Information Course Schedule fall 2019
This course provides an introduction to ethical and legal issues surrounding data and society, as well as hands-on experience with frameworks, processes, and tools for addressing them in practice. It blends social and historical perspectives on data with ethics, law, policy, and case examples — from Facebook’s “Emotional Contagion” experiment to controversies around search engine and social media algorithms, to self-driving cars — to help students develop a workable understanding of current ethical and legal issues in data science and machine learning. Legal, ethical, and policy-related concepts addressed include: research ethics; privacy and surveillance; bias and discrimination; and oversight and accountability. These issues will be addressed throughout the lifecycle of data — from collection to storage to analysis and application. The course emphasizes strategies, processes, and tools for attending to ethical and legal issues in data science work. Course assignments will emphasize researcher and practitioner reflexivity, allowing students to explore their own social and ethical commitments.
This course introduces students to data visualization: the use of the visual channel for gaining insight with data, exploring data, and as a way to communicate insights, observations, and results with other people.
The field of information visualization is flourishing today, with beautiful designs and applications ranging from journalism to marketing to data science. This course will introduce foundational principles and relevant perceptual properties to help students become discerning judges of data displayed visually. The course will also introduce key practical techniques and include extensive hands-on exercises to enable students to become skilled at telling stories with data using modern information visualization tools.
Students will be asked to complete assignments before class, work together in small groups in class, and provide peer assessments. Grades will be based on assignments, quizzes, in class participation, peer assessment quality, 2 midterms, and a final project. The assignments for the course will together work towards building a coherent visualization that tells a story and is visible on the web.
This course is designed for upper division undergraduates who have an interest in design and in data. It is intended to accommodate students who have only a limited programming background, as well as those who are skilled with programming. For this reason, the only prerequisite is CS/Stat/Info 8 or equivalent. This course assumes students already have familiarity with basic data analysis and manipulation, and basic statistics.
Students are encouraged but not required to have taken other courses from the introductory design sequence (one of DES INV 10- Discovering Design DES INV 15- Design Methodology, DES INV 21- Visual Communications & Sketching, CS 160 User Interface Design and Development), as well as other introductory data science and statistics courses.
Graduate students will be accommodated only as space permits.
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 course introduces the basics of computer programming that are essential for those interested in computer science, data science, and information management. Students will write their own interactive programs (in Python) to analyze data, process text, draw graphics, manipulate images, and simulate physical systems. Problem decomposition, program efficiency, and good programming style are emphasized throughout the course.
The ability to represent, manipulate, and analyze structured data sets is foundational to the modern practice of data science. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of data structures and data analysis (in Python). Best practices for writing code are emphasized throughout the course. This course forms the second half of a sequence that begins with INFO 206A. It may also be taken as a stand-alone course by any student that has sufficient Python experience.
"Behavioral Economics" is one important perspective on how information impacts human behavior. The goal of this class is to deploy a few 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. Truly 'smart systems' will have built into them precise, testable propositions about how human behavior can be modified by what the systems tell us and do for us. So let's design these experiments into our systems from the ground up! This class develops a theoretically informed, practical point of view on how to do that more effectively and with greater impact.
The introduction of technology increasingly delegates responsibility to technical actors, often reducing traditional forms of transparency and challenging traditional methods for accountability. This course explores the interaction between technical design and values including: privacy, accessibility, fairness, and freedom of expression. We will draw on literature from design, science and technology studies, computer science, law, and ethics, as well as primary sources in policy, standards and source code. We will investigate approaches to identifying the value implications of technical designs and use methods and tools for intentionally building in values at the outset.
This course introduces students to practical fundamentals of data mining and machine learning with just enough theory to aid intuition building. The course is project-oriented, with a project beginning in class every week and to be completed outside of class by the following week, or two weeks for longer assignments. The in-class portion of the project is meant to be collaborative, with the instructor working closely with groups to understand the learning objectives and help them work through any logistics that may be slowing them down. Weekly lectures introduce the concepts and algorithms which will be used in the upcoming project. Students leave the class with hands-on data mining and data engineering skills they can confidently apply.
Three hours of lecture per week. Introduction to many different types of quantitative research methods, with an emphasis on linking quantitative statistical techniques to real-world research methods. Introductory and intermediate topics include: defining research problems, theory testing, causal inference, probability and univariate statistics. Research design and methodology topics include: primary/secondary survey data analysis, experimental designs, and coding qualitative data for quantitative analysis. No prerequisites, though an introductory course in statistics is recommended.
