Information Course Schedule spring 2006

Upper Division Courses

Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Discussion section will be held Thursday 5-6 pm in room 107 South Hall.

What role can information and communications technologies play in transforming lives in developing economies? Some view ICT as a new tool for poverty alleviation while others see technology draining resources from more pressing social needs. Nevertheless a proliferation of initiatives from governments, non-profit and multilateral agencies, and corporations seek to develop and apply technology to meet the challenges facing poor economies. The course positions these efforts in the context of development theory and surveys both the strategies and methods of assessing contemporary projects that develop new technologies such as wireless communications or low-cost computing or applying ICT to areas such as healthcare, e-government, microfinance, and literacy.

The class will provide a conceptual framework as well as analytical tools for engineers developing technology for use in underserved regions, social scientists studying the impacts of these projects, and business students assessing the sustainability of development-oriented technology enterprises.

Section: 1
Th 3:30-5:30 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): AnnaLee Saxenian

Core Courses

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.

TuTh 12:30-2 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Coye Cheshire

This course uses examples from various commercial domains—retail, health, credit, entertainment, social media, and biosensing/quantified self—to explore legal and ethical issues including freedom of expression, privacy, research ethics, consumer protection, information and cybersecurity, and copyright. The class emphasizes how existing legal and policy frameworks constrain, inform, and enable the architecture, interfaces, data practices, and consumer facing policies and documentation of such offerings; and, fosters reflection on the ethical impact of information and communication technologies and the role of information professionals in legal and ethical work.

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

7 weeks - 4 hours of lecture per week.

NOTE: Between 2011 and 2017, this course was offered for 3 units.

TuTh 10:30-12 (Jan 17 - Mar 7) | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Larry Downes

Note: 207 will be taught during the first half of the semester.

Three hours of lecture per week for seven and one-half weeks. Systems and project management, focusing on the process of information systems analysis and design. Includes such topics as systems analysis, process analysis, cost and statistical analysis, accounting and budgeting, and planning.

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

  1. An introduction to tools and methods for the analysis and design of information systems.
  2. The management of the process of information system analysis and design, that is, project management.

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 will be accompanied by a class presentation of its results. Projects are to be done on an individual or group 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, and the implementation and evaluation of systems. It is up to the student to find a project for the course. The instructor 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.

TuTh 10:30-12 (Mar 9 - May 7) | 202 South Hall

Delivering value to enterprises and ensuring long-term career success requires much more than pure technology skills. As information becomes increasingly strategic for all organizations, technology professionals must also develop the core business skills required to build personal brand, expand influence, build high-quality relationships, and deliver on critical enterprise projects.

Using a combination of business and academic readings, case discussions and guest speakers, this course will explore a series of critical business topics that apply both to start-up and Fortune 500 enterprises. Subjects to be explored include: communication and presentation skills, software and product development methodologies, negotiation skills, employee engagement, organizational structures and career paths, successful interviewing and CV preparation.

Note: This course is being offered on an S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) basis and will involve reviewing and presenting updates on the School of Information final project.

Until 2015, this course was titled “Professional Skills Workshop.”

Th 1-2 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Larry Downes

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.)
TuTh 9-10:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Marti Hearst

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.

W 9-12 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Doug Tygar

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:

  1. Background on Information Policy — Domestic
  2. Background on Information Policy — International
  3. Infrastructure Issues and Technological Change: The Case of NREN, the Internet, NGI, etc.
  4. Ownership of Information: Property Rights
  5. Intellectual Freedom
  6. Access to Information
  7. Public vs. Private Provision of Information
  8. User Fees for Government-Provided Information
  9. Information Markets
  10. Privacy
  11. Mass Media & Common Carriers
  12. National Security
  13. Standards, Elements of Industrial Policy
  14. Trans-border data flows
  15. Consumer information
  16. Medical and health information
TuTh 2-3:30 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Yale Braunstein

