The BS/IS includes seven required courses and a range of interdisciplinary electives for program customization.
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Undergraduate Courses (IS/INFO)
IS 100 Introduction to the iSchool
This course introduces students to the School of Information Sciences (iSchool). Students will explore career and professional development within information sciences, building their leadership and collaborative skills, and building a network within and beyond the iSchool. Through a human-centered design project focused on an information science problem, students will gain experience and a better understanding of the process to develop an innovative solution addressing a societal need. <<Course in development- Description may change>>
Offered: Beginning Fall 2020; Restricted to iSchool Undergraduates
IS 101 Introduction to Information Sciences
This course provides an introduction to the field of information sciences and the major. It offers both historical and contemporary context for understanding the role of information in society. Focus is placed upon critical analysis of information problems as well as understanding the creation, use, and distribution of information in business, policy, education, government, health, and other sectors. <<Course in development- Description may change>>
Offered: Starting Summer 2020 (online) possibly, & Fall 2020 for certain
IS/INFO 202 Social Aspects of Information Technology
Explores the way in which information technologies have and are transforming society and how these affect a range of social, political and economic issues from the individual to societal levels.
This course introduces students to the field of Social Informatics. Social Informatics analyzes the ways in which people interact with information technologies. This includes attention to a range of social, political and economic issues from the level of the individual to that of society. The class also explores connections between different social contexts and the creation and use of information technologies. Issues covered in this class include: perspectives on digital media use, surveillance and privacy, intellectual property and copyright law, the collection and use of “big data,” the social impact of algorithms, and work and information technologies. Throughout these topics, the class considers the range of experiences of different groups as well as the intersections of power and identity with information technologies. Students will use critical thinking skills to reflect on their own experiences.
IS 203 Analytical Foundations for Information Problems
A survey of mathematical topics for students in information sciences. Provides an introduction to sets, relations, graphs, grammars, probability, and propositional and predicate logic. These topics relate to applications in information modelling, representation and expression. <<Course in development- Description may change>>
IS 204 Research Design for Information Sciences
This course provides an introduction to different approaches to research in the information sciences, including social science methods, data and text mining, digital humanities, historical approaches, and others. Topics include methods for evaluating research, developing research questions, selecting research methods, conducting research ethically, and communicating findings clearly and effectively through words, graphics, and other visualizations. <<Course in development- Description may change>>
IS 205 Programming for Information Problems
Covers common data processing methods and computing concepts used in the information sciences. Evaluates strengths and weaknesses of the techniques in the context of our discipline. No prior programming background is assumed.
Substitutions: CS 101, 105, or 125
IS 206 Introduction to Database Concepts & Applications
The course provides students with both theoretical and practical training in good database design. By the end of the course students will be able to (a) create a conceptual data model using the enhanced entity-relationship diagrams, (b) create tables in a relational database and enforce appropriate attribute and referential integrity constraints, and (c) query multiple relational database tables using the structured query language (SQL). Other topics such as normalization, indexing, advanced sql statements and no-sql data structures will be covered as time permits. <<Course in development- Description may change>>
IS 308 (Offered Currently: IS 390) Race, Gender, and Information Technology (select one)
This course critically examines the ways in which information technologies are shaped by and help to shape race and gender and other social relations. It explores critical theories of society and applies these to case studies of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Particular attention will be given to globalization, privacy and surveillance, labor, digital enclosures, and the various benefits and burdens of the "information society." <<Course in development- Description may change>>
IS 309 (Offered Currently: IS 390) Computers and Culture (select one)
Explores cultural ideas about computers, including hopes and fears about the effects of computers on our lives. Will analyze images of computers in fiction and movies. The course will also examine hackers, online subcultures, and other computer-related subcultures, and the integration of computers into various cultural practices.
Upon completion of this course, students will understand the effects of computers on our collective and individual lives, be able to analyze how computers are depicted in popular culture, and describe various computer-related subcultures. Topics include: history and human culture; the history of computers and the global Internet; “new media” and meaning; digital technology and the culture of education; new media and storytelling; comics and narrative art in the digital age; intellectual property, creative expression, and the concept of the remix; copying, curation, and collection of new media art; generation demographics and information technology; hackers, hacker culture, and hacktivism; Internet regulation history and controversies; Wikileaks, journalism, and government secrecy; “cyberspace” and the cyberpunk subculture.
