Information Course Schedule fall 2013

Lower Division Courses

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.

W 5-6:30 | 54 Barrows
Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Angelica Tavella , Rodrigo Ochigame
CCN:
41520

Upper Division Courses

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.

W 5-6:30 | 54 Barrows
Instructor(s): Paul Duguid Angelica Tavella, Rodrigo Ochigame
CCN:
41800

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.

TuTh 9-10:30 | 202 and 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): Robert Glushko
CCN:
41578

7 weeks - 4 hours of laboratory per week. This course introduces software skills used in building prototype scripts for applications in data science and information management. The course gives an overview of procedural programming, object-oriented programming, and functional programming techniques in the Python scripting language, together with an overview of fundamental data structures, associated algorithms, and asymptotic performance analysis. Students will watch a set of instructional videos covering material and will have four hours of laboratory-style course contact each week.

NOTE: Before Fall 2017, Info 206 was titled “Distributed Computing Applications and Infrastructure” and was offered as a full-semester course for 4 units.

MW 10:30-12 | 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): John Chuang
CCN:
41599

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 11-12:30 | 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): Tapan Parikh
CCN:
41605

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.

TuTh 2-3:30 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Doug Tygar
CCN:
41608

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.

MW 10:30-12 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Brian Carver
CCN:
41611

Three hours of lecture. The Extensible Markup Language (XML), with its ability to define formal structural and semantic definitions for metadata and information 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, transformations, schema languages, and the querying of XML databases. It balances conceptual topics with practical skills for designing, implementing, and handling conceptual models as XML schemas.

MW 2-3:30 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Erik Wilde
CCN:
41613

This course is a survey of Web technologies, ranging from the basic technologies underlying the Web (URI, HTTP, HTML) to more advanced technologies being  used in the the context of Web engineering, for example structured data  formats and Web programming frameworks. The goal of this course is to provide an  overview of the technical issues surrounding the Web today, and to provide a  solid and comprehensive perspective of the Web's constantly evolving landscape.

Students will receive no credit for 253 after taking 290. Web Architecture.

F 2-5 | 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): Jim Blomo
CCN:
41614

This course examines the state-of-the-art in applied Natural Language Processing (also known as content analysis and language engineering), with an emphasis on how well existing algorithms perform and how they can be used (or not) in applications. Topics include part-of-speech tagging, shallow parsing, text classification, information extraction, incorporation of lexicons and ontologies into text analysis, and question answering. Students will apply and extend existing software tools to text-processing problems.

Restrictions for non–I School students interested in taking Info 256.

MW 9:30-11 | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Marti Hearst
CCN:
41616

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.

TuTh 12:30-2 | 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): Ray Larson
CCN:
41617

This course will explore the theory and practice of Tangible User Interfaces, a new approach to HCI which focuses on the physical interaction with computational media. The topics covered in the course include:

  • Theoretical framework of Tangible User Interfaces
  • Design examples of Tangible User Interfaces
  • Enabling technologies for Tangible User Interfaces

Students will design and develop experimental Tangible User Interfaces, applications, underlying technologies, and theories using concept sketches, posters, physical mockups, working prototypes, and a final project report. The course will have 3 hours of lecture and 1 hour of laboratory per week.

Note:  Previously listed as Info 290: Theory and Practice of Tangible User Interfaces. Students who completed INFO 290 section 4 in Fall 2008 will receive no credit for Info 262.

This course is cross-listed as New Media C262.

MW 2-3:30 | 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): Kimiko Ryokai
CCN:
41620

The goal of this course is to provide students with an introduction to many different types of quantitative research methods and statistical techniques. This course will be divided into two sections: 1) methods for quantitative research and, 2) quantitative statistical techniques for analyzing data. We begin with a focus on defining research problems, theory testing, causal inference, and designing research instruments. Then, we will explore a range of statistical techniques and methods 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.

TuTh 3:30-5 | 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): Paul Laskowski
CCN:
41623

Special Topics Courses

What is commonly called "Behavioral Economics" is one — but only one — important perspective on how information impacts practical aspects of human behavior. There are others, ranging from simple game theory to social influence to incentives and reputation. The goal of this class will be to deploy a relatively few selected and important theories about the relationship between information and behavior, into practical settings — emphasizing the design of experiments that can now be incorporated into many 'applications' in day-to-day life. So called 'smart systems' are not being fully leveraged when we don't build into them testable propositions about how human behavior is and can be modified by what they tell us and do for us. So let's design these experiments into our systems from the ground up! The goal of this class is to develop a practical point of view on how to do that more effectively and with greater impact.

