Information Course Schedule fall 2022
This class introduces key issues, concepts, and methodologies of information studies. Students consider questions such as: what does it mean to live in an information society? What are the human and social aspects of the design of technology? How do policy, law, and other social forces affect this? How can technology and data be designed for social good? Students will become familiar with the kinds of research and multidisciplinary methods used in information studies. Students leave the course with tools to understand the politics, economics, and culture of information systems; a nuanced understanding of contemporary case studies involving technological systems in society; and a solid foundation for further study in information science.
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.
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.
15 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.
This course introduces students to experimentation in data science. Particular attention is paid to the formation of causal questions, and the design and analysis of experiments to provide answers to these questions. 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 has facilitated the development of better data gathering.
This course will cover the principles and practices of managing data at scale, with a focus on use cases in data analysis and machine learning. We will cover the entire life cycle of data management and science, ranging from data preparation to exploration, visualization and analysis, to machine learning and collaboration, with a focus on ensuring reliable, scalable operationalization.
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.
New Venture Discovery introduces students to the process of launching an information-intensive venture — a social enterprise, business startup, or venture inside an established organization. It is motivated by the recognition that new enterprises fail more often from lack of customers than flaws in technology or product development. The course takes an iterative, design-oriented, and feedback-driven approach to the search process: identifying a problem or need to address, developing a prototype, discovering customers, refining the concept, testing and validating demand, and developing a sustainable business model.
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 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 explores current debates about government regulation of online businesses. We start by examining the unintended consequences of digital advertising models that support many large online companies. We then review debates over antitrust, mis- and dis-information, privacy, content controls (e.g. pornography), and section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The primary focus of the class is on US policy, but we will examine the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the most significant data protection legislation to date. We also look briefly at the way that these issues are being addressed elsewhere in the world and discuss the challenge of national regulation of global businesses.
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.