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.
512 - How to Change The Internet
How to Change The Internet --- The Internet is ever-changing, with infrastructural choices reflecting assumptions about how people should be able to act. Those decisions, and how they are made, have enormous but generally unnoticed consequences for all Internet users. This course explores past and potential tradeoffs that promote more or less socially beneficial behavior online.
515 - Engineering Applications of Media Technology
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
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.
521 - Advanced Psychoacoustics
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
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
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
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.