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. Restricted to Majors Only
IS 101 Introduction to Information Sciences
This course provides an introduction to the field of information science 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.
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.
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 modeling, representation and expression.
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.
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. Course will use the Python programming language.
Substitutions: CS 101, 105, or 125
IS 206 Introduction to Database Concepts & Applications
Introduction to database technology concepts and architecture. Explore data types and reading/writing database layout descriptions. Discussion of database ethics and privacy concerns. Comparison of different database systems a user might encounter including RDBMS, XML/RDF/JSON, NOSQL, and Graph database systems. Labs involving common database tools and exercises in SQL.
Prerequisite: IS 205, or CS 101, or CS 105, or CS 125, or ECE 120, or permission of instructor.
IS 308 Race, Gender, and Information Technology (select one)
In this course we will critically examine the ways in which information and communication technologies (ICTs) are shaped by – and help to shape – social relations of race and gender; and we will extend our review to other categories of identity and exclusion as well, such as age, ability, geography and ethnicity. We will also explore the various benefits and burdens of the information society and how these are socially distributed, and conduct case-studies of policies, practices, and programs designed to enhance opportunities and/or mitigate disadvantages through the creative or disruptive use of ICTs. 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.
Prerequisite: IS 202 Highly recommended. Sophomore standing.
IS 309 Computers and Culture (select one)
This course explores cultural ideas about computers, including hopes and fears about the effects of computers on our lives. We will analyze images of computers in fiction and movies. The course will also discuss hackers, online subcultures, and other computer-related subcultures, and the integration of computers into various cultural practices. The course will also explore the different uses of digital media.
Prerequisite: IS 202 Highly recommended.
IS/INFO 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.
IS 311 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.
Prerequisite: IS 202 Highly recommended.
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
Social Hist of Games & Gaming: A survey of the history of gaming from the ancient world through the twentieth century, and its impact on science, society, and culture. This course will count as GenEds for iSchool students (other students should confirm with their college): Humanities & the Arts: Historical Perspectives. Restricted to Information Sciences majors until noon 7/6/2021). For more information about this major, please visit: http://go.ischool.illinois.edu/BSIS. Questions may be sent to email@example.com
Intro to Command Line Tools: Prerequisite: IS205 or prior programming experience recommended but not required. This class will provide an overview of the history and commonly offered command line interfaces. Essential shell scripting tools, version control, and core unix commands will be covered. These approaches will be extended to cover common version control tools, including git and GitHub, their value, and how to organize computing projects within them.
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/SOC 324 Social Network Analysis
Introduces theories of social networks (how they form, and how they influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors), while also providing hands-on experience with some powerful tools and methods for analyzing networks on various scales, ranging from small groups, to communities, to populations. It will also explore the use of network analysis to reveal patterns in large-scale data from the humanities such as periods of literary narrative, or character development across vast narratives with multiple interweaving plot lines.
IS 334 Usable Privacy & Security
From passwords to email encryption to privacy settings on social media services, it is widely recognized that human factors, usability or user experience play a crucial role in effective privacy and security solutions. Designers of privacy and security solutions need to understand how people might use, interact or appropriate the mechanisms they develop. This course introduces various aspects of user experience (e.g., usability problems, user interface designs, conflicting needs) related to privacy and security systems. It is also designed to provide students with knowledge and opportunities to analyze and evaluate user experience of privacy and security systems. This course is suitable for students who are interested in privacy and security, or user experience, or both!
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.
IS 381 Introduction to Literacies for Youth
An overview of youth literacies covering: popular literacy myths, censorship, cognitive processes behind reading, visual and digital literacies, contemporary youth practices, government policies, and literacy education in schools. Course readings include fictional works and scholarship from the fields of education, library science, history, media studies, critical race studies, and literary and cultural studies. Students learn the history of marginalized youth in America in order to understand how literacies are defined, promoted, or stigmatized today.
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.