Three hours of lecture per week. The emergence of global digital networks, such as the Internet, and digital technologies that enhance human abilities to access, store, manipulate, and transmit vast amounts of information has brought with it a host of new legal issues that lawyers preparing to practice in the 21st century will need to understand and address. Although many are trying to "map" existing legal concepts onto problems arising in cyberspace, it is becoming increasingly evident that this strategy sometimes doesn't work. In some cases, it is necessary to go back to first principles to understand how to accomplish the purposes of existing law in digital networked environments. The course will explore specific problems in applying law to cyberspace in areas such as intellectual property, privacy, content control, and the bounds of jurisdiction. Students with familiarity with the Internet and its resources or with backgrounds in some of the substantive fields explored in this course are especially welcome, but there are no formal prerequisites. Grades for the course will be based either on a series of short papers or on a supervised term paper.

Note: This course is cross-listed with Law 276.1.

Tu 3:30-6:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Jason Schultz

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.

TuTh 10:30-12 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ray Larson

Three hours of lecture per week. This course introduces the discipline of Document Engineering: specifying, designing, and deploying electronic documents and information repositories that enable document-centric applications. These applications include web services, virtual enterprises, information supply chains, single-source publishing, and syndication.

Course topics include developing requirements, analyzing existing documents and information sources, conceptual modeling, identifying reusable components, modeling business processes and user interactions, applying patterns to make models more robust, representing models using XML schemas, and using XML models to implement and drive applications.

Document Engineering has much in common with the field of Information Architecture, but extends its scope beyond web site and web application design. It is complementary to User Interface Design and Development (IS 213), taking an "inside out" or "information driven" perspective on many of the same design issues addressed from the "outside in" by the latter.

MW 2-3:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Robert Glushko

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.

M 10-1 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): John Chuang

Special Topics Courses

Universities are knowledge organizations. Amongst their essential products one counts graduates who are accredited to establish some place for themselves in social and professional hierarchies; and research that powers economic innovation, government and public policy, and cultural and educational understanding. Both of these products depend upon the university’s massive consumption and production of information and thus on sound processes that enable its creation, management, discovery, distribution and use. These processes are not only mission critical, they are essential means by which universities distinguish themselves from one another and compete effectively in a market place where good students and good faculty are keys to its reputation and revenue growth. Yet while a university’s information management processes are mission critical, they are increasingly obsolete. They are held over from an era when information circulated in analog formats and where access to it was largely determined by one’s physical location. These same processes are increasingly dysfunctional in a world in which massive quantities of information can easily and instantaneously be “published”, discovered and transmitted.

This course evaluates trends in the information industry and how they impact upon the academic enterprise that is so heavily reliant upon outmoded forms of control over the production and flow of information. It will look in at a number of challenges in particular, including:

  • the constantly evolving information needs of faculty, researchers, and students
  • the changing the economics of scholarly publishing and emerging new norms of scholarly communication
  • digital preservation or rather the stewardship of and entitlement to access online information that supports or results from research and learning
  • the role, governance, and funding of academic libraries and campus-based information services


The course will be practically oriented and informed throughout with lectures from leading practitioners in areas under consideration.

Section: 1
W 1-4 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Daniel Greenstein

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
Th 2-4 | F320 Haas
Instructor(s): Trudy Kehret-Ward

It takes critical thinking, outstanding leadership and a little magic to be a successful Project Manager. Come and learn not only the essential building blocks of project management, but the tricks to managing a variety of complex projects. We will have a combination of interactive lectures, guest speakers and case studies discussions to cover globally recognized standards, best practices and tools that successful project managers use.

The class will meet two hours per week. Some of the topics we will cover are:

  • Project processes and methodology
  • Managing and balancing the "triple constraint"
  • What are the most painful pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • What is your personal project management style and its weak points
  • How to build a high performing team
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Risk and quality management

This course satisfies the Management requirement for the MIMS degree.

Note: This course is currently offered as Information 290MA.