NOTE: In Fall 2011, this course was listed with the title “How Information Would, Should, and Could Change Human Behavior.”

Currently offered as Info 232. Applied Behavioral Economics.

Section: 6
TuTh 2-3:30 | 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): Steven Weber
CCN:
41638

The ICTD group seminar will discuss topics of current interest in the emerging multidisciplinary field of Information and Communications Technologies and Development, or ICTD. Each semester will be focused on a particular topic or set of topics, under the direction of appropriate faculty from the I School's ICTD group. The course content will consist of paper discussions, invited lectures from both within and outside the class and a some relatively short written assignments. Students will also be responsible for presenting during at least on class session, either on their own research, ideas or on a selected set of papers relevant to the semester's chosen topic.

Section: 10
W 11-12 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): San Ng, Tapan Parikh
CCN:
41641

Visual and multi-modal media are central to much of what we do in the I School and related disciplines. Data collection, reports, and presentations, face-to-face and distant, online and off, often rely heavily on visual and audio media. Because we are a media-literate society, with accessible hardware and software plus easy online distribution, it seems that everyone “knows" how to make and critique such media. However, our knowledge about how to effectively make, use, and present these media trails far behind our ability to create hours and gigabytes of content. Furthermore, it’s useful to consider how these resources are changing not just professional and research practice.

In this seminar, we will address both theoretical and practical issues of capturing and creating narratives with video, audio, and still images. We will draw on photojournalism, visual narrative, visual anthropology, visual studies, and related areas. We will get hands-on experience creating and editing our own media. This is not a technical course; nor is it a media production how-to. But you will get experience with media technologies while we reflect on them with the help of theoreticians and scholars in relevant areas.

This course is relevant to students in professional schools and to doctoral students interested in and qualitative research, including user experience research; technology designers who produce video scenarios and concept videos; and anyone concerned with collecting and presenting information via multiple media.

No prior experience is necessary, but students who are already grappling with visual (and audio) media will find this course especially useful. I School students are likely to find this course useful for the doing and presenting of final projects.

Section: 2
TuTh 11-12:30 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Nancy Van House
CCN:
41626

This is a hands on course that will address two major challenges associated with the current shift from text-based to e-books: making them more engaging and informative through use of the capabilities of the medium, and identifying and analyzing the issues surrounding the collaborative authoring and usage of e-books in an educational context.

Course may be repeated for credit, as new issues will be explored.

(In Fall 2012, this course was offered for 1 unit.)

Section: 5
Tu 3:30-5:30 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Robert Glushko, Scott Abel
CCN:
41635

Health and health care have profound impact on a society's well being and economic productivity. Health care reform and ongoing economic forces are placing unprecedented pressure on the health care system to provide consumers and payers with value. Patients, purchasers, regulators, and other key stakeholders are demanding that care be readily accessible, proactive, and focused on improving health while containing costs. The health care system, policy makers, and key stakeholders are responding by developing new care models that focus on patient and customer centricity, novel information practices, and the seamless integration of care.

Following a review of the current trends in health care, the course will explore the relationship between health care and the information economy. We will also delve into information strategies being utilized by health care providers, patients, payers, and other key stakeholders to improve care while controlling costs. Health care leaders from Kaiser Permanente will serve as guest lecturers, providing tangible perspective to our discussions.

Section: 2
F 1-3 (September 6 - October 25) | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Scott Young, Sean Hennessey
CCN:
41647

Mass communications technologies have been profound influencers of human identity, from the printing press and the rise of vernacular political cultures to television and the power of celebrity. While the Web is still a work in progress, salient characteristics such as the collapse of distance, the discovery of like-minded groups, and information delivered in short bursts are already affecting the way people see themselves and the way they consume information. Following an overview on the relationship of technology with identity and communications, the course will look at the uses of narrative in news, public relations, advertising, entertainment, and online gaming.