Consulting Info Professionals: This course is designed to provide practical and hands-on training by simulating consulting projects. Students will develop proficiencies in problem-solving, team management, storytelling, and professional communications. As they learn the theories and practices of consulting engagements, students will have opportunities to discover how their knowledge in information sciences can be applied to various types of consulting services. The transferrable skills acquired in this class are applicable to other workplace settings. Always Restricted to Information Sciences majors. At this time, we do not plan on lifting the restrictions on the course. For more information about this major, please visit: http://go.ischool.illinois.edu/BSIS. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
All in the Gutter: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Comics: This course is a critical, historical, scholarly exploration of US comics engagement with race, gender, and sexuality. Reading comics from a range of genres and formats from the past 150 years, we will consider 1) how comics have affirmed and challenged social and cultural norms, 2) changing visual, textual, authorial, and publishing conventions for comics engaging with race, gender, and sexuality, and 3) the ways visual culture problematizes the representation and circulation of complex identities. This course will count as GenEds for iSchool students (other students should confirm with their college): Humanities & the Arts and also Cultural Studies: U.S. Minority Cultures.Restricted to students in the Campus Honors Program. If seats remain the week before school, iSchool students may email email@example.com to inquire about availability (we will not review requests until this time).
Foundations of Community Engagement: Community engagement seeks to better engage with and for community to achieve long-term and sustainable outcomes, processes, relationships, or discourse, and may include collaborations with groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations. This introductory course will explore some of the different definitions, models, guiding principles, and core values. This course counts within the Information Sciences major as an advanced IS elective. For more information about this major, please visit: http://go.ischool.illinois.edu/BSIS. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
IS 401 Introduction to Network Information Systems
This course provides a deep hands-on sociotechnical dive into technology including electronics, software, and networks culminating in a holistic understanding of networked information systems. The course also explores the methodological landscape of networked information systems including theoretical assumptions, research methods, and research techniques. Throughout, students will be introduced to, and make active use of, skillsets, frameworks, and standards employed by a wide range of information professionals in selecting, co-designing, appropriating, and innovating-in-use networked information systems.
IS 403 Children's Materials
Evaluation, selection and use of books and other resources for children (ages 0-14) in public libraries and school media centers; explores standard selection criteria for print and nonprint materials in all formats and develops the ability to evaluate and promote materials according to their various uses (personal and curricular) and according to children's various needs (intellectual, emotional, social and physical).
IS 406 Cognition in the Wild
Designed as a foundation for students who are interested in learning how to design human-centered information technologies. Students will learn basic principles in human cognition and behavior, and how these principles influence how we interact with information technologies. The course will prepare students to translate theories in human cognition and behavior to analyze, evaluate and rethink everyday design examples.
IS 407 Introduction to Data Science
This course introduces students to data science approaches that have emerged from recent advances in programming and computing technology. They will learn to collect and use data from a variety of sources, including the web, in a modern statistical inference and visualization paradigm. The course will be based in the programming language R, but will also use HTML, regular expressions, basic unix tools, XML, and SQL. Supervised and unsupervised statistical learning techniques made possible by recent advances in computing power will also be covered.
IS 410 Storytelling
Fundamental principles of the art of storytelling including techniques of adaptation and presentation; content and sources of materials; methods of learning; practice in storytelling; planning the story hour for school and public libraries and other public information settings; and audio, video, and digital media.
IS 417 Data Science in the Humanities
Human culture provides an ideal testbed for students exploring data science, because the interpretive challenges that lurk beneath the surface in other domains become starkly visible here. For instance, cultural materials usually come to analysts as unstructured texts, images, or sound files, forcing explicit decisions about data modeling and feature extraction. Cultural questions also highlight the importance of interpreting statistical models in relation to a social context. Last but not least: songs, poems, and stories confront us with vivid problems that are inherently fun to explore. This course will start by reviewing descriptive and inferential statistics, and build up to applications of supervised and unsupervised machine learning. We will apply those methods to a range of cultural materials using them to model the pace of stylistic change in popular music, for instance, and the representation of gender in fiction.
