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Spring 2013 Courses

Spring 2013

Graduate Courses

NWMEDIA 200, 4 units
“History and Theory of New Media”
(Also TDPS 266)
A. De Kosnik

This course provides a broad historical and theoretical background for new media production and practice. The class will map out theoretical approaches from different disciplines and allow graduate students to discuss and apply them to their own research projects.

NWMEDIA C262, 4 units
“Theory and Practice of Tangible User Interfaces”
(Also Information C262)
K. Ryokai

This course explores the theory and practice of Tangible User Interfaces, a new approach to Human Computer Interaction that focuses on the physical interaction with computational media. The topics covered in the course include theoretical framework, design examples, enabling technologies, and evaluation of Tangible User Interfaces. Students will design and develop experimental Tangible User Interfaces using physical computing prototyping tools and write a final project report.

NWMEDIA 290, 3 units
“Critical Making: Materials, Protocols, and Culture”
E. Paulos

Critical Making will operationalize and critique the practice of “making” through both foundational literature and hands on studio culture. As hybrid practitioners, students will develop fluency in readily collaging and incorporating a variety of physical materials and protocols into their practice. With design research as a lens, students will envision and create future computational experiences that critically explore social and culturally relevant technological themes such as community, privacy, environment, education, economics, energy, food, biology, democracy, activism, healthcare, social justice, etc. While no previous technical knowledge is required to take this course, class projects will involve basic programing, electronic circuitry, and digital fabrication design. While tutorials and instruction will be provided, students will be expected to develop basic skills in each of these areas in order to complete the course projects. The class will alternate between lectures (BCNM Commons) and hands on studio (CITRIS Invention Lab) time. The course will result in a final public show of student work. Due to the hands-on nature of this course, we have a strict capacity limit. Please join the waitlist and come to the first class meeting.

COMPUTER SCIENCE 194-23, 3 units
“The Art and Science of Digital Photography”
B. Barsky

This course will explore the artistic aspects, scientific foundations, and techniques of digital photography with the goals of enabling students to expand their knowledge of photography as an art form, to develop a deeper and broader understanding of the scientific basis of photography, and to improve their photographic technique. Although the primary focus is on digital photography, most concepts apply to photography in general and are also directly applicable to film photography. With an improved understanding of the limitations and compromises behind digital photography, students will be better prepared for unexpected and dynamic photographic situations. Topics include quality of light, exposure control, depth of field, aesthetics, composition and patterns, perspective, color science, the human visual system, spatial and color perception, digital versus chemical processing, exposure, metering, digital sensors, optics, analogies to biological systems, color filter arrays, file formats, sensor linearity, color spaces and profiles, optical and computational image artifacts. Through lectures, hands-on assignments, and critiques, students will expand their understanding of digital photography while exploring their creativity to broaden the possibilities and improve the quality of their photographs.

If possible, students in this course should use a camera that has either interchangeable lenses of different focal lengths or a zoom lens, that is capable of capturing files in a RAW format, and that has a fully manual mode which enables manual setting of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO as well for focus.

Information 290, 3 units
M. Hearst

This course will bring together students from the humanities who want to learn how technology can change how they do research, and students from information and computer science who want to help build the next generation of tools for humanities scholars, with a focus on analysis of written literature.

Students from each discipline will be expected to be open to learning from the other. The course will consist of readings and discussion of research papers as well as analysis and evaluation of existing tools. Students will be expected to contribute to the design, analysis, and/or evaluation of a new software tool for scholarly literature analysis.

Information and computer science students should have experience or backgrounds in some subset of database programming, XML design, graphic design, user interface design, information visualization, natural language processing, machine learning, data mining and/or statistical analysis as well as general programming skills.

Humanities students should have an open mind and a passion to learn about new techniques. Open to graduate students in all fields and upper-division undergraduates by permission of instructor.

Film 240, 4 units
“The Art of the Electronic Image”
J. Skoller

The agenda of this seminar is to raise the ghost of “Video Art”– a practice central to late 20th century art –in the context of contemporary media practices such as digital filmmaking, installation, social practice, activist art, tactical media, and culture jamming. Video Art of the 1960s and 70’s emerged out of and in response to avant-garde film and broadcast television, through the emergence of portable video equipment, non-profit media art centers and public access TV stations. Its technologies and modes of production were invented and embraced simultaneously by filmmakers, conceptual and performance artists, grassroots political activists, and by communities on the media margins – from feminist to LGBT communities to native peoples to Third World revolutionary groups to queer teenagers in their bedrooms. By 2000, digital new media forms and technologies had transformed the aesthetics, cultural politics and modes of electronic image production into something quite different. In the seminar we will move across this history in both theory and practice, teasing out the ways electronic media art practices changed so radically and so quickly, looking at what remains and what is lost of this rich history. We will ask to what extent the transience of Video Art was due to the specificity of medium and technology, the rise of ‘post-medium” aesthetics in contemporary art, and/or the neoliberal shifts from public funding of non-profit arts toward its commodification.