IS 310 Computing in the Humanities (select one)
Explores use and application of technology to scholarly activity in the humanities, including projects that put classic texts on the web or create multimedia application on humanities topics. <<Course in development- Description may change>>
IS 311 (Offered Currently: IS 390) Historical Foundations of the Information Society (select one)
Today's information society bespeaks a long history, exhibiting marked continuities with the past as well as some sharply defined new features. Yet the historical foundations of the information society remain poorly understood. This course develops such a framework, by examining emergent information institutions and practices from early modern Europe to the later 20th century. It examines the historical development of the information society through a number of important conceptual lenses, including: modernity and post-modernity; Fordist and post-Fordist capitalism; social class and information poverty; social and technological determinism; utopianism and dystopianism; and empire and globalization. <<Course in development- Description may change>>
IS/CS/STAT 107 Data Science Discovery
Data Science Discovery is the intersection of statistics, computation, and real-world relevance. As a project-driven course, students perform hands-on-analysis of real-world datasets to analyze and discover the impact of the data. Throughout each experience, students reflect on the social issues surrounding data analysis such as privacy and design. Past course content Course Website
IS 145 Mapping Inequalities
Grand Challenge Learning course in Inequality & Cultural Understanding. Immerses students in the history of Inequality in the United States through mapping the geographic, historical, and/or social movement of minority cultures using quantitative and social science methods. Topics vary by section, but each section emphasizes experiential learning through community-engaged scholarship, field-trips, or computer programming projects. No previous computer programming experience is required. More information
IS 199 Undergraduate Open Seminar
Undergraduate Open Seminar
IS/MACS 265 Innovation Illinois: From Accessible Design to Supercomputing Cultures
Innovation Illinois introduces the histories of UIUC interdisciplinary innovations that brought together students and researchers in engineering, humanities, sciences and the arts. We will explore how local histories of Illinois innovations help us understand today’s innovation trends and processes, from the growth of new design centers on university campuses to contemporary accessibility design, online education, and electronic music. As part of a final research project, students will be introduced to the basics of video editing and will team produce a short-form video using various primary sources.
IS 266 Community Innovation
How do communities contribute to transformative, world-changing innovations? Why is their participation indispensable for fostering change? And what makes change ultimately transformative across diverse spaces and time? Community Innovation explores how engagement with interdisciplinary communities and collaborations, as well as histories of globally-changing local innovations from the Illinois were critical to fostering and sustaining new social and technical practices across space and time.
IS 351 The Design of Usable Interfaces
Examines issues of Human Computer Interaction and the design of better computer interfaces.
This course will introduce you to many of the principles and practices behind user experience focused design, specifically interaction and interface design. When a person uses a web site, application, device or other multimedia or information resource they often have only the interface to tell them what the product or service has to offer and how they can make use of it. We're interested in examining the factors that determine usefulness, usability, and enjoyment during these experiences.
An incomplete list of take-homes from this class:
- Assemble ideas into proposals to bring to life with hardware and software prototyping tools
- Critique, test and report on real examples of interfaces
- Explore the principles and processes behind user interface design
- A first foray into graphic design and affordance-driven communication
- Practice multiple styles of publication for deliverables
- Learn about issues of interactive information systems from a cross-disciplinary perspective
- Grapple with some important political and ethical issues of design, including accessibility
- Gain familiarity with open source and proprietary software
IS 390 W1A Web Technologies & Techniques
This course provides an introduction to the technologies behind the Web. Topics covered include: hypertext, hypermedia, the history of the Web, the role of Web standards and their impact on the development of Web resources. The course introduces principles of Web design and usability. Students will gain an understanding how the Web works and how to design, construct, evaluate, and maintain Web-based materials.
IS 390 Special Topics
Directed and supervised investigation of selected topics in information studies that may include among others computers and culture; information policy; community information systems; production, retrieval and evaluation of scientific or social science knowledge; computer-mediated communication; and computer-supported cooperative work. May be repeated.
IS 400s Various Topics
Introduction to Network Information Systems
Database Design & Prototyping
Introduction to Data Science
INFO/CS 102 Little Bits to Big Ideas
Broad introduction to the nature, capabilities, and limitations of computing. Topics range from the way data is represented and stored, to the way today's computers work, to the general ideas of algorithms and computational efficiency, to the future of computing. Covers "Great Ideas" across various areas of the field, including, for example, cryptography and internet security, problem solving, modeling and simulation, and artificial intelligence.
In addition to class meetings, students must take a weekly 2-hour laboratory. The lab sessions will augment the weekly material with coordinated explorations, as well as focus on gaining practical skills such as building web-pages, use of multimedia, database design and query languages, and simple programming exercises in a high-level language. This course is not a programming course.