IS 419 Entrepreneurial Information Technology Design
Introduces students to a range of rapid prototyping techniques and methods to analyze needs, opportunities and design spaces. Students will work in teams to develop ideas for novel computational devices or applications to meet identified needs. Covers the interlinked entrepreneurial skills of identifying an unmet need, exploiting technological opportunities, exploring a design space to refine an idea, and communicating a design vision through demonstrations with prototypes and proofs of concept. This enables developers to show how their envisaged working interactive technology will be used productively in a particular real-life context. Communicating the vision of computational devices is a challenge because dynamic use in context is hard for people other than the device's developers to imagine. The ability to produce convincing, clear, powerful demonstrations even at the early stages of a project is a highly valuable entrepreneurial skill, and also highly applicable within an organization. Directed and supervised investigation of selected topics in information studies that may include among others the social, political, and historical contexts of information creation and dissemination; computers and culture; information policy; community information systems; production, retrieval and evaluation of knowledge; computer-mediated communication.
IS 420 Community Informatics
Surveys an emerging field that studies how local, historical communities are using information and communications technologies. Key principles and hands-on experience equip students for contributing to the non-profit/public sector as people harness new technologies and media– be they individuals, students, families, community organizations, or other. Prepares future professionals and researchers to understand and master this environment, whatever their technology background. Especially useful for those interested in public or community libraries, youth services, social work, education, and anyone interested in working with or studying underserved communities.
IS 423 Early Literacy
Librarians fill a key role in the literacy development of young children with opportunities for interaction both in the library and through outreach programs. Key skills center on developing literacy-rich library environments, classroom instructional support, intentional embedding of essentials skills and practices within daily activities and lessons, resources about early literacy strategies to share with families and caregivers. Practitioners will understand the importance of integration of technology to meet the diverse developmental, cultural, social and linguistic needs of children to ensure they are able to create meaning from text.
IS 424 Social Computing
This interdisciplinary course introduces students to fundamental theories, methods, technologies and applications of social computing. Students learn about this emerging discipline from two perspectives: First, basic principles of collective information production and processing, and methods for studying these principles. Topics include prediction markets, games with a purpose, open source software development, social media, social networks, information visualization, and online games. Second, socio-technical aspects of the design and usage of respective technologies. This includes participation, privacy and security. Students learn how to solve problems in social computing in a systematic and rigorous fashion. At the end of the course, students will be able to design, manage and execute social computing projects for scholarly and commercial use, and to critically assess work in this area.
IS 429 Web Content Strategy and Management
Focuses on the basics of web site design, content development, constructing web pages with standard HTML and CSS. We will also cover usability and accessibility, content management system options, multi-media and interactivity in the context of standard HTML and CSS, procedures and policies for organizations, with a concentration on public, academic and special libraries. Students will investigate, design, and draft a representative site. Students may work with non-profit and library clients in constructing and redesigning their web sites or design and construct their own personal professional pages. In this course we will learn how to design and deploy flexible websites that serve dynamically changing content, focusing in particular on the needs of public-service organizations such as libraries, associations, and other not-for-profit entities.
IS 426 Museum Informatics
The course examines various ways that information technologies are and might be used in museums and other cultural heritage settings. Museum websites, visitor apps, interactive exhibits, and uses of digitized and federated collections are explored. Students gain an introduction to Design Thinking by working on a final project that involves the development of a novel computational resource. Students are encouraged to approach class topics from their individual backgrounds in the humanities, sciences, or social sciences.
IS 430 Foundations of Information Processing
Covers common data, document processing, and programming constructs and concepts. Focuses on problem solving and abstraction with a programming language. By the end of the course students will be able to design, develop and test a moderately complex computer program to manage full text, bibliographic records or multimedia. The course prepares students for working with applications in data analytics, data science, digital libraries, text mining and knowledge management. No prior programming background is assumed.
