Information Course Schedule fall 2004

Upper Division Courses

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 4-5 | 174 Barrows
Instructor(s): Mary Kay Duggan

This course will focus on obtaining and evaluating information from peers in a game setting.

Section: 1
Th 7-8:30 PM | 109 Wheeler
Instructor(s): Marti Hearst

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 10:30-12 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ray Larson Marc Davis

This course is designed to be an introduction to the topics and issues associated with information and information technology and its role in society. Throughout the semester we will consider both the consequence and impact of technologies on social groups and on social interaction and how society defines and shapes the technologies that are produced. Students will be exposed to a broad range of applied and practical problems, theoretical issues, as well as methods used in social scientific analysis. The four sections of the course are: 1) theories of technology in society, 2) information technology in workplaces 3) automation vs. humans, and 4) networked sociability.

This is a half-semester course, and is offered during the second half of the semester.

8 weeks - 3 hours of lecture per week

NOTE: Before Fall 2016, this course was named Social and Organizational Issues of Information. The course was offered for 3 units in Spring 2010 and Spring 2011 and for 4 units from 2012 to 2017.

TTh 12:30-2 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Peter Lyman, Nancy Van House

General Courses

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.

TTh 2-3:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): David Messerschmitt, Carl Shapiro

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.

MW 10:30-12 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Yale Braunstein

Three hours of lecture per week. This course will provide an overview of the intellectual property laws with which information managers need to be familiar. It will start with a consideration of trade secrecy law that information technology and other firms routinely use to protect commercially valuable information. It will then consider the role that copyright law plays in the legal protection of information products and services. Although patents for many years rarely were available to protect information innovations, patents on such innovations are becoming increasingly common. As a consequence, it is necessary to consider standards of patentability and the scope of protection that patent affords to innovators. Trademark law allows firms to protect words or symbols used to identify their goods or services and to distinguish them from the goods and services of other producers. It offers significant protection to producers of information products and services. Because so many firms license intellectual property rights, some coverage of licensing issues is also important. Much of the course will concern the legal protection of computer software and databases, but it will also explore some intellectual property issues arising in cyberspace.

TTh 12:30-2 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Larry Downes

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

MW 2-3:30 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Marc Davis

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.

TTh 3:30-5 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): John Chuang

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.

TTh 9-10:30 (lecture)<br>Th 2-3:30 (lab) | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Brian Hayes

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.

MW 9-10:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ray Larson

This course will focus upon the use of qualitative methods for research about information technologies. Methods including interviewing, focus groups, participant observation and ethnography will be taught and practiced. Significant qualitative research findings about the social impact of information technologies will be read, to analyze what we know about IT thus far, how we know it, and as models of theories and methods for future research. Frequent field exercises will be assigned to develop qualitative research skills and best practices, but the primary assignment will be to engage in a substantial fieldwork project. Methods covered will include video if grant support or other budget resources are found.

TTh 3:30-5 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Peter Lyman

Special Topics Courses

Much of the most valuable information available online today resides in textual form, but natural language is notoriously difficult to process automatically. Applied natural language processing -- also known as automated content analysis and language engineering -- can provide partial solutions. This course will examine the state-of-the-art in applied NLP, with an emphasize on how well the algorithms work and how they can be used (or not) in applications. Topics will include text summarization, text mining, question answering, information extraction, text categorization, author and genre recognition, word sense disambiguation, and lexical and ontological acquisition (including the Semantic Web), and text analysis for social applications such as Blogs and social networks. The course will consist of lectures, homeworks, in-class exercises, and a final project.

This course is now offered as INFO 256.

Section: 2
MW 10:30-12 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Marti Hearst

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.

Section: 14
Tu 4-6 | C325 Cheit
Instructor(s): Thomas Sanders

This is a "manufacturing survey course" that deals with all aspects of the manufacturing processes relevant to today's production of consumer electronics or electro-mechanical devices. It also aims to provide a balanced view for the "Management of Technology". The course guides students through a product development cycle, and emphasizes modern Internet-based commercial activities between designers, rapid prototyping services and full-scale manufacturers.

In this course we will cover product concept, consumer ethnography, marketing, product design, modeling, rapid prototyping and ending in the final project Tradeshow. The class features guest speakers. An especially valuable way of dealing with this material has been a semester-long class project. This places significant emphasis on group interactions. Students will design and prototype a new consumer electronic product based on RFIDs. Some connections to the Mica Mote (and TinyOS) used in previous Tradeshows may also arise.

Finding a useful (and commercially viable) application for the RFIDs, creating a functional package/enclosure, and giving a demonstration of its use, are key to the course. Development of a "marketing plan" and a "ramp-up to manufacturing" scenario is a vital part of the course.

See the MOT site for details.

Section: 15
MW 9:30-11 | 203 McLaughlin
Instructor(s): Paul Wright

"To miss today's China is to miss the great opportunity for this generation." This course is derived from China's rapid rise and its transformation of global competition. This course has three major parts: (Notice that the first class meeting is very important, because we will overview China's changes)

  1. Hot Topics in 2007 such as: what are the most recent changes in China's technology, business and policy environment? What is the China scenario and its impact on global? What is the trend of venture capital investment in China?
  2. Must-Have Topics such as: What are the fundamental differences in doing business in China vs. doing business in the US? What are the top three unique assets that a firm needs in order to survive in China and how are they obtained? How can understanding the fine line between Guanxi and corruption determine my success in China?
  3. Topics for Careers related to China such as: If I want to start up a technology firm in China, how should I begin? If I want to work for a MNC in China, what do I need to know?