Section: 2
W 2-4 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Jodie Mathies

This class provides students — scientists and non-scientists alike — with a solid understanding of the issues, strategies, and technologies of the biotech industry. The core of the course is an in-depth analysis of the strategies that companies use to compete in the biotech and healthcare industries. We will understand how companies derive winning (or otherwise) business strategies across the value chain of the pharmaceutical, agbio and healthcare industries. In specialized modules we will examine intellectual property protection issues of the biotech industry, including the challenges of commercializing academically-derived IP. We'll also look at the rising influence of the bioinformatics, genomics and proteomics companies. The final module will examine ethical issues facing the industry, such as organ and tissue farming, genetic screening and biowarfare. An early module on basic biotech science will help the non-scientists in the class to appreciate technical issues. By the end of the class, students should be able to understand and intelligently critique the business and marketing strategies of companies participating in the biotech revolution.

Section: 7
Th 4-6 | C135 Cheit
Instructor(s): Todd Morrill, Wendy Adams

Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Discussion section will be held Thursday 5-6 pm in room 107 South Hall.

What role can information and communications technologies play in transforming lives in developing economies? Some view ICT as a new tool for poverty alleviation while others see technology draining resources from more pressing social needs. Nevertheless a proliferation of initiatives from governments, non-profit and multilateral agencies, and corporations seek to develop and apply technology to meet the challenges facing poor economies. The course positions these efforts in the context of development theory and surveys both the strategies and methods of assessing contemporary projects that develop new technologies such as wireless communications or low-cost computing or applying ICT to areas such as healthcare, e-government, microfinance, and literacy.

The class will provide a conceptual framework as well as analytical tools for engineers developing technology for use in underserved regions, social scientists studying the impacts of these projects, and business students assessing the sustainability of development-oriented technology enterprises.

Section: 16
Th 3:30-5:30 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): AnnaLee Saxenian

This is a new course, not only within Haas and the MOT Program, but within academic campuses around the world. This course is an experiment to address a burning issue in business today: most of the economic activity in developed economies is services-based. Yet most of our knowledge about innovation is based upon products, not services. A recent survey by the National Academies of Engineering found that “the academic research enterprise has not focused on or been organized to meet the needs of service businesses”.

This is not an abstract concern for Berkeley students. More than 70% of the graduating 2004 class from Haas took jobs in knowledge-intensive, service businesses. Looking further on in one’s career, more than 63% of the INC. 500 companies in are services companies. Service businesses represent the future for the vast majority of Haas and MOT students. The course should be risky (it’s brand new), exciting, and useful.

Our course will examine services innovation, and focus upon the business model in creating and managing innovation in services businesses. We will also consider how product-based businesses can — or cannot — transition to service-based businesses. During the course, we will have outside visitors from companies like IBM and SAP, and Berkeley faculty from I-Scool and Economics.

Biographical Information: Henry Chesbrough is Executive Director of the Center for Open Innovation at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. I teach in the MOT Program at Haas, which is joint with Engineering. Previously, I was an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. I hold a Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley, an MBA from Stanford University, and a BA from Yale University, summa cum laude. Yes, I am over-educated.


However, I am also experienced. Prior to embarking on an academic career, I spent ten years in various product planning and strategic marketing positions in Silicon Valley companies. I worked for seven of those years at Quantum Corporation, a leading hard disk drive manufacturer and a Fortune 500 company. Previously, I worked at Bain and Company.

My research focuses on managing technology and innovation. My new book, Open Innovation (Harvard Business School Press, 2003), articulates a new paradigm for organizing and managing R&D. This book was named a “Best Business Book of 2003” by Strategy & Business magazine, and the best book on innovation in 2003 on NPR’s All Things Considered. Scientific American magazine named me one of the top 50 technology and business leaders for 2003 in recognition of my research on industrial innovation.

See the MOT site for details. 