IS 436 Playful Design Methods
In this immersive and experiential course, students consider "playfulness" as a key aspect of design methodologies and practices. Looking closely at the philosophical, social, and relational dynamics of play, we will explore how playful approaches to design thinking, game design, and other gameful methodologies can encourage collaboration, engagement, and emergent, transformative solutions to a range of challenges that face us in our rapidly-changing, information-based culture. The course aims to build student competency in design methods through a sequence of game design experiences arising from a broad consideration of play.
IS 439 Web Development Using Application Framework
A course in the use and evaluation of Web application frameworks for system architects, designers, and developers. Experience in creating static Web sites using HTML and CSS. Prerequisite: Experience in Python programming (IS 430 or equivalent). Experience in creating static Web sites using HTML and CSS. Experience in creating dynamic Web sites using tools like PHP is helpful but not required. Experience in using relational databases is helpful but not required.
IS 440 Community Informatics Studio
Studio-based learning methods, which are common in art and architectural education, are used to help students address a real-world problem or 'case'. Working in teams and mentored by the instructor and experts, students will learn how to 'be a professional' in an environment in which process is as important as project. During the term, students will participate in a cyclical process of design creation, presentation and critique culminating in a final presentation during the final day(s) of class of the finished proposal/design of how to address the case. Assumes experience in community engagement within a social justice framework.
IS 445 Data Visualization
Data visualization is crucial to conveying information drawn from models, observations or investigations. This course will provide an overview of historical and modern techniques for visualizing data, drawing on quantitative, statistical, and network-focused datasets. Topics will include construction of communicative visualizations, the modern software ecosystem of visualization, and techniques for aggregation and interpretation of data through visualization. Particular attention will be paid to the Python ecosystem and multi-dimensional quantitative datasets.
IS 446 Systems Analysis and Design
Covers how to evaluate, select and manage information systems that will be used in the daily operation of libraries and information centers. Includes the systems used by technical staff and the information consumers. Course will focus on information as a product. Attention is given to the operation of an organization as a whole and the impact of change on the integration of resources, work flow and usability. Formal methods for modeling systems, and industry practice techniques of analysis are used to address these problems and opportunities.
IS 455 Database Design and Prototyping
The course provides students with both theoretical and practical training in good database design. By the end of the course students will create a conceptual data model using entity-relationship diagrams, understand the importance of referential integrity and how to enforce data integrity constraints when creating a database. Students will be proficient in writing basic queries in the structured query language (SQL) and have a general understanding of relational database theory including normalization.
IS 457 Data Storytelling
An introduction to understanding data as a source for storytelling and to telling stories based on data. This process will include understanding and analyzing data sets to find informative aspects, changes, or contrasts that will provide the basic information for developing stories. Course participants will learn storytelling concepts, narrative theories, and performance techniques and develop stories in a collaborative workshop style. Students will work with data visualization toolkits, which will involve variable levels of coding and skill. By using storytelling techniques with data, students can develop, and tell well-evidenced stories, organizations can make better data-driven decisions.
IS 464 Information Assurance
The course provides an introduction to the concepts, technologies, practices and challenges of Information Assurance. It takes a broad view of Information Security and Privacy and covers the essential principles for the protection of information systems; the relevant technologies; organizational concerns; policies, human aspects; legal approaches; criminology; and ethical issues. Students will gain an appreciation for the difficulty of designing, developing, deploying and maintaining information systems, services and software products that are secure and comply with expectations of security and privacy.
IS 467 Ethics and Policy for Data Science
The course will address common ethical challenges related to data including privacy, bias, and data access. These challenges will be explored through real-world cases of corporate settings, non-profits, governments, academic research, and healthcare. The course emphasizes the complexity of ethical decision-making and that trade-offs between priorities are often necessary. The course also considers how the burdens of addressing ethical concerns should be distributed among stakeholders. Students will be introduced to a range of relevant policy responses at the organizational, institutional, governmental,and supranational levels.
