506 - Programming I
Programming I --- Introduction to programming with a focus on applications informatics. Covers the fundamental elements of a modern programming language and how to access data on the internet. Explores how humans and technology complement one another, including techniques used to coordinate groups of people working together on software development. Visit https://si506.org/syllabus/ to view the current syllabus.
507 - Intermediate Programming
Intermediate Programming --- The purpose of this course is to build upon the foundation provided by 506 and prepare students for more advanced courses that require programming skills. In particular, students in 507 will further develop core programming and software development skills, including: applying basic algorithms and basic data structures, accessing and processing data, debugging, testing, incorporating external libraries, and maintaining a functioning development environment. By the end of this course, students should be comfortable writing substantial programs to address common problems in data processing and analysis.
510 - Information Ethics
Information Ethics --- Intensive review of ethical challenges bearing down on information professionals. Ethics are positioned as a foundation of professional identity while acknowledging that this foundation is undergoing critical evaluation and transformation. Contemporary controversies and conflicts are drawn upon that touch all MSI program areas and bring key issues into sharp relief.
515 - Motion Capture for Interaction Design
Motion Capture for Interaction Design --- Students are introduced to motion capture methods, including acoustic tracking, inertial sensing, and visual motion tracking. Students explore each form of motion capture before completing a final project of their own design. Final projects might consist of an interactive game, a digital musical instrument or an interactive installation.
519 - Intellectual Property and Information Law
Intellectual Property and Information Law --- This course explores related and sometimes competing legal and policy frameworks for the development and dissemination of ideas, and expression, and data in the Information Age. We will examine copyright, patent, and trademark law - as well as speech and privacy. We will look at ways in which principles of free speech and expression relate to intellectual property rights - and how these legal concepts are related to the advancement of knowledge and innovation. We will focus on these areas in a political and social context -- and their interrelation to the Internet and evolving technologies. We will consider the impact of ethics and values on the development and dissemination of ideas and information (such as security, privacy, local control v. national and international considerations, competition, and the protection of minors). The course will draw from the contexts of education, business, and government, with a special emphasis on the changing nature, roles and responsibilities of educational institutions. Each term starts with a conversation about students' particular interests, and the course is tailored appropriately where possible. Special topics from students have included cosplay, plant genetics, and fan fiction in the context of the course's themes.
520 - Graphic Design and Visual Communications
Graphic Design and Visual Communications --- The conceptual part of the course covers the graphic design theory discourse. Students will reinforce the practical application of critical thinking, analyze and process of making and conceptualizing, learn how to "read" designs and how to apply them into a broader cultural, technological, and social context. In the hands-on part of the course, students will gain necessary software skills, learn how to follow or establish brand/identity guidelines, prepare work for print or web production, and select the right tools, media, and budget for their projects. Students will improve their aesthetic sensibilities and design skills through mastering visual language vocabularies, understanding principles of effective visual communications, solving creative problems, and developing analytical thinking, promoting thus their ability to respond professionally to rapidly changing needs of the modern world. Students should have familiarity with MS Office or iWork, Adobe Acrobat or Preview.
529 - Online Communities
Online Communities --- This course is intended to give students a background in theory and practice surrounding online interaction environments. For the purpose of the course, a community is defined as a group of people who sustain interaction over time. The group may be held together by a common identity, a collective purpose, or merely by the individual utility gained from the interactions. An online interaction environment is an electronic forum, accessed through computers or other electronic devices, in which community members can conduct some or all of their interactions. We will use the term eCommunity as shorthand, both for communities that conduct all of their interactions online and for communities that use online interaction to supplement face-to-face interactions.
There will be two main treads that weave through the course, based on the two main texts. One tread will be concerned with the practical issues of design and use of online tools to support communities, and how choices that must be made in design can impact the function and style of the resulting community. The second thread will focus on the sociological theory that provides a frame to better understand communities in general. These theoretical pieces will provide a lens for better understanding the implications of choices made on the more practical level.
534 - Theories of Social Influence
Theories of Social Influence --- This course introduces the major theories of social influence in psychology and economics so that you may become a better decision architect and an effective leader. In this course we will learn why and under the conditions in individual's thoughts and actions can be influenced by those around them. We will touch on related theoretical ground in economics and in psychology but focus heavily on the empirical findings and how they can be applied to design and management tasks. The primary goal of this course is to realize a detailed picture of the traditional and contemporary thinking on this topic as it is addressed in economics and in social psychology and to have you applying the tools of influence from day one.
536 - Introduction to Urban Informatics
Introduction to Urban Informatics --- This course provides students an introduction to the emerging field of urban informatics, an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that uses information technology for the analysis, management, planning, inhabitation, and usability of cities. Given these diverse application areas, the course is centered on a series of hands-on technical labs which are designed to build on the knowledge typically covered in a standard course in statistics. Lab topics include the use of databases, application programming interfaces, and web-based visualization and spatial data analysis. It is intended to serve as an introduction for more advanced coursework in databases, GIS, or data analysis. Seminar and lecture sessions cover topics related to the context and practice models associated with urban technologies, including civic technology, indicators, smart cities, and performance management.
537 - Crisis Informatics
Saving lives in crises means being prepared, coordinated and fast. Information and technology are increasingly the tools people in need are turning to. As humanitarian organizations have agreed, "information is aid." Participants in this class will learn to examine crisis situations, in continuum from personal to international crises, and evaluate and plan relevant information technology responses. The class will review personal crises such as a major accident; and recent international crisis-disaster response, such as the Syrian Refugee migration, Hurricane Sandy, and Nepal earthquake. Students will have an opportunity to have hands-on experience with the technology tools used in disaster response, and work in teams with senior executives from international NGO's and corporations.