Information Course Schedule fall 2003
Upper Division 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.
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.
This course will survey results in computer security, cryptography, and privacy, with an emphasis on work done in the last 3 years. Student projects (creative work, demonstrations, or literature reviews) will form a substantial portion of the course work.
This course will introduce students to policy issues and analytical methods in the areas of information systems, communications, computing, and media. Economic, political, social, and legal perspectives will be introduced. The specific topics will vary from year to year and will reflect the current interests of the students and the instructor, but the following list should suggest the range of areas likely to be covered.
Possible Outline of Topics:
- Background on Information Policy — Domestic
- Background on Information Policy — International
- Infrastructure Issues and Technological Change: The Case of NREN, the Internet, NGI, etc.
- Ownership of Information: Property Rights
- Intellectual Freedom
- Access to Information
- Public vs. Private Provision of Information
- User Fees for Government-Provided Information
- Information Markets
- Mass Media & Common Carriers
- National Security
- Standards, Elements of Industrial Policy
- Trans-border data flows
- Consumer information
- Medical and health information
Factors strongly impacting the success of new computing and communications products and services (based on underlying technologies such as electronics and software) in commercial applications. Technology trends and limits, economics, standardization, intellectual property, government policy, and industrial organizations. Strategies to manage the design and marketing of successful products and services.
This course will be an introduction into the past, present, and future of the theory and practice of multimedia information systems. Through readings in semiotics, film and media theory, and the history and theory of computation and computational media, we will examine the development and differentiation of media into distinct technologies and data flows, as well as their subsequent mixing and re-mixing.
We will establish a conceptual and historical foundation to design, assess, and critique multimedia information systems. We will explore the theory and methods of the multimedia production cycle, including the editing, storage, retrieval, management, and distribution of digital media. Students will apply their theoretical knowledge in working hands-on to learn video and audio production practices
This course offers a multidisciplinary inquiry into the technology, business, economics, and public-policy of computer networks and distributed applications. We will cover the technical foundations of computer networks, including: Internet architecture, network technologies and protocols (e.g., 802.*, TCP/IP, HTTP), routing algorithms and policies, network applications (e.g., p2p overlays, VoIP), emerging network technologies, and network security. Tightly integrated will be coverage on the business, economics and policy of networking, including: economic characteristics of networks, network industry structure and ISP competition, wireless spectrum auction, network neutrality, and incentive-centered design of networks and applications.
Three hours of lecture, one hour of programming laboratory per week. Introduction to programming paradigms, including object-oriented design. Introduction to design and analysis of algorithms, including algorithms for sorting and searching. Analysis, use, and implementation of data structures important for information processing systems, including arrays, lists, strings, b-trees, and hash tables. Introduction to formal languages including regular expressions and context-free grammars.
Special Topics Courses
This course is designed to examine the strategic issues that confront the management of the development stage biotech company, i.e., after its start-up via an initial venture capital infusion, but before it might be deemed successful (e.g., by virtue of a product launch), or otherwise has achieved “first-tier” status. Thus, the intention is to study the biotech organization during the process of its growth and maturation from an early stage existence through "adolescence" into an "adult" company.
The key point is how does one research and develop a life science technology or product to the point where it is ready for the marketplace and how does one finance that relatively protracted process? Almost inevitably, at least a part of the answer to this question, and thus an element in the business and financial history of most biotech companies, has involved partnering with others, both as a means to perform aspects of the R&D process, as well as generate funding for that work. Hence, the focus of the class will be on business development, i.e., the deal making that must occur to accomplish these corporate objectives – both to bring in new technologies and especially, to facilitate getting the initial product(s) to market (and pay for the R&D required to make that happen). We will explore the critical deal issues from both the perspective of the development stage company and the viewpoint of the larger, more mature biotech or big pharma company with which it seeks to partner. Emphasis will be on biotech companies in the healthcare sector (primarily therapeutics, but also vaccines and diagnostics) with some (comparative) discussion of other industry areas, e.g., agriculture (veterinary and crop plant science).