IS 477 Data Management, Curation & Reproductibiliy
This course addresses issues in Data Management, Curation & Reproducibility from a Data Science perspective. We discuss definitions of data science, and then introduce and use the Data Science Life Cycle as an intellectual foundation. Topics include Research Artifact Identification and Management, Metadata, Repositories, Economics of Artifact Preservation and Sustainability, and Data Management Plans. We use the case study to ground our discussions in both data sets and in specific data science research. This course requires a final project that applies course knowledge to a data science experiment and creates a data management plan for that experiment.
IS 490 Topics in Information Foundations
Professional Skills in Info Sciences: Always restricted to Information Sciences majors. In this course, students will learn about and develop professional skills in the information sciences, a broad and interdisciplinary field at the intersection of people, information, and technology. Students will engage in professional skill building for a broad range of employment in the information professions with a specific focus on internship and career readiness. For more information about this major, please visit: http://go.ischool.illinois.edu/BSIS. Questions may be sent to email@example.com
Social Media & Global Change: Undergraduate section. This course covers the impact of global and national computer networks on politics, culture, and social relations during a time of upheaval and revolutionary change. Topics may include the new social media, the politics and culture of the internet, hacktivism, cyber warfare, and mobile telephony and their role in the formation, dissemination, manipulation, and suppression of public opinion in Russia/Eurasia, the China/Pacific region, Central/South America, as well as Africa, Iran, and the Middle East. Restricted to Information Sciences major initially. INFO Minors may register starting by noon 7/6/2021. Restrictions lifted by noon 7/20/2021. For more information about this major, please visit: http://go.ischool.illinois.edu/BSIS. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
IS 496 Topics in Human-Centered Design & Systems
Design for Social Interactive Experience: From Facebook to TikTok, technology is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, technical solutions are designed to address real-world problems and to promote positive social change; on the other hand, technologies might have unwanted impacts on the society. This course covers theories, methods and state-of-the-art works in designing interactive technologies (e.g., conversational agents) for enhancing desirable social experiences. The course is taught with lecture, discussion, and *in-class studio participation (*when taught on-campus). Student will explore how to design conversational agents to mediate social interactions between different stakeholders (e.g., public service providers and community members) in a variety of contexts. The course prepares students to work as practitioners, academicians, or system designers in their future endeavors. Restricted to Information Sciences majors until one week before classes begin (by noon 8/16/2021). Graduate questions may be sent to email@example.com.
IS 497 Topics in Data Analytics & Data Science
Database Admin & Scaling: Requires Instructor approval, Email John Weible at firstname.lastname@example.org. Database Administration & Scaling for IS. Prerequisite: IS 455 - Database Design & Prototyping. Involves database administration (DBA) broadly relevant to computational information science work. Explores several types of scalable database engines, using popular NOSQL and SQL products. Develops practical skills for managing reliable DBMS for production systems or to create analytically-focused NOSQL derivatives. Small student teams will experiment and present findings to the class, with student-directed inquiry encouraged. Readings, discussions, and situational problems drawn from real scenarios will involve managerial, ethical, and other aspects of the human side of professional DBA work. Some intro to virtual machines and cloud systems administration is included. Graduate student questions may be sent to email@example.com.
Interdisc Meth Research Comput: Interrdisciplinary Methods in Research Computing addresses technical and soft skills in managing computer-based research. Relevant to both technical and newly technical student researchers from disciplines across campus. This course will cover data management; process management and task automation; and research project management. Topics include data organization in spreadsheets, document revision control, data visualization, robust testing strategies, and reproducibility. Meets with ENGR 498 IM.
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/MACS 326 New Media, Culture & Society
Digital media is an immensely pervasive and powerful form of communication that despite its rapid growth has yet to reach most of the world's population. This lecture-based survey course for undergraduates traces the history and formation of personal computing and the Internet, the development of virtual communities and virtual worlds, evolving forms of digital representation and communication, digital visual cultures, features of new media industries, and the rise of participatory media. Evaluation and assessment is based on written exams, quizzes, class discussion in section, and practice-based assignments using new media technologies such as wikis, blogs, games, and digital video. Emphasis is on mastering key concepts of digital media through theory and history, and on critical discussion of distinctive features of digital media objects. Lectures and discussion sections are held in computer-equipped classrooms.
