Information Course Schedule spring 2002

Upper Division Courses

Introduction to applications of networked computers, especially social, educational, and information management. Understanding of the networking, computing, and software infrastructures enabling and constraining these networked applications, with the goal of empowering the student to use these technologies effectively in their personal and professional life. Related policy, legal, economic, and industry issues.

MWF 2-3 | 60 Evans Hall
Instructor(s): David Messerschmitt

Three hours lecture per week. Focuses on European Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, and in the western United States, Asian Americans and Chicano/Latinos. The course explores the nature of oral and print societies as found in the focus cultures to assess the impact of the dominant print culture on oral cultures. This course satisfies the American cultures requirement.

This course uses contemporary print material to understand the interaction of print and oral cultures in America. It examines the role of print in shaping political policy, ethnic and religious identity, distribution of resources, and resolution of conflict. Topics include the definition and interaction of orality and print, Native American interaction with colonialist empires, African American and education, the bestseller Uncle Tom's Cabin, the newspaper of many cultures in West, the power of the image from woodcut to photograph to poster, the centralization of control of publishing in the emerging cities, and the role of print in emerging law on Chinese citizenship in the late nineteenth century.

MWF 10-11 | 88 Dwinelle Hall
Instructor(s): Mary Kay Duggan

Core Courses

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 10:30-12 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): John Chuang, Doug Tygar

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 9-10:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Yale Braunstein, Peter Lyman

General Courses

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.)
TTh 12:30-2 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Marti Hearst

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.

TTh 2-3:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Nancy Van House

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.

MW 11-12:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ray Larson

Standards and practices for organization and description of bibliographic, textual, and non-textual collections. Design, selection, maintenance and evaluation of cataloging, classification, indexing and thesaurus systems for specific settings. Codes, formats, and standards for representation and transfer of data.

A continuation and expansion of the introductory core course 202. Organization of Information with emphasis on organization of and access to textual and non-textual materials in paper-based and digital collections. A project-oriented course designed to provide theoretical foundations for current practices and for exploration of new methodologies for effective retrieval of information content. Emphasis on implementation and evaluation of organization and retrieval systems. Designed for Master's students expecting to manage paper-based and digital collections of information resources. Includes application of standard cataloging rules and indexing methods.

Outline of Topics

  1. Systems for organization of paper-based and digital bibliographic and textual collections of information.
    • Use and evaluation of classification systems, including those employed in the organization of bibliographic collections; organization of abstracting and indexing services.
    • Use and evaluation of standardized codes and formats for the organization and cataloging of textual and bibliographic collections.
  2. Systems for organization of non-textual collections of information (objects, images, sound, numerical and digital formats).
    • Use and evaluation of systems.
    • Use and evaluation of standards.
  3. Design and evaluation of collections management systems, including criteria for systems design.

Course requirements will include: readings on theoretical framework and evaluation criteria for development of collections management systems; assignments in the form of projects that require use and evaluation of a variety of organizational schemes and systems; evaluative papers that require analysis of the readings, combined with evaluation of existing systems; a final project that replaces a final examination and requires design, implementation and evaluation of an organizational system for a given setting.

MW 9-10:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Michael Buckland

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.

F 2-5 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Marti Hearst

Three hours of lecture per week. General introduction to the organization and administration of library services and their place in the institutions and communities they serve. Problems and practices with respect to governance, functions, collections, and building. Management functions as applicable: planning, organizing, innovation, staffing, budgeting, controlling. Technological change.

Outline of Topics:

  1. General knowledge of the concepts, vocabulary, and techniques of organizations and management.
  2. Introduction to social, economic, political and technological context of academic, public, school, and special libraries.
  3. General knowledge of how libraries function.
  4. Identification of major challenges and opportunities facing library services.
  5. Identification of skills for survival and success as professionals.

The course will include lectures, guest speakers, videos, case studies, field trips, and class discussion. Course requirements will include: analysis of a manager's roles; review of an unfamiliar library; budget exercise; planning exercise ("critical path analysis"); accounting exercise; position description; job announcement; case studies; a specialized small group or individual project that requires recommendations for change in a library service.

This course is designed for first or second year students in the Master's in Information Management & Systems program, but open to Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate students in any majors. Second-year MIMS students may use this project for the required Final Project of the Master's degree.