INFO/WRIT 303 Writing Across Media
The ability to communicate effectively in multiple types of media is a crucial part of literacy in our society. In this course, students will explore the intersections of various media: print, film, images, sound, etc. Students will consider the ways in which writing--as an object and as a practice--is shaped by multimodal interactions. Also integrates practical activities with broader theoretical issues in order to provide effective strategies for designing multimedia presentations, projects, and texts that integrate photography, video, and sound.
General Education: Advanced Composition
INFO 403 An Introduction to Top Down Video Game Design
The emphasis of this course is on developing an understanding of top down video game design using the various design methodologies and tools introduced in class. Students will form small groups (4-6) and work on their own design within a selected genre (to be determined at the beginning of the semester). Areas of focus include high level design vision, audience evaluation, User Interface and its impact on the design, iteration of a series of design documents (high, medium and low level) and the team dynamics of communication, critique and integration. The goal of the class is to have the small teams use the concepts and the tools taught in class to create a complete design document that will be cataloged for later use.
INFO 490 Special Topics
Makerspace: Game Studies
This course is a foray into game studies via makerspace production mediums. Students will study the role of play, tinkering and gaming in design, research and innovation and be challenged to learn a variety of makerspace production tools and techniques to create games. This course will include three major components (1) physical board game design, (2) introductory computer game design and (3) investigation into the narrative themes, artistic production, interaction mechanics and culture that make games engaging. During the course, students will prototype both playable board and video games, followed by iterating through to a final version of a game of their choice. Class will meet in the CU Community Fab Lab in Art Annex II. Students who have taken a different makerspace class before are encouraged to enroll.
Makerspace: Education & Community Orientation
This course is an exploration of the history, function, and meaning of community and education-oriented makerspaces. Students in this section will evaluate emergent makerspace curricula for learning in formal environments, like schools, as well as informal settings, like libraries. Their work will culminate in helping to plan and execute a makerspace activity workshop with our community partners. In order to prepare them to do this they will be familiarized with several methods of teaching and learning rapid prototyping and iterative design techniques. This will include emphasis on a variety of computer-driven tools and mediums, such as e-textiles, 3D scanning/printing, electronic cutting and small board electronics. Class will meet in the CU Community Fab Lab in Art Annex II. Students who have taken a different makerspace class before are encouraged to enroll.
The Video Game Development Process
The emphasis of this course is understanding the video game development process as seen in current Game Studios. The course will focus on key elements of the process including each phase of the development timeline, scheduling, prototyping, iteration, QA, game builds and player research. Students will form small teams (4-6 with the goal of using the concepts taught in class to create a video game from a catalog of pre-existing designs. Considering the limited time frame of the semester, the state of the final product is not as important as understanding the game develop cycle.
Global Informatics Seminar
Narrative AI, Propaganda & Election Interference In this humanities-informed social science course, we will explore the global interrelationships between information technologies and political, social and cultural processes. As we investigate the historical and sociocultural background of AI-driven election interference across national borders, we pay particular attention to the relationship between Russia (including the former Soviet Union) and the U.S. and EU nations. Topics to be addressed include Cold War era research into suggestibility, and psychological manipulation, the development of narrative Artificial Intelligence technologies, and the deployment of chatbots as the engine for propaganda campaigns, the targeted manipulation of social media, and election interference.
Introduction to Programming for Data Science
For students who want to learn about solving problems common in data sciences but have little or no programming experience. The class is asynchronous (students can access material on-line but within specified timeframes) and taught online. Data Science lies at the intersection of statistics and computer science and focuses on extracting information from data. This class will immerse students on topics of software construction, design, programming paradigms and the semantic and syntax of the Python language and then focus on some of the necessary workflows to move raw data into information. The class will explore common Python modules (libraries) used in data science, natural language processing, statistics, mathematics, data management (acquiring, cleaning, reshaping, organizing, persisting) and visualizations.
Courses in Development:
||Privacy and Technology
||Concepts of Machine Learning
||Programming for Information Problems II
||Ethics & Policy for Data Science
||Data Management , Curation & Reproducibility
||Information Systems Analysis
||IT Business Analysis
||Mathematical Foundations for Data Analytics
||Information Technology Services for Youth
||Introduction to Literacies for Youth
||Youth Community Engagement
||Introduction to User-Centered Design
||Concepts of Information Behavioral Theory
||Introduction to Data Storytelling
||Advanced Research Design
||Advanced User-Centered Design
||Legal Aspects of Information Systems