Section: 13
M 4-6 | C330 Cheit
Instructor(s): Henry Chesbrough

The rise and fall of the high-technology industries of the 1990s reflect broader changes in markets, production organization, and business models, as well as the operation of government policies. These broader changes, which include but go well beyond the Internet revolution itself, suggest that the industrial economy is being fundamentally transformed by the diffusion of innovations in technology and business models across the industrial and industrializing economies. At the same time, these changes cannot be understood without a deeper examination of the factors that created competitive advantage at the national level in many of these industries during the previous three decades. This course explores the broad changes in “who is winning, who is losing, and why” in global markets for high-technology goods ranging from semiconductors to commercial aircraft.

This course seeks to make sense of, inter alia, the decline and prospective recovery of U.S. high-technology industries, the evolution of innovation and technology strategies and policies in Western Europe and Asia, the historic and current roles of governments in shaping markets for high-technology goods, and the impact on business strategies of recent developments in early-stage capital markets. Our general approach views technological innovation and competition as dynamic processes that reflect previous choices made by firms and governments. Modern technologies develop in markets that are international in scope, often imperfectly competitive, and subject to influence by a variety of economic and political stakeholders. We will use an eclectic mix of theoretical, historical, and practical perspectives throughout the course in examining these issues, although no special familiarity with any of these is assumed. From time to time, we will be joined by venture capitalists, corporate executives, and technologists engaged in global high-technology markets for discussion of these issues.

CLASS FORMAT: Seminar with cases, discussions, lectures and guest speakers.

REQUIRED READINGS: All students should purchase the Class Reader which will include the required HBS case studies and other articles.

BASIS FOR FINAL GRADE: Students will be expected to undertake one substantial research project, in cross-disciplinary teams, requiring both traditional and on-line research skills. Each team will present briefly to the class as a whole. The grade will be based on the general in-class participation and the final research report.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Charles C. Wu is currently a Lecturer in the Management of Technology Program with over 20 years of pragmatic experience in High Technology and 14 years representing foreign organizations. He is currently Managing Director and Founder of the Panasonic Digital Concepts Center, Matsushita's Technology Alliances, Venture Capital and Incubator Organization. Prior to Panasonic, Charles was the first US professional at Vertex Venture Holdings, the Venture Capital arm of Singapore Technologies. Charles has served on boards of 11 public and private companies assisting them with their international business relationships and strategy. Charles has a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an BS in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

See the MOT site for details. 

Section: 10
Th 2-4 | C330 Cheit
Instructor(s): Charles Wu

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: 11
MW 8-9:30 | F320 Haas
Instructor(s): Henry Chesbrough

This course focuses on employing XML and web services to reuse or "remix" digital content and services. Students will learn practical tools and techniques to recombine personal information through hands-on explorations and projects.

Topics include:

  • weblogs, wikis, and their underlying technologies
  • content syndication via RSS
  • building applications on top of Flickr, the image sharing site, and delicious, and other social bookmarking sites
  • incorporating content from libraries via new digital library technologies
  • sending content to the campus' new learning management system, bSpace
  • exploiting the XML of and Microsoft Office to create and manipulate "smart documents"
  • incorporating geospatial services into the mix of services


Students are expected to have some basic knowledge of XML. No experience with web services is expected.

Section: 4
MW 9-10:30 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Raymond Yee

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
MW 4-5:30 | C210 Cheit
Instructor(s): Andrew Isaacs

An introduction to services science - a new, interdisciplinary field that combines social science, business, and engineering knowledge needed for organizations (private, public, or nonprofit) to succeed in the shift to the service and information-based economy.

Section: 3
Tu 5-7 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Larry Downes, Robert Glushko

This is a Related Course of the MOT program, usually taught in Spring.

Sustainable Design, Manufacturing and Management as exercised by the enterprise is a poorly understood idea and one that is not intuitively connected to business value or engineering practice.

This course will provide the basis for understanding (1) what comprises sustainable practices in for-profit enterprises, (2) how to practice and measure continuous improvement using sustainability thinking, techniques and tools for product and manufacturing process design, and (3) the techniques for and value of effective communication of sustainability performance to internal and external audiences.