INFO/MACS/SOC/GWS 345 Digital & Gender Cultures
This interdisciplinary course uses the lens of gender critique and pairs it with social activism to provide students analytical tools to engage with, reshape, and create digital cultures. Examines recent research and public policies related to the gendered, raced, and classes dimensions of digital cultures and inequality; the broad range of labor issues embedded in the growing income disparity related to digital cultures; the various ways that digital inequality has been defined by public policy, sociologists, and activists, and real examples of collective activism and social change related to emerging technologies.
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: Escape Rooms: This course will explore the intersection of storytelling, interaction design, and user experience through the design of escape rooms. In the past couple years escape rooms have been on the rise, changing from simple locked boxes in an open room to complex adventures spanning multiple rooms involving electronics, sound design, storytelling, and even live actors. This class will be primarily focusing on the manufacturing and electronics work that goes into making an immersive but self-contained escape room in a box experience. Over the span of the course, students will become familiar with the basics of several advanced small-scale manufacturing tools, such as laser engravers, electronic cutters, and 3D printers/scanners. The primary focus, however, will be a more in depth exploration of small board electronics – such as Arduino and IoT programming – and hardware – such as sensors, servos, LEDs, and other components. This section is for undergraduate students only. Graduate students should register for CRN 62685. Course materials and assignments will be hosted on Moodle at learn.illinois.edu.
CNC Fundamentals for Fabricators: Exploring CNC machines to discover how they work from the ground up. Each student will assemble, wire, and program a small desktop CNC machine to develop a better understanding of each component's role. Upon completion of the course, students will have the knowledge to self-familiarize with any CNC device they encounter or to customize a machine to meet their needs. Previous experience with digital design software is helpful, but not required. This class is open to sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students. All students need to register for lecture and one lab section. Students are required to log in and use Moodle (learn.illinois.edu) and zoom (https://illinois.zoom.us/) in order to complete this course.
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.
Data, Machines, and the Python: Data, Machines, and the Python (https://uicourses.web.illinois.edu/info490mh2) continues where the INFO 490 MH tour (https://uicourses.web.illinois.edu/info490mh) left off. You will learn advanced techniques in data science and be introduced to machine learning algorithms. You will also continue to improve your Python knowledge as well as your software development skills including how to architect large scale data processing pipelines. Although this an applied course (you will learn by doing), you'll also learn how and why something works. In many cases, you will first write a reduced implementation before using an established library. Mastering the ability to write software to gain insights from data will help drive your research and career. The last four weeks of the class will be spent on a data driven project that will give you a chance to work on your own interests and showcase your knowledge and skills. The class will be taught on-line and be scheduled asynchronously (you decide where it best fits in your week). Students are required to log into (learn.illinois.edu) in order to access the initial set of instructions. Prerequisites • Junior/Senior/Graduate Standing • Taken INFO490 MH Intro to Prog for Data Sci OR have at least 2 years of programming experience using Python • Already comfortable with Numpy, Pandas, Matplotlib, NLTK • Voraciously willing to do the necessary work to fill in any knowledge gaps • Enjoy contributing and learning in an on-line environment • the ability to create a boolean expression for these prerequisites
Courses in Development:
- IS 3##: Privacy and Technology
- IS 3##Project Management
- IS 3##Concepts of Machine Learning
- IS 4##: Information Systems Analysis
- IS 4##: IT Business Analysis
- IS 4##: Mathematical Foundations for Data Analytics
- IS 4##: Strategic Communication
- IS 3##: Information Technology Services for Youth
- IS 3##: Youth Community Engagement
- IS 3##: Introduction to User-Centered Design
- IS 3##: Concepts of Information Behavioral Theory
- IS 3##: Introduction to Data Storytelling
- IS 3##/4##: Advanced Research Design
- IS 4##: Advanced User-Centered Design
- IS 4##: Legal Aspects of Information Systems