The first part of the seminar will focus on the history of this work and its theories and criticism. The second part will explore more contemporary theory and practices, through presentations by seminar participants. There will be regular screenings, and we will be joined by a series of visiting video and media artists over the course of the semester, including pioneers of the Bay Area video art world. Seminar members will write a research paper or produce an art work for their final project.

Information 216, 3 units
“Computer-Mediated Communication”
C. Cheshire

This course covers the practical and theoretical issues associated with computer-mediated communication (CMC) systems (e.g., email, newsgroups, wikis, online games, etc.). We will focus on the analysis of CMC practices, the relationship between technology and behavior, and the design and implementation issues associated with constructing CMC systems. This course primarily takes a social scientific approach (including research from social psychology, economics, sociology, and communication).

INFO 235, 3 units
C. Hoofnagle

Introduction to legal issues in information management, antitrust, contract management, international law including intellectual property, trans-border data flow, privacy, libel, and constitutional rights.


INFO 290, 3 units
“Proseminar in the Digital Humanities”
M. A. Hearst

INFO 290A, 1 unit
“Media: New and Otherwise”
R. Bahat

In this course we will go through a quick overview of the media business — from startups to global conglomerates. We will address a wide range of topics: the economics of media organizations (and industries), their organizational structures, cultures, brands, and approaches. How does traditional media address changing technologies? How is the media business driven by metrics and data? How is it driven by artistic creativity? Are media companies too big? Are they too small? Students will present strategies for media companies, hear from guest speakers, and discuss the transformations happening in media. Students should expect to contribute significant input into the companies and topics we discuss. Note: This course is cross-listed in the Haas School of Business.

INFO 296A, 2-4 units
“Information Access”
C. Lynch, M. Buckland, R. Larson

The seminar explores selected advanced topics relating to ‘digital libraries’ with special emphasis on: access to networked resources, use of two or more resources in conjunction, combined use of two or more retrieval systems (e.g. use of pre- or post-processing to enhance the capabilities), and the redesign of library services. It is expected that these issues will require attention to a number of questions about the nature of information retrieval processes, the feasibility of not-yet-conventional techniques, techniques of making different systems work together, social impact, and the reconsideration of past practices. More generally, the seminar is intended to provide a forum for advanced students in the School. Anyone interested in these topics is welcome to join in — and to talk about their own work. This is a continuation of the previous Lynch/Buckland seminars.

FILM AND MEDIA 240, 4 units
“The Electronic Image”
J. A. Skoller

ARCH 238, 3 units
“The Dialectic of Poetics and Technology”
M. S. Ubbelohde

This seminar examines the relationship between technology and design philosophy in the work of architects through analysis of individual buildings within the cntext of the complete oeuvre and an examination of the architect’s writings and lectures. The seminar poses the following questions: What is the role of technology in the design philosophy of the architect and how is this theoretical position established in the architect’s writings, lectures, interviews? How is this position revealed when the work moves to the developing world? How is this position negotiated in the design and construction of an individual building? Is this a successful strategy for achieving technical performance? Is this a successful strategy for achieving a coherent theoretical statement?

MUSIC 209, 4 units
“Advanced Topics in Computer Music”
D. Wessel

Technical and musical issues in the design and development of computer-based music systems including digital signal processing for the analysis and synthesis of sound, scheduling of multiple musical control processes, perceptual and cognitive models, user-interface design, reactive real-time control, and the analysis and representation of musical structure.

Undergraduate Courses

NEW MEDIA 190, 1-4 units
“Advanced Digital Animation”
D. Garcia

This year-long course is targeted at students with backgrounds in art, film, or computer science who intend to work in the visual effects, animation, and entertainment industries. It will build upon students’ knowledge from related courses to guide them through the digital animation production process in an environment similar to industry production houses. We will survey many advanced topics and allow students to focus on a subset they find interesting while collaborating with their team to develop a 30-second animation piece. The course will be enhanced with industry guest lectures. In the spring, topics will include visual art design, sound and foley design, visual effects, shading, lighting, rendering, optimization, and advanced image composition.

“The Beauty and Joy of Computing”
D. Garcia

An introduction to the beauty and joy of computing, the history, social implications, great principles, and future of computing. Beautiful applications have changed the world. We look at how computing empowers discovery and progress in other fields. Relevance of computing to the student and society will be emphasized. Students will learn the joy of programming a computer using a friendly, graphical language, and will complete a substantial team programming project related to their interests.

“Sound Design and Media Theater”
A. De Kosnik

In this course, undergraduate students will learn to construct sound cues and soundtracks for theater performances and videos using industry standard software, and will learn fundamental principles of incorporating video and sound into stage productions. Students will be exposed to the writings and works of prominent sound theorists, designers, and engineers and multimedia performance artists. The most successful students may be invited to participate in UC Berkeley theater productions as sound designers.

