building systems.

Students become familiar with various aspects of the publishing business and incorporate marketing, production, and distribution considerations into their project. Invited speakers cover topics in electronic publishing as well.

At the end of the course, each student has developed a detailed project plan and a working prototype for an electronic publishing project that includes at least two different products for the same audience. The student is required to exploit multiple technologies.

Students are expected to collaborate on projects, acting in the role as a leader of their own project and as a consultant to other projects. Students evaluate the contributions made to his or her project by other students.

The goal of the course is to have students become familiar with the business, creative, and technical challenges of electronic publishing by developing and managing a project.

Section: 1
M 2-5 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Dale Dougherty

Computing and information technology are dramatically changing peoples' lives, and more change is to come. The promise of ubiquitous computing is that people will be assisted by computers in many new ways, and will interact with them naturally, on the human's rather than the machine's terms. Computing research today is about new ways of connecting people to computers, people to knowledge, people to the physical world, and people to people. Computers must function in human contexts, rather than requiring people to learn and follow the machine's rules. That requires a thorough understanding of those contexts. HCC is an interdisciplinary program involving sociology, psychology, and education theory as well as computer science and engineering. Its goal is to study social contexts and human behavior, to design and evaluate computer applications in those contexts. HCC can be viewed as an evolution of HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), but represents a shift in perspective. HCC is not an area within computer science, but represents a theme that impacts all areas of CS. It coincides with the transition of computing from tools built for and by professionals to tools for everyday tasks for "every citizen". Understanding the complexity and diversity of human behavior will be an important first step in building the future "killer applications" of computing.

The course includes talks by leading researchers from on and off campus on HCC-related topics. The talks are about current research, but are colloquium-style and accessible to a broad audience. The goal is to allow graduate students from one of the participating areas to undertake research that cuts across the HCC areas, or to partner with students from other HCC fields.

Section: 2
Tu 4-5:30 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): John Canny, Nancy Van House

This course aims to develop the interdisciplinary skills required for successful product development in today's competitive marketplace. Engineering and business students, along with design students from the California College of the Arts, join forces on small product development teams to step through the new product development process in detail, learning about the available tools and techniques to execute each process step along the way. Each student brings his or her own disciplinary perspective to the team effort, and must learn to synthesize that perspective with those of the other students in the group to develop a sound, marketable product. The project is the primary focus of the course, and is an intensive cross-disciplinary effort to design and develop a product or service that fulfills a target set of customer needs. Students can expect to depart the semester understanding new product development processes as well as useful tools, techniques and organizational structures that support new product development practice. This section of the course is fully team-taught with faculty from the Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering and the California College of the Arts.

See the MOT site for details.

Section: 3
WF 11-12:30 | C230 Cheit Hall
Instructor(s): Alice Agogino, Sara Beckman

The primary goal of this course is to develop in the student the marketing skills needed to compete aggressively as an entrepreneur in technology fields. Upon completion of this course, the student should have developed the following skills:

  • The ability to assess and predict customer needs in markets that may not yet exist;
  • The ability to create and execute marketing plans that necessarily integrate sophisticated technological development with rapidly evolving customer requirements;
  • The ability to create and grow a focused marketing organization rapidly and efficiently;
  • The ability to create and use marketing communications to reach prospects, customers, OEMs and sales channels efficiently and inexpensively.

See the MOT site for details.

Section: 4
W 2-5 | C210 Cheit Hall
Instructor(s): Andrew Isaacs

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: 5
W 1-2 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Hal Varian Sally Thomas

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

What kinds of organizational innovations are emerging on the Net, and how will these innovations change traditional institutions?

The course has two central themes. First, what are the social and technological assumptions underlying the idea of virtual organizations? What dynamics do networks introduce into different kinds of institutions and organizations, and under what conditions are these new dynamics innovative? This course evaluates the emerging theory and practice of virtual organizations, ranging from digital libraries to virtual communities, from political and social movements on the 'Net to virtual government experiments, from startups to virtual corporations. Students are asked to research the impact of IT upon the organization of specific industries and institutions, to test the concept of virtual organizations in specific contexts.

The second theme is the management of innovation. Special focus is given to startups as an organizational strategy to create innovation: How do startups create markets for innovation? How do technology companies attempt to innovate continuously? But attention is also given to the ways that traditional organizations attempt to manage the IT innovation process through knowledge management strategies.

Section: 2
MW 9:30-11 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Peter Lyman