This course provides students with real-world experience assisting politically vulnerable organizations and persons around the world to develop and implement sound cybersecurity practices. In the classroom, students study basic theories and practices of digital security, intricacies of protecting largely under-resourced organizations, and tools needed to manage risk in complex political, sociological, legal, and ethical contexts. In the clinic, students work in teams supervised by Clinic staff to provide direct cybersecurity assistance to civil society organizations. We emphasize pragmatic, workable solutions that take into account the unique needs of each partner organization.
This course surveys privacy mechanisms applicable to systems engineering, with a particular focus on the inference threat arising due to advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. We will briefly discuss the history of privacy and compare two major examples of general legal frameworks for privacy from the United States and the European Union. We then survey three design frameworks of privacy that may be used to guide the design of privacy-aware information systems. Finally, we survey threat-specific technical privacy frameworks and discuss their applicability in different settings, including statistical privacy with randomized responses, anonymization techniques, semantic privacy models, and technical privacy mechanisms.
How do you create a concise and compelling User Experience portfolio? Applying the principles of effective storytelling to make a complex project quickly comprehensible is key. Your portfolio case studies should articulate the initial problem, synopsize the design process, explain the key decisions that moved the project forward, and highlight why the solution was appropriate. This course will include talks by several UX hiring managers who will discuss what they look for in portfolios and common mistakes to avoid.
Students should come to the course with a completed project to use as the basis for their case study; they will finish with a completed case study and repeatable process. Although this class focuses on UX, students from related fields who are expected to share examples and outcomes of past projects during the interview process (data science, product management, etc.) are welcome to join.
This course gives participants hands-on software product design experience based on current industry practice. The course is project-based with an emphasis on iteration, practice, and critique from experienced industry designers. During the course, participants work iteratively on a series of design projects (both solo and in groups) through a full design process, including developing appropriate design deliverables and gathering feedback. We’ll also cover specific topics, including design and prototyping tools, working with and developing design systems, typical phases and deliverables of the design process, and designing in different contexts (e.g. startups vs. larger companies). There will also be guest lectures from industry experts.
This course introduces students to experimentation in the social sciences. This topic has increased considerably in importance since 1995, as researchers have learned to think creatively about how to generate data in more scientific ways, and developments in information technology have facilitated the development of better data gathering. Key to this area of inquiry is the insight that correlation does not necessarily imply causality. In this course, we learn how to use experiments to establish causal effects and how to be appropriately skeptical of findings from observational data.
This course will explore how legal, ethical, and economic frameworks enable and constrain security technologies and policies. As digital technologies penetrate deeply into almost every aspect of human experience, a broad range of social-political-economic-legal-ethical-military and other non-technical considerations have come to envelope the cybersecurity landscape. Though cybersecurity itself is a technical discipline, these non-technical considerations constrain it, enable it, and give it shape. We will explore the most important of these elements. The course will introduce some of the most important macro-elements (such as national security considerations and the interests of nation-states) and micro-elements (such as behavioral economic insights into how people understand and interact with security features). Specific topics include policymaking (on the national, international, and organizational level), business models, legal frameworks (including duties of security, privacy issues, law enforcement access issues, computer hacking, intellectual property, and economic/military/intellectual property espionage), standards making, and the roles of users, government, and industry.
Introduces the data sciences landscape, with a particular focus on learning data science techniques to uncover and answer the questions students will encounter in industry. Lectures, readings, discussions, and assignments will teach how to apply disciplined, creative methods to ask better questions, gather data, interpret results, and convey findings to various audiences. The emphasis throughout is on making practical contributions to real decisions that organizations will and should make.
This course is designed to give participants a practical overview of the modern lean/agile product management paradigm based on contemporary industry practice. We cover the complete lifecycle of product management, from discovering your customers and users through to sales, marketing and managing teams. We'll take an experimental approach throughout, showing how to minimize investment and output while maximizing the information we discover in order to support effective decision-making. During the course, we'll show how to apply the theory through hands-on collaborative problem-solving activities. There will also be guest lectures from industry experts.
In Fall 2015 & Fall 2016, this course was offered for 2 units.
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.
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.