F 9-12 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Michael Buckland

Special Topics Courses

Study of product design, facilities design, corporate identity design, and how these design strategies are integral to product development and influence customer satisfaction, quality issues, manufacturing procedures, and marketing tactics.

Section: 5
Tu 4-6 | C210 Cheit Hall
Instructor(s): Trudy Kehret-Ward

Note: this course is now 243: Document Engineering and Information Architecture.

This three-unit course introduces a new discipline of 'Document Engineering' for specifying, designing, and deploying the electronic documents that serve as the interfaces to e-business applications and web-based services. It is natural to conceptualize the business relationships between companies as document exchanges, and XML, with its ability to define formal structural and semantic definitions for electronic documents, has rapidly emerged as a key enabling technology as e-business takes hold on the Internet. After introducing XML syntax, styles and transformations, and schema languages, a substantial part of the course is devoted to teaching students practical skills for designing and implementing the documents that enable e-business transactions and applications. These skills include: developing information requirements, analyzing existing documents, identifying and organizing document components, implementing XML schemas, modeling business processes, specifying business processes and service interfaces using XML schemas, and'choreographing' complex chains of document exchanges for multi-company business activities.

The course also introduces and evaluates the relevant XML standards, specifications, and software architectures for the design, development, and deployment of document-centric e-business applications, e-marketplaces, and web services. It explains the co-evolution of document-centric e-business models and their enabling architectures and computational environments (it has been said that 'XML gives Java something to do'). It interleaves technology issues with management and business concerns, such as selecting a standards strategy, assessing an organization's readiness for document engineering, and meeting the legal, policy, and interoperability challenges within and between electronic trading communities.

About the Instructor

Bob Glushko is an Engineering Fellow at Commerce One, which provides software and services for electronic marketplaces. Before becoming an Engineering Fellow in November 2000, Glushko was Director, Document Engineering and Director, Advanced Technology, responsible for Commerce One's XML architecture and technical standards efforts. He joined Commerce One in January 1999 when it acquired Veo Systems, which pioneered the use of XML for e-commerce and which he co-founded in 1997. Prior to Veo Systems, Glushko co-founded two companies specializing in SGML-based electronic publishing. He has worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie-Mellon University. He has an undergraduate degree from Stanford, an MS (Software Engineering) from the Wang Institute, and a Ph.D. (cognitive psychology) from UC San Diego.

Section: 4
TTh 3:30-5 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Robert Glushko

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 3:30-5 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): John Canny, Nancy Van House

This class explores how traditional firms and startups use information technology (IT) strategically while focusing on the use of IT rather than the details of the technology. The object is to understand how IT enables new strategies and how existing strategies adapt to IT innovations. Technologies that improve firms' ability to gather, distribute, and process information affect (1) how important business functions (or value activities) are performed, (2) individual firms structure and value chains, and (3) how firms interface and interact.


The class examines these issues from a number of perspectives:

  • How is specific IT, e.g., the Internet, databases, online payment systems, and mobile communications, used to create value?
  • How do different tasks and functional areas, in particular operations and marketing, employ IT?
  • What business models, markets, and strategies do IT developments improve and make possible, e.g., online procurement, supply chain management, and types of B2C and B2B commerce?
  • What are the best ways for firms to jointly optimize IT, their organizational structure, and their supply chain?
  • How does IT's use differ across industries ranging from those based on pure information to complex manufacturing?

Course syllabus (HTML)

Section: 7
Th 6-9:30 | C125 Cheit Hall
Instructor(s): Terrence Hendershott

Typically offered SPRING semester.

This is a Core Course of the MOT program and is not a required course for the MOT certificate.

This course is designed to give business and engineering students an overview of the main topics related to the management of technology, with a focus on innovation as it relates to products, processes, and business models. Why do so many new technology businesses fail, and why are so many successful businesses unable to recognize fundamental market transitions that can change the structure of an entire industry? The course covers the full spectrum of activities associated with technology businesses, from strategy and R&D through marketing and distribution. The format is highly interactive and includes readings, case studies, and guest speakers from inside and outside the MOT program.