Specific topics to be addressed will include: a brief review of the underlying biological science and its potential commercial application(s); the process of drug discovery and pharmaceutical research and (preclincical and clinical) development; the role of intellectual property and elements of the patent process; various partnering strategies and deal structures and examples of same (options, licenses, technology transfer, collaborations, supply contracts, joint ventures, M&A etc.); a description of the deal process, that is, the steps from identification and initial contact with the prospective partner, through the negotiation, to consummation and agreement execution, plus relationship management thereafter, including, as appropriate, a review of the outcome of certain partnerships to determine whether or not the relationship was successful from the perspective of each party and the deal factors that contributed to, or interfered with, achieving such success (or failure).
See the MOT site for details.
"e-Berkeley" is a broad campus-wide initiative to provide services on the Web. In this seminar our goal is to apply Document Engineering methods to the e-Berkeley effort to give it a stronger architectural foundation. We will continue the development of an XML schema library, design documents and business processes as required, and implement the applications and user interfaces for richly choreographed services.
Two hours per week. "Consulting" is both a profession and an attitude toward effective communication and career management. We'll discuss and practice practical skills like making yourself marketable, identifying prospective projects and clients, proposing and selling "doable" projects, managing your managers and your clients, and getting credit (and avoiding blame) for project outcomes. More general skills will also be practiced, including effective written and oral communications.
Typically offered in the Spring semester.
This is a Core Course of the MOT program.
Most innovations fail. Yet companies that don't innovate die. Managing innovation thus constitutes one of the most difficult and critical tasks facing a manager. Nor is this solely the concern of high tech companies - companies in traditionally "low tech" businesses such as consumer packaged goods (like Procter & Gamble) find that innovation translates directly into growth in new businesses, and better profits in existing businesses.
The course adopts a capabilities-based view of the firm, drawing from economic, organizational, and engineering perspectives. The goal of the course is to identify the sources of innovative success and failure inside corporations, and how companies can develop and sustain a capability to innovate. The course will count towards students' Management of Technology (MOT) certificate, and graduate level cross-registrants from the Graduate College of Engineering (except those still in their first year of study) and School of Information are encouraged.
There are two books required for the course: 1) Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology (Harvard Business School Press, 2003), and 2) Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape ( Harvard Business School Press, 2006). Full disclosure: I wrote both of these books. There is also a Course Reader. Continuation of course description
Course Syllabus (pdf)
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.
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.
This class is designed to introduce the principles of successful project management to both MBA and graduate level engineering students. The emphasis is on the practical rather than the theoretical, stressing decision-making in situations that confront project managers on a daily basis. The course concentrates on the PROCESS and the ORGANIZATIONAL PRINCIPLES required by project managers in all disciplines. The cases presented are from a variety of disciplines, and the concepts are universally applicable. This course is not a survey of current methodologies and theories, but rather provides the student with examples of actual projects and how the organizational and methodological decisions impacted the outcomes. During the final weeks of the semester teams of students will refine interview questions that they will use to analyze ongoing projects at several consulting firms. Interviews will be conducted with participants in ongoing or recently completed projects. The students will then prepare recommendations for management.
The “traditional” approach to strategic planning doesn’t work for industries in the midst of revolutionary change brought about by disruptive technologies—and every industry is in the midst (or soon will be) of such a change.
This course will define a pragmatic approach to strategic planning for companies facing major transformations of their industries and those of their suppliers and customers.
We will begin with a review of the basic theories of strategic planning and its limitations. We will then focus on a few key industries and disruptive technologies that are remaking them, and ask how winning companies recognize the change and know what to do with it.
- Lessons of the Industrial Revolution: Rules for Revolutionaries
- The Information Revolution: The Next Phase
- The Three Stages of Industry Transformation: Efficiency to Exchange to Emergence
- The Information Supply Chain: Turning Data into Products and Services
- Information Assets: The Physics of Invisible Capital
- Perpetual Strategy: The Portfolio Approach to Planning
- Eight Execution Problems: From Obstacles to Catalysts
Readings will include a mix of theoretical and practical, with some Harvard cases and some non-traditional texts.