Section: 1
M 3:30-6:30 (September 9 - October 7) | 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): Quentin Hardy
CCN:
41644

Free communication has changed the world, including the expectations and work and play. The class begins with the two data revolutions--the first about passively collected clicks on the web, the second about actively contributed data, as platforms like Facebook empower individuals to contribute a variety of quantitative and qualitative data (transactions, social relations, attention gestures, intention, location, and more.) With active student participation, we explore the far-reaching implications of the consumer data revolution for individuals, communities, business, and society.

This course was previously offered for 1 unit; in Fall 2016, the course increased to 2 units.

Section: 3
Tu 3:30-6:30 (October 29 - November 26) | 202 South Hall
Instructor(s): Andreas Weigend
CCN:
41650

This short seminar will explore differences among theoretical perspectives by asking:

  • What does it mean to “have a theoretical perspective?”
  • How do you come to recognize different theoretical stances as you read and consider the work of others?
  • What are the implications of those differences for scholarly work and social engagement with the world?

One way to take up these questions is to look closely at how scholars/researchers approach the same problem from different perspectives. The course will take as a central text for this examination Understanding Practice: Perspectives on Activity and Context (Chaiklin and Lave, editors). All researchers in this collection of ethnographic studies address issues about learning, knowledge and social practice. The challenge for the seminar is to inquire into the theoretical stances that permeate these projects — similarly and differently. This will involve attempting to answer the seminar questions as we go along. Besides being more acute readers of academic work by the end of the seminar, students will have (we hope) a hands-on grasp of the craft of social theorizing, and an introduction to contrasting theories of learning, knowledge, context, and practice.

Section: 4
Tu 3:30-6 (October 29 - December 3) | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Jean Lave, Paul Duguid
CCN:
41653

This course is a hands-on exploration of the theory and practice of open online collaboration. Students will engage multi­disciplinary literature about collaboration while contributing to an existing open project (such as open source software, Wikipedia, or OpenStreetMap). Readings will explore business models for open source software organizations, incentives of cooperation and organization design for open source projects. Practical work will be organized around themes of project management infrastructure, community self-governance, and engineering education through open source participation. The goal of the class is to engage students in an existing open source community while developing functionality and expertise that can be part of masters final projects, faculty-­directed research, and beyond.

F 11 am - 1 pm | 210 South Hall
CCN:
41655

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.

This course satisfies the Management requirement for the MIMS degree.

Th 5:30-7:30 | 210 South Hall
Instructor(s): Anne Walker
CCN:
41656

Students will work on the full-stack web development process while applying concepts taught in INFO 202, “Information Organization and Retrieval,” which is a pre- or co-requisite for the course. Students will apply concepts and techniques for information architecture, resource description and transformation, categorization, and interaction design.  Individual and team assignments will enable students to develop skills in data modeling, API design, responsive front-end design, version control, and deployment using Python, XML, jQuery and other tools and frameworks.

This course satisfies the technology requirement for the MIMS degree.

MW 12:30-2 | 210 South Hall
CCN:
41659

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.

M 12:30-2 | 205 South Hall
Instructor(s): Paul Duguid
CCN:
41665

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
CCN:
41668

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has emerged as the primary regulator of online privacy. In a recent case, the FTC marked the end of contract law approaches to online privacy in favor of a more interventionalist approach. Years of protecting consumers against “harm” has evolved to an attempt to protect consumer “dignity” in online commerce.

This transition has profound implications for US online commerce. In grounding privacy rights in dignitary interests, the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors will become less clear. Those wishing to represent online businesses should have a strong understanding of this agency, its norms, and approaches to address clients’ business challenges. This seminar will explore the agency’s dominance in the law of online privacy and security, its policy approaches, and in particular, how it should address growing concern over online privacy.

Students will be required to prepare a significant policy document on the FTC that will be shared with the agency’s leadership. Additionally, students will author a shorter paper focusing upon some aspect of the FTC or its leadership. (We post these on wikipedia.org). 

Note: In Fall 2011, this course is cross-listed as Law 279.7 section 1.

In Spring 2010, this course was offered for 2 units and cross-listed with Law 276P.1.

Section: 3
M 2-5 | 107 South Hall
Instructor(s): Deirdre Mulligan
CCN:
41671