Section: 3
WF 11-12:30 | C125 Cheit Hall
Instructor(s): Robert Cole

This is a graduate seminar/studio course in which we will explore the role of new media technologies (especially software-based technologies) in the production, distribution, and reception of the news. The focus this term will be on international news. We will consider macro and micro phenomena which influence the form and content of the news and we will consider how new media technologies can or do amplify, transform or counter the powers of these phenomena. Phenomena to be covered include the influences of ownership of the media, legislation concerning the media, geography, race, religion, language, ideology, story format, news sources, editing, and history. Each week will be devoted to a different macro or micro influence on the form, content, distribution, or reception of the news. Students will be assigned a series of design and analysis exercises in which they will be asked to examine or propose how new media technologies can be designed to improve the quality, quantity and presentation of news and information. We will be especially concerned with existing and proposed software technologies to search, sort, cluster, archive, present, edit, and author the news. Readings will be drawn from humanities and social science works of media studies and also from the technical literatures of information retrieval, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, and multimedia.

Section: 1
Th 4:30-6:30 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Warren Sack

This course is intended to provide the core skills needed for the identification of opportunities that can lead to successful, entrepreneurial high technology ventures, regardless of the individual's "home" skill set, whether technical or managerial. We examine in depth the approaches most likely to succeed for entrepreneurial companies as a function of markets and technologies. Emphasis is placed on the special requirements for creating and executing strategy in a setting of rapid technological change and limited resources. This course is open to both MBA and Engineering students (who enroll through the College of Engineering), and is particularly suited for those who anticipate founding or operating technology companies.

Section: 6
W 2-5 | C135 Cheit Hall
Instructor(s): Andrew Isaacs

Seminars & Colloquia

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.

Th 12:30-2 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): John Chuang

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 seminar, we will look at some key approaches to the interaction between Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and society. Our premise is that, to design and build effective information systems, we need to address both knowledge creation and use, and the relationship between technology and society, including the individual, disciplines, organizations, and groups and communities of various sorts.

We will draw on the field of STS — variously interpreted as Science, Technology, and Society, and Science and Technology Studies. STS addresses how science and technology shape society, and how society shapes science and technology. STS includes a diversity of fields, such as sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, economics, psychology, feminist studies, and cultural studies, as well as information studies.

Topics will include: knowledge creation and knowledge communities; how information systems both support knowledge communities, such as workgroups and disciplines, and cross the boundaries between them; the social construction of technology; practice, the dynamic activity of knowledge creation and use; representation, a key issue in STS (e.g. the use of texts and visualizations in scientific practice) and how it applies to information systems; social approaches to documents, and categorization and classification; and ethnographic research methods as applied to knowledge communities and information systems.

This seminar will be flexible, to accommodate the interests of participants. It is designed for students from SIMS, both Master's and Ph.D., as well as graduate students from other disciplines, and so will accommodate a diversity of experience and interests. It is expected that Master's students will be more interested in the implications for design and management of information systems, while Ph.D. students will be more concerned with more conceptual issues.

Possible readings:

  • Karin Knorr Cetina, Epistemic Cultures ; Lave and Wenger on communities of practice; Steve Shapin, A Social History of Truth;
  • MacKenzie and Wajcman, The Social Shaping of Technology;
  • Bijker, Hughes, and Pinch, The Social Construction of Technological Systems;
  • Lynch and Woolgar, Representation in Scientific Practice;
  • David Levy, Scrolling Forward;
  • Bowker and Star, Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences;
  • Julian Orr, Talking About Machines.


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

Scholars from a variety of disciplines have discovered--or rediscovered--regions as a unit for analyzing economic life. This has led to a flourishing of interdisciplinary work on the causes and dynamics of regional growth and development, as well as new approaches to economic development policy. The seminar compares theoretical approaches to regional economies that have emerged in the past decade, including those from economics, economic sociology, management, and economic geography. This year the course will focus on the emergence of information technology industries in formerly peripheral regions in the global economy-- from India and Ireland to Israel, Taiwan, and China. Because the course is a reading seminar, we will rely heavily on the quality of student preparation and participation. Students will be expected to help lead class discussions and to write either two analytical essays or a longer research paper for the course.

This course is cross-listed with CP 227.

Section: 3
Tu 4-7 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): AnnaLee Saxenian