RHETORIC 104, 4 units
Rhetorical Theory and Practice in Historical Eras
D. Bates

An examination of the relations between rhetoric, discourse, and knowledge in selected historical eras, for example the European Renaissance, the Atlantic Enlightenment, or Victorian Britain.

Computer Science 160, 4 units
“User Interface Design and Development”
B. Hartmann

The design, implementation, and evaluation of human/computer interfaces. Interface devices (keyboard, pointing, display, audio, etc.), metaphors (desktop, notecards, rooms, ledger sheets, tables, etc.), interaction styles and dialog models, design examples, and user-centered design and task analysis. Interface-development methodologies, implementation tools, testing, and quality assessment. Students will develop a direct-manipulation interface.

“People and Environmental Design”
N. De Monchaux

Environmental design involves the study of built, natural, global, and virtual environments. Various forms of practice include architecture, planning, urban design, and social and environmental activism. This course is a survey of relationships between people and environments, designed and non-designed, with an introduction to the literature and professional practices. Open to all undergraduate students in the College of Environmental Design as well as other colleges and majors.

“Youth, Technology, and Democratic Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa”

This course explores the role of youth, information and communication technologies, and social networking in the protests in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, which have brought an unprecedented cascade of falling regimes across the region. We examine the impact of civil disobedience, political activism, defiance, and social media since Iran’s Green Movement in 2009 and Arab uprisings in 2011. Our main focus will be on the youth and the emancipatory potential of a digital world.

“Advanced Composition: New Media”
M. Sokolik

This advanced nonfiction writing course offers an opportunity to explore the definition of text in a digital era. It offers students an opportunity to read and write about how contemporary uses of social media influence how we think, act, interact, and learn.

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
P. Abbeel

Basic ideas and techniques underlying the design of intelligent computer systems. Topics include heuristic search, problem solving, game playing, knowledge representation, logical inference, planning, reasoning under uncertainty, expert systems, learning, perception, language understanding.

IEOR 190F, 1-4 units
Business Opportunities in Art and Technology
S. Beck

This course explores key entrepreneurial and leadership concepts relevant to the intersection of the high tech and art worlds. Topics include studys of successful transfers of art-world-based inventions, processes and methods into economically successful business applications.

Film C185, 4 units
Digital Video: The Architecture of Time
Focus on Narrative Short
J. Kopell

This hands-on studio course is designed to present students with a foundation-level introduction to the skills, theories, and concepts used in digital video production. As digital technologies continue to expand our notion of time and space, value and meaning, artists are using these tools to envision the impossible. Nonlinear and nondestructive editing methods used in digital video are defining new “architectures of time” for cinematic creation and experience, and offer new and innovative possibilities for authoring new forms of the moving image. Through direct experimentation, this course will expose students to a broad range of industry-standard equipment, film and video history, theory, terminology, field, and post-production skills. Students will be required to technically master the digital media tools introduced in the course, and personalize the new possibilities digital video brings to time-based art forms.

Sociology 167, 4 units
“Virtual Communities/Social Media”
T. King

With the advent of virtual communities and online social networks, old questions about the meaning of human social behavior have taken on renewed significance. Using a variety of online social media simultaneously, and drawing upon theoretical literature in a variety of disciplines, this course delves into discourse about community across disciplines. This course will enable students to establish both theoretical and experiential foundations for making decisions and judgments regarding the relations between mediated communication and human community.

HISTORY OF ART 192F, 4 units
“Virtual Technologies”
J. H. Underhill

International and Area Studies 120, 3 units
New Media for Global Poverty Action
T. N. Graham

Students explore different forms of media to document, represent and communicate their research on social justice issues and/or Global Poverty and Practice fieldwork. Students will be introduced to online research methods and approaches for posting accurate, timely and engaging web content through both old and new storytelling techniques. All students will launch a website and blog utilizing coursework on basic interviewing and reporting practices, a variety of visual representation forms, and how to utilize social media for creating web presence and cultivating readership. No prior web experience necessary.

Music 29, 4 units
“Music Now”
E. J. Campion

This course explores the basic materials and models that set the boundaries for various present-day musical experiences. Students are exposed to terminology and modes of engagement with the aim of inspiring new paradigms of listening (e.g., listening to silence, noise, space, and timbre). Composers and musicians of today continue to explore new ways of defining and organizing sounds into music. The course focuses on the most adventurous music of our time, but the concepts learned can be applied to any style of music. The course is designed to enrich and deepen the students’ musical abilities through direct involvement with musical materials. Direct engagement through listening and participatory learning is accomplished in part with software created at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies. The course does not require students to be able to read music nor to own a personal computer.

For more information or to suggest changes or additions, please contact:
BCNM Student Affairs Officer
Nora Liddell
nora [dot] bcnm [at] berkeley [dot] edu

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