Material in the course will be supplemented by speakers with diverse backgrounds in corporate sustainability, environmental consulting, and academia.

Discussions of papers in the reader including case studies will be used to illustrate topics. A final class project will be required (for those registered for 3 units), with students working individually or in small groups. Cross functional groups including both engineering and MBA students are encouraged. Class projects will apply the analysis techniques covered in this course to design and develop environmentally mindful products or processes or analyze policies that lead to environmental improvements. Interaction with industry and collection of real-world data will be encouraged.

David Dornfeld received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976 in the area of Production Engineering. He joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley in the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1977 and is presently Professor of Manufacturing Engineering. Since July 1, 1999 he holds the Will C. Hall Family Chair in Engineering. He is presently Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Engineering.In 1982 and 1992 he was Directeur de Recherche Associe, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Paris, Paris and Invited Professor, Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Arts et Metiers- ENSAM, Paris, respectively.

Dr. Dornfeld's research activities are in several fields of manufacturing engineering and flexible automation: acoustic emission monitoring and analysis of manufacturing processes; burr formation and edge finishing (leads an industry consortium supporting work in this area); precision manufacturing with specialization on chemical mechanical planarization for semiconductor manufacturing; green manufacturing; and intelligent sensors and signal processing for process monitoring and optimization. He has published over 270 papers in these fields, contributed chapters to several books and has four patents based on his research work. He is a consultant on sensors, manufacturing productivity and automation and process modeling and the associated intellectual property issues.

Professor Dornfeld is a Fellow and an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), He was the recipient of the ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award in 1986. He is a Fellow and past-Director of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and a recipient of the 2004 SME Fredrick W. Taylor Research Medal, member of Japan Society of Precision Engineering (JSPE), American Society of Precision Engineering (ASPE), and Materials Research Society (MRS) . He is past-President of the Board of Directors , North American Manufacturing Research Institute (NAMRI/SME). He is an Active Member of the CIRP (International Institution for Production Engineering Research) where he serves as member of the governing Council and is past-Chair of the Scientific Technical Committee on Cutting.

Section: 15
W 2-4 | C330 Cheit
Instructor(s): David Dornfeld, Nikhil Krishnan, Edward Quevedo

This is a Related Course of the MOT program.

No other technology in the history of this planet has proliferated as quickly to as many people as the mobile phone.  Within only two decades of commercial deployment, worldwide mobile phone subscriber population (over 2.5 billion) and annual unit shipments (approaching one billion) have surpassed those of fixed-line phones, television sets, personal computers, and fixed-line internet connections.  Yet, despite this explosive growth, few segments within the information technology industry have proven as challenging as wireless for new entrants (whether startups or industry giants such as Intel and Microsoft).    In this course, students will analyze the role of regulatory, technological, economic, and market forces in shaping wireless industry structure, value chain, business and operating models, competitive dynamics, and barriers to entry.  Special emphasis is placed on identifying new opportunities and understanding the challenges for startups and other new entrants.  In the context of this course, wireless communications encompasses voice, data, and video services (including broadcasting) offered over terrestrial and satellite networks.  Given its size and relative impact, well over half of the course will be devoted to cellular markets and technologies.  There are no prerequisites beyond graduate student standing but material is drawn from a variety of disciplines including public policy, law, economics, finance, marketing, engineering, and physics.

The topics covered include:

  • Spectrum policy and regulation
  • Technology standards and infrastructure
  • Mobile handsets
  • Business and operating models for wireless network operators
  • Marketing and pricing of wireless services
  • Devices and applications
  • Cellular markets and competitive strategy
  • Cellular markets in developing countries
  • Broadcasting and content delivery
  • Broadband wireless access
  • Emerging applications and business models for wireless services

    BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:  Dr. Reza Moazzami has over fifteen years of experience as an engineer, entrepreneur, and investor in the communications industry. Dr. Moazzami received B.S. with highest honors, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley, and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds eleven patents and has been a speaker at numerous technology industry conferences and leading universities.

