Information Course Schedule spring 2010


Surveying history through the lens of information and information through the lens of history, this course looks across time to consider what might distinguish ours as “the information age” and what that description implies about the role of “information technology” across time. We will select moments in societies’ development of information production, circulation, consumption, and storage from the earliest writing and numbering systems to the world of Social Media. In every instance, we’ll be concerned with what and when, but also with how and why. Throughout we will keep returning to questions about how information-technological developments affect society and vice versa?

TuTh 9:30-11 — 88 Dwinelle
Instructor(s): Geoffrey Nunberg, Paul Duguid

Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: Introductory programming experience.  This course looks at the quickly developing landscape of mobile applications. It focuses on Web-based mobile applications, and thus covers issues of Web service design (RESTful service design), mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, Symbian/S60, WebOS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry OS, BREW, JavaME/JavaFX, Flash Light), and the specific constraints and requirements of user interface design for limited devices. The course combines a conceptual overview, design issues, and practical development issues.

MWF 1-2 — 130 Wheeler
Instructor(s): Erik Wilde

Three hours of lecture per week. This course will encourage students to think broadly about the interplay between technological systems, social processes, economic activities, and political contingencies in efforts to alleviate poverty. Students will come to understand poverty not only in terms of high-level indicators, but from a ground-level perspective as 'the poor' experience and describe it for themselves. The role played by individuals and societies of the developing world as active agents in processes of technology adoption and use will be a central theme.

TuTh 11-12:30 — 202 South Hall

Specific topics, hours and credit may vary from section to section, year to year. May be repeated for credit with change in content.

Section 2
MW 3-4 (Lab 1: F 11-12, 110 South Hall or Lab 2: F 2-3, 202 South Hall — 160 Dwinelle
Instructor(s): Erik Wilde

How can we critically think about emergent phenomena of the Internet? Is the Internet a democratic medium for political action (a "networked public sphere") or a surveillance apparatus of centralized control? Who has access to digital information and what techniques are used to make information artificially scarce? How do trade group lawsuits against digital "piracy" affect a generation's perception of the law? Should we look at the growing sphere of copyright as a public interest problem, or celebrate the expansion of creators' rights? Can free software thrive independently from ideological backing? Why are peer production communities like Wikipedia and Linux affected by extreme gender disparity?

In this course, we will examine the societal implications of computer networks from critical and technical perspectives. We will collectively engage with issues of intellectual property, access to information, privacy, freedom of speech, representation, and peer production. We will be discussing provocative texts and media, doing hands-on exploration of emerging technologies, and practicing ethnographic fieldwork in online communities. We will also offer opportunities for field trips and guest speakers to provide us with different perspectives. Additionally, students will engage in a semester-long collaborative project in a flexible format.

This is a student-initiated group study course (DE-Cal). Please contact the student coordinator(s) for specific questions.

Must be taken on a passed/not passed basis.

Section 1
M 5-6:30 — 156 Dwinelle
Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Matt Senate


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.

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.

M 2-4 — 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Deirdre Mulligan

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 to both start-up and Fortune 500 enterprises. Subjects include: communication and presentation skills, software and product development methodologies, negotiation skills, employee engagement, organizational structures and career paths, successful interviewing, and CV preparation.

F 10-12 — 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Michael Schaffer

This course will provide an introduction to the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). Students will learn to apply design thinking to user experience (UX) design, prototyping, & evaluation. The course will also cover special topic areas within HCI.

TuTh 3:30-5 — 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Jeffrey Nichols

This course addresses concepts and methods of user experience research, from understanding and identifying needs, to evaluating concepts and designs, to assessing the usability of products and solutions. We emphasize methods of collecting and interpreting qualitative data about user activities, working both individually and in teams, and translating them into design decisions. Students gain hands-on practice with observation, interview, survey, focus groups, and expert review. Team activities and group work are required during class and for most assignments. Additional topics include research in enterprise, consulting, and startup organizations, lean/agile techniques, mobile research approaches, and strategies for communicating findings.

TuTh 2-3:30 — 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Nancy Van House

Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: Graduate standing. As it's generally used, "information" is a collection of notions, rather than a single coherent concept. In this course, we'll examine conceptions of information based in information theory, philosophy, social science, economics, and history. Issues include: How compatible are these conceptions; can we talk about "information" in the abstract? What work do these various notions play in discussions of literacy, intellectual property, advertising, and the political process? And where does this leave "information studies" and "the information society"?

TuTh 12:30-2 — 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Paul Duguid, Geoffrey Nunberg

Three hours of lecture per week. An examination of the nature of corporate, non-profit, and governmental information policy. The appropriate role of the government in production and dissemination of information, the tension between privacy and freedom of access to information. Issues of potential conflicts in values and priorities in information policy.

TuTh 11-12:30 — 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Yale Braunstein
Info 235. Cyberlaw (3 units)

Three hours of lecture per week. Introduction to legal issues in information management, antitrust, contract management, international law including intellectual property, trans-border data flow, privacy, libel, and constitutional rights.

MW 11-12:30 — 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Brian Carver

Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: 202 or consent of instructor. Theories and methods for searching and retrieval of text and bibliographic information. Analysis of relevance, 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.

MW 11-12:30 — 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ray Larson

The design and presentation of digital information. Use of graphics, animation, sound, visualization software, and hypermedia in presenting information to the user. Methods of presenting complex information to enhance comprehension and analysis. Incorporation of visualization techniques into human-computer interfaces. Three hours of lecture and one hour of laboratory per week.

MW 12:30-2 — 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Cecilia Aragon

Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: 206 or equivalent. Communications concepts, network architectures, data communication software and hardware, networks (e.g. LAN, wide), network protocols (e.g. TCP/IP), network management, distributed information systems. Policy and management implications of the technology.

TuTh 2-3:30 — 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): John Chuang

Three hours of seminar per week.  This seminar reviews current literature and debates regarding Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD). This is an interdisciplinary and practice-oriented field that draws on insights from economics, sociology, engineering, computer science, management, public health, etc.

Th 2-5 — 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): AnnaLee Saxenian

Specific topics, hours and credit may vary from section to section, year to year. May be repeated for credit with change in content.

Section 4
W 2-4 (Lab: F 2-3 Room 110 South Hall) — 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Brian Carver

Specific topics, hours and credit may vary from section to section, year to year. May be repeated for credit with change in content.

Section 5
MW 12:30-2 — 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Raymond Yee

One hour colloquium per week. Must be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisites: Ph.D. standing in the School of Information. Colloquia, discussion, and readings designed to introduce students to the range of interests of the school.

M 12-1:30 — 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Paul Duguid

Topics in information management and systems and related fields. Specific topics vary from year to year. May be repeated for credit, with change of content. May be offered as a two semester sequence.

Section 3
Th 3:30-5:30 — 110 South Hall
Instructor(s): Deirdre Mulligan Chris Hoofnagle

Topics in information management and systems and related fields. Specific topics vary from year to year. May be repeated for credit, with change of content. May be offered as a two semester sequence.

Section 2
Tu 3-5 — 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Steven Weber

Topics in information management and systems and related fields. Specific topics vary from year to year. May be repeated for credit, with change of content. May be offered as a two semester sequence.

Section 1
F 3-5 — 107 South Hall