We will use lectures, case studies, guest speakers, and class discussions to answer the questions we raise in each module below. For China Fellows, we will have a 10 days trip to China after the semester.

40% Class participation.
30% Case/reading material study questions.
30% group project

See the MOT site for details 


Section: 11
MW 11-12:30 | C330 Cheit
Instructor(s): Jihong Sanderson

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: 5
MW 9:30-11 | C220 Cheit
Instructor(s): Alice Agogino, Mark Martin

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: 6
MW 4-5:30 | C125 Cheit
Instructor(s): Andrew Isaacs

1.5 hours of lecture and discussion each week, along with significant work with software tools and platforms to prepare for class meetings.

The emerging discipline of Document Engineering and related approaches to model-based system architectures use conceptual models of documents and processes as specifications for generating code or configuring an application. This approach separates the context-specific semantics that are based on the model(s) from the generic functionality of the application provided by the "platform" on which is it implemented. The simplest example of this approach is probably "e-books" or other structured publications in which user interface features like tables of contents, hypertext links, and navigation aids are generated from the names or attributes of the data model components in the document (enumerated choices, tables of contents and other entry points, navigation aids, links). Another simple class of model-based applications involves the use of "e-forms" to collect the information specified in the document's data model to automate processes that previously have relied on printed forms.

This design approach might seem incompatible with the conventional user interface design approach of iterative prototyping and usability evaluation in which document and process models are not explicitly considered. The goal of this course is to work toward a system design methodology that incorporates both of these approaches. The course will review the relevant literature in document engineering and system architecture as well as test the capabilities of platforms like XFORMS, Adobe Forms Designer, Orbeon OXF, Mozilla and similar software that use XML schemas as user interface specifications.

Section: 17
Th 12:30-2 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Robert Glushko, Alex Miłowski

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.

Section: 12
Tu 2-4 | C220 Cheit
Instructor(s): Richard Grant

This course combines lectures on industry structure, market analysis, and business models with the development of a working prototype and business case for a multimedia application. The application will be an innovative digital magazine that combines the possibilities of the Internet and mobile communications with traditional print content.

It is now common to receive an e-mail notification of a new release--which can be musical, literary, informational, or artistic--that has an embedded link to additional content or a download site. The course project will extend this model to mobile communications using SMS (short message service) and MMS (multimedia message service) capabilities, demonstrating possibilities for providing a variety of content while generating new revenue streams.

The project integrates three primary approaches: designing usable new media by focusing on users and usability, developing successful products and services by identifying revenue streams and managing costs, and understanding the market context with an explicit realization of the differences in mobile and Internet communications worldwide. Lectures and project development will be coordinated with a team from the Center for Digital Technology and Management in Munich, Germany. The schedule may vary across the semester. We expect to have a combination of intensive interactive meetings during September 2004, class and working group meetings coordinated with CDTM during the first half of the semester, and additional meetings during the second half of the semester.

Section: 1
TTh 8-9, F 10-12 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Yale Braunstein

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.

Topics include:

  • 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.

Section: 8
TTh 11-12:30 | C220 Cheit
Instructor(s): Larry Downes

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.

Section: 9
Th 6-9:30 | C125 Cheit
Instructor(s): Angelo Artale

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.

Section: 7
M 6-9 | C325 Cheit
Instructor(s): Reza Moazzami

This course will explore issues of information quality in mediated communication. How do people reach conclusions about the reliability, value, or authenticity of content? We will consider the problem across time, media and modes, from the coming of the book to the blog, paying particular attention to the interaction of technology, communicative forms, market forces, and institutional and legal frameworks.

Section: 10
W 1-4 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Paul Duguid, Geoffrey Nunberg

Web services enable computer programs to communicate with each other across application, operating system, hardware and organizational boundaries via XML documents and open standard Internet protocols. This course covers the basic standards that enable web services: XML Schema, SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI. It describes proper design of web services and applications that use them within a service-oriented architecture. Programming techniques for implementation of web services are demonstrated, including coverage of tools for developing web services in the Windows/.NET and Java/J2EE environments. The roadmap and motivation of future web services standards is laid out. Over the course of the semester students will build a significant web service project and incrementally enhance it as new techniques and web service standards are learned.

Section: 3
Th 5-8 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Adam Blum

Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks. XML, with its ability to define formal structural and semantic definitions for metadata and models, is the key enabling technology for information services and document-centric business models that use the Internet and its family of protocols. This course introduces XML syntax, styles and transformations, and schema languages. It balances conceptual topics with practical skills for designing and implementing conceptual models as XML schemas.

Much of the material in this course was formerly part of Document Engineering, which is taught in the Spring semester; XML Foundations is now a pre-requisite. Making XML Foundations a separate course allows students who want to learn XML to do so without taking Document Engineering. In addition, teaching XML separately from Document Engineering enables that class to dig deeper into conceptual modeling and model-based application design.

Section: 16
W 12:30-2,<br> Th 3:30-5<br>(5 weeks only: Sept 8 - Oct 7) | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Robert Glushko

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 9-10:30 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): AnnaLee Saxenian

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