    Course Syllabus (pdf)

Section: 9
Tu 6-9 | C135 Cheit
Instructor(s): Reza Moazzami

Two hours of lecture per week for first eight weeks of the semester.

XML has entered the database world both as a format for exchanging data between existing databases and as a new, semi-structured data model. The former, in which existing databases are "XML-enabled," has dominated the use of XML in the marketplace. The latter has introduced native XML databases, which are bringing database functionality to human-readable documentation and semi-structured data, as well as providing new tools for integrating data from heterogenous sources.

This is a survey course that will discuss how XML and databases are used together. It will cover the following topics:

  • A brief review of XML
  • The difference between XML-enabled and native XML databases
  • How to map relational schemas to XML schemas and vice versa
  • Basic SQL/XML and XQuery
  • What native XML databases are and when to use them
  • How modern relational databases combine relational and XML data


Ronald Bourret is a freelance programmer, journalist, and researcher. His work includes XML-DBMS, a set of Java packages for transferring data between XML documents and relational databases, an XML schema language (DDML), several widely read papers on XML and databases, and the XML Namespaces FAQ. He has lectured widely on XML and databases in commercial and academic settings.

Section: 2
Tu 7-9 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ronald Bourret

Seminars & Colloquia

The course will be an introduction to document theory, attempting to bridge social, cognitive and technical perspectives of human interaction and offering a conceptual framework for analysis of the ways media are being used when we interact with each other. If you consider documentation as one dimension of human interaction complementary to communication and information, you may argue that we are documenting all the time, when we interact with our environment making documents like emails, letters, reports, photos, video, homepages, speeches, using different media in different ways, etc.

The course will be organized partly as a comparative discussion of my document theory in relation to other general theories like communication and information models (Shannon & Weaver, McLuhan, Innis, Peirce etc.), and partly as a demonstration of possible applications in the fields of arts, sciences, health care and subcultures.

It will be possible to get either 2 or 3 units for this course. To get 2 units, students should present a small paper on one of the theoretical aspects or one of the empirical cases. In the 3 units case, students are invited to explore the relevance and possible problems of applying the theory in fields and cases of their own choice.

Section: 3
Th 9-11 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Niels Windfeld Lund

Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Discussion section will be held Tuesday 5-6 pm in room 107 South Hall.

What role can information and communications technologies play in transforming lives in developing economies? Some view ICT as a new tool for poverty alleviation while others see technology draining resources from more pressing social needs. Nevertheless a proliferation of initiatives from governments, non-profit and multilateral agencies, and corporations seek to develop and apply technology to meet the challenges facing poor economies. The course positions these efforts in the context of development theory and surveys both the strategies and methods of assessing contemporary projects that develop new technologies such as wireless communications or low-cost computing or applying ICT to areas such as healthcare, e-government, microfinance, and literacy.

The class will provide a conceptual framework as well as analytical tools for engineers developing technology for use in underserved regions, social scientists studying the impacts of these projects, and business students assessing the sustainability of development-oriented technology enterprises.

Section: 5
Tu 2-5 | 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Jean Lave

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

The goal of this seminar is to provide students with an introduction to many different types of quantitative research methods. We begin with a focus on defining research problems, theory testing, causal inference, and basic statistics. Then, we will explore a range of research designs and methodological techniques that are available for empirical research. Topics in research methods include: Primary and Secondary Data Analysis, Sampling, Survey Design, and Experimental Designs. Topics in quantitative techniques include: Descriptive and Inferential statistics, General Linear Models, and Non-Linear Models. The course will conclude with an introduction to special topics in quantitative research methods, including Factor Analysis, Structural Equation Models, and Social Network Analysis. This course is intended as an introduction to many quantitative methods and research techniques, and not as a replacement for focused statistics courses.

Section: 4
M 3:30-5:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Coye Cheshire