Supply Chain Management involves the flows of materials and information among all of the firms that contribute value to a product, from the source of raw materials to end customers. Elements of supply chain management have been studied and practiced for some time in marketing, logistics, and operations management. We will attempt to integrate these different perspectives to develop a broad understanding of how to manage a supply chain.
This course will focus on effective supply chain strategies for companies that operate globally with emphasis on how to plan and integrate supply chain components into a coordinated system. You will be exposed to concepts and models important in supply chain planning with emphasis on key trade offs and phenomena. The course will introduce and utilize key tactics such as risk pooling and inventory placement, integrated planning and collaboration, and information sharing. Lectures, Internet simulations, computer exercises, and case discussions introduce various models and methods for supply chain analysis and optimization.
This class will be a mix of lectures, case discussions and applications. The course objectives are to develop analytical and modeling skills, and to provide new concepts and problem-solving tools, applicable to the design and planning of supply chains.
See the MOT site for details.
Good technology policy is difficult to formulate for many reasons, among them, that technologists are often unaware of the policy implications of technologies they develop and policymakers are often unfamiliar with technologies they are asked to regulate. This course will consider several different types of information technologies and specific policy issues they raise. The principal goal of the course will be to facilitate cross-disciplinary communications and collaborations between policymakers and technologists so that technologists can embed good policies in the technologies they build and policymakers can regulate technology more appropriately and effectively.
This course will feature a series of speakers on technology policy issues. Confirmed speakers include Mitch Kapor, Brewster Kahle, Lawrence Lessig, and Les Vadasz, as well as several Berkeley professors from SIMS, Law, and Computer Science.
Students will be expected to write one ten page paper on a technology policy issue as well as to be active participants in class discussion.
This course focuses on current issues facing the global telecommunications industry. In the context of this course, telecommunications encompasses voice, data, and video services running on copper, coaxial cable, fiber, and wireless networks. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the industry structure, the value chain, and the business models of various players. A key theme of the course is the impact of the Internet and its growth on the economics and market dynamics of various industry segments. The role of regulation, technological innovation, and competition in shaping the future of the industry is also explored in detail. The course draws on a variety of disciplines including public policy, law, economics, finance, engineering, and physics to prepare students for a career in the telecommunications industry.
Software has a relatively low cost of development, manufacture, and distribution. At the same time, the ability of software to embody complex algorithms and processes gives software-based companies the capability to create sustainable barriers to competition. As a result, software is an ideal medium for entrepreneurs.
When I taught this class in the fall of 2003, a team of two MBA students, two EECS students, and a student from the I School created an outstanding class project. The computer-science researchers on the team were aware of a recently published technology that could find critical bugs in software, particularly possible security violations. To further realize the potential of the technology, a seed-stage company of four individuals had already been formed. Members of the class project initiated contact with the founders. The project team studied this seed-stage company, evaluated the opportunity, and developed a business plan around it. Today, that seed-stage company has grown into a high-growth and profitable start-up named Coverity (www.coverity.com).
Retrospectively, I would consider this project a model for the class. The engineers identified a technology at a stage that was far below the radar of the business world. The business students helped the team to articulate the market potential. That the technology itself was not developed at Berkeley but at a university a bit to the south may seem like a flaw or even a sham. On the contrary, it drives home an important business lesson: In the business world, the ability to recognize value is at least as important as the ability to create it.
My goal for the class is very simple. I'd like project teams of about five individuals representing a mixture of backgrounds to create high quality and actionable business plans focused on software-based business opportunities. I'd like those plans to win competitions (we'll be coordinating with the business plan competition), to get funded, but most of all to lead to successful software companies. I am very confident that Berkeley students have the right set of skills to make this happen. I will do my best to mentor those skills and I have enlisted a group of successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to serve as mentors for the class as well.
See the MOT site for details.
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.
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.