Info 290

Special Topics in Information

1-4 units

Course Description

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

Prerequisites

None

Courses Offered

In this class students will continue research projects from INFO 217A. HCI research. The class includes weekly one-on-one meetings with each project team. Students will read literature related to their project assigned by the instructor and continue their projects. The final deliverable for the class will be a full conference or journal paper.

Biosensory computing is the multidisciplinary study and development of systems and practices that sense, represent, communicate, and interpret biological signals from the body.

Biosignals are expansive in scope, and can enable a diverse range of biosensory computing applications. They can include physiological (e.g., ECG/PPG, EDA, EEG) and kinesthetic signals (e.g., accelerometry, eye gaze, facial expressions). Many inferences can be drawn about the person from these signals, including their activities, emotional and mental states, health, and even their identities, intentions, memories, and thoughts.

While generated by the person, biosensory data have important characteristics that distinguish them from other types of user-generated data. They are intimate yet leakable, precise yet ambiguous, familiar yet unverifiable, and have limited controllability. Therefore, responsible stewardship of biosensory data must be in place before the full potential of biosensory computing can be realized.

This multidisciplinary course will explore the intellectual foundations and research advances in biosensory computing. We will survey the range of biosensing modalities and technologies, study temporal and spectral data analysis and visualization techniques, interrogate the designs of novel biosensing applications, and tackle issues of user privacy and research ethics. Students signing up for the 3-unit option will continue in the second half of the semester with a student-led research project.

Peoples and communities around the world will be confronting the challenges of climate change, ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss for many decades to come. This course will explore the different ways in which the informatics and computing field can contribute to our individual and collective efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Through readings and discussions, students will critically engage with foundational and leading-edge perspectives on diverse topics such as systems thinking for sustainable computing, sustainability in/through design, collapse informatics, fighting climate misinformation and climate anxiety, as well as how knowledge and tools from the fields of machine learning, human-computer interaction, web3, IoT, and remote sensing are being applied to novel solutions in many different settings.

Student-led projects will research the information needs and information seeking behaviors of individuals and communities, both now and into the future, and design information tools and resources to support them in their efforts of climate mitigation, adaptation, advocacy, and education.

The Future of Cybersecurity Working Group (FCWG) assembles students, researchers, and faculty from across the campus with a shared interest in security. We read and discuss the current cybersecurity scholarship and workshop projects related to cybersecurity. Our goal is to support critical inquiry into security and explore how it relates to political science, law, economics, the military, and intelligence gathering. Students are required to participate in weekly sessions, present short papers on the readings, and write response pieces.

This course will explore what HCI knowledge and methods can bring to the study, design, and evaluation of AI systems with a particular emphasis on the human, social, and ethical impact of those systems. Students will read papers and engage in discussions around the three main components of a human-centered design process as it relates to an AI system:

  1. needs assessment,
  2. design and development, and
  3. evaluation.

Following these three main design phases, students will learn what needs assessment might look like for designing AI systems, how those systems might be prototyped, and what HCI methods for real-world evaluation can teach us about evaluating AI systems in their context of use. The course will also discuss challenges that are unique to AI systems, such as understanding and communicating technical capabilities and recognizing and recovering from errors.

Guest lectures will be given by experts in AI ethics (e.g., Timnit Gebru) and fairness, accountability, and transparency in AI systems (e.g., Motahhare Eslami).

For this course, we are going to tackle one of the world’s biggest challenges (voted on by the students). We will organize as an innovation lab tasked with developing new products and so as to better understand the principles, process, and outputs of interaction design. The goal will be to be able to apply the concepts and frameworks we cover in class to a real problem space.

Students will be responsible for developing a robust prototype over the final few weeks of the course. They will also write a reflection on the prototype development process, drawing on the theoretical concepts covered in the course. On the last day of class, students will present their work to a panel of industry experts for feedback.

Privacy counseling and compliance is a rapidly growing and increasingly important function, both within companies and throughout the legal profession. The task is becoming evermore complex as companies grapple with adherence to new legislation and regulation, as well as local and international standards and norms. This interdisciplinary course seeks to help prepare students for this changing ethical, legal, and regulatory landscape. The academic perspective will be grounded in a real world examination of compliance challenges which will be presented by leading privacy professionals including in-house legal and compliance experts.

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 seminar will discuss topics of current interest in the multi-disciplinary field of ubiquitous sensing. The format will include paper discussions, invited lectures from both within and outside the class, and short written assignments. Students will also be responsible for presenting during at least one class session, either on their own research and ideas or on a selected set of papers relevant to the course topic.

This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to explore the possibilities and limitations of ubiquitous sensing technologies for physiological and contextual data. We will survey the intellectual foundations and research advances in ubiquitous computing, biosensory computing, and affective computing, with applications ranging from brain-computer interfaces to health and wellness, social computing to cybersecurity. We will cover temporal and spectral analysis techniques for sensor data. We will examine data stewardship issues such as data ownership, privacy, and research ethics. Students signing up for the 3-unit option will continue in the second half of the semester with a student-led research project.

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.

Last updated:

February 15, 2019