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Courses

515 - Engineering Applications of Media Technology

Algorithm design and analysis with applications in the sonic and visual arts; fundamental knowledge representation, formal reasoning, and search algorithms. An emphasis on fundamental computational problems in the media arts and a discussion of the introductory issues in encoding and processing style.

519 - 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

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.

521 - Advanced Psychoacoustics

This course will focus on psychoacoustics, the study of how we perceive sounds. Topics covered will include the anatomy and physiology of the ear, the perception of simple and complex sounds, ecological acoustics and auditory scene analysis.

529 - 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.

530 - Principles in Management

This course provides a foundation in management for information professionals interested in working in for-profit or non-profit organizations. In this course students will learn about management principles (e.g. planning, organizing, leading, controlling). Having a firm grasp of the principles is the first step. This is a skills based course, so students are expected to apply what they learn in class by reading and analyzing case studies. At all times students will be required to take on various roles (e.g. manager, employee, supplier, customer, competitor) to outline the issues managers face, evaluate managers' responses, and provide alternative courses of action.

534 - 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

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.

538 - Citizen Interaction Design

This course aims to create information tools that support 21st-century citizenship. This is a project-based, experiential learning course where students apply their skills to create information products in partnership with a Michigan community. Students will work with partners in Michigan communities to deliver information tools and services that foster an engaged citizenry. Students will work in teams, travel to the partner community, and have support of administrative staff to manage projects.