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Spring 2014 Courses

Spring 2014

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 290-001 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.

NWMEDIA C263, 3 units
(Also INFO C263)
Technologies for Creativity and Learning
K. Ryokai

How does the design of new educational technology change the way people learn and think? How do we design systems that reflect our understanding of how we learn? This course explores issues on designing and evaluating technologies that support creativity and learning. The class will cover theories of creativity and learning, implications for design, as well as a survey of new educational technologies such as works in computer supported collaborative learning, digital manipulatives, and immersive learning environments.

ARCH 207/ART 218, 4 units
No Cruising: Mobile Identities and Urban Life in Los Angeles
A. G. Walsh

This research studio will investigate the multiple themes generated by the concept of mobility (and its inverse: immobility) in Los Angeles. While the city’s automobility has become an unavoidable cliche, the question of mobility affects almost every sphere of life for its urban residents. The studio will focus on exploring the ways individuals and groups experience mobility and immobility, using methods from ethnography, history, material culture studies, literature, and visual and performance art. One of the key efforts of the studio will be to create hybrid forms of urban representation, juxtaposing humanities perspectives with spatial and movement studies. Together with faculty, students will make several trips to Los Angeles to explore the city, meet with local artists, writers, scholars, civic advocates, engineers and residents. The studio will culminate in visual, textual, and digital versions of student and faculty research.

FILM 240-001, 4 units
Unwar: Vision, Violence, Technology in Contemporary Non-Fiction Media
J. A. Skoller

The new technologies of remote visualization that emerged during the Gulf wars have transformed warfare: thermal, infrared and laser imaging technologies, unmanned robotic cameras, and aerial drones guided into territories by technicians in front of computer screens thousands of miles away. Many of these imaging technologies are also transforming the modes of documenting these wars and with it, changing who is making images, what can be seen and how quickly. These new war films raise new questions about aesthetic and narrative image forms, representations of cinematic space, time and the spectacle of violence. Issues of distance, intimacy and abstraction are made more complex by the geographic and cultural distances between warring countries, which often transform the nature and meanings of violence into phantasmagorical spectacle.

During the seminar, we will view a range of recent mainstream and experimental non-fiction media. We will examine these new works in the context of current theoretical and critical writings on war, technology, violence and film form, as a way to explore the problematic relationship between new technologies of vision and the abstracted violence inherent in such mediatized documentation. Each member of the seminar will pick an area of research around these issues to produce a critical paper that brings visual works and texts into conversation. Artists can also use the course to develop creative art works in relation to these issues. The course will culminate in a small symposium based upon the work of the seminar and each of its members.

INFO 205-001, 3 units
Information Law and Policy
D. K. Mulligan

Law is one of a number of policies that mediates the tension between free flow and restrictions on the flow of information. This course introduces students to copyright and other forms of legal protection for databases, licensing of information, consumer protection, liability for insecure systems and defective information, privacy, and national and international information policy.

INFO 235-001, 3 units
B. W. Carver

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 247-001, 3 units
Information Visualization and Presentation
M. A. Hearst

Information visualization is widely used in media, business, and engineering disciplines to help people analyze and understand the information at hand. The industry has grown exponentially over the last few years. As a result there are more visualization tools available, which have in turn lowered the barrier of entry for creating visualizations. This course provides an overview of the field of Information Visualization. It follows a hands-on approach. Readings and lectures will cover basic visualization principles and tools. Labs will focus on practical introductions to tools and frameworks. We will discuss existing visualizations and critique their effectiveness in conveying information. Finally, guest speakers from the industry will give an insight into how information visualization is used in practice.

INFO 290-003, 3 units
Innovation and Information
C. Kellogg

INFO 290-004, 2 units
Game Design: Combining Standards and Processes with Creativity and Innovation
S. I. Ginsburg

INFO 290-005, 2 units
The Future of E-Books
D. K. Mulligan

This is a hands on course that will address two major challenges associated with the current shift from text-based to e-books: making them more engaging and informative through use of the capabilities of the medium, and identifying and analyzing the issues surrounding the collaborative authoring and usage of e-books in an educational context.

INFO 290A-002, 1 units
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-001, 3 units
Information Access
M. K. Buckland

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.

INFO 296A-005, 2-4 units
Digital Activism
Q. Xiao

MUSIC 220, 4 units
The Socio-Cultural Study of Music
G Born

This seminar course is designed to introduce students to the socio-cultural study of music through a series of current topics, with a focus on my own and related work. (I am Bloch Visiting Professor of Music for the spring term 2014). The seminars introduce a series of distinctive approaches to how we can understand and study contemporary musics, although the ideas are relevant also to historical musicology. The seminars are therefore broadly methodological. The nearest discipline to the space the seminars will occupy is ethnomusicology. However my work is not ethnomusicological as that is broadly understood; I was trained not in ethnomusicology but in anthropology, and I have held academic positions in sociology and media studies as well as music. My work uses the method of ethnography, but it does not focus primarily on non-western musics but on contemporary musics of the developed world, so that a better disciplinary designation for this course is a combined anthropology/sociology of music. Moreover, while the majority of my research has been on music, I have researched and written theoretically about a range of forms of cultural production and cultural practices including television, digital technologies and new media, art-science, and sound. The course therefore also places research on music in this wider context. It draws particularly on the conceptual framework in development for the five year research program that I currently direct: ‘Music, Digitisation, Mediation: Towards Interdisciplinary Music Studies (

Students are required to read and be prepared to discuss set texts by myself and key related texts, including such figures as Bourdieu, Foucault, Ihde, DeLanda, Feld, Goehr, Bohlman, Ochoa, Straw and Sterne. Each week I will introduce or speak to the key questions and readings at issue; two students will also present summaries and discussions of readings as agreed beforehand. The allocation of student presentations will happen in the first weeks of the seminar and all students are required to present. Students are expected to be committed to the seminars and to participate. The readings below are indicative and clarification will be given of the key texts in preceding weeks. Readings and their availability will be discussed during the early meetings; additional readings may be supplied in the weeks before forthcoming meetings.

RHETORIC 250, 4 units
Rhetoric of the Image

A study of the visual image as a mode of discourse, together with an analysis of the terms in which images have been interpreted and criticized. Focus may be on the rhetoric of a particular image or set of images, or on more broadly theoretical writings about image.

Undergraduate Courses

ART W23AC, 4 units
Internet Citizenship
G. Niemeyer

This course capitalizes on the rapid deployment potential of new media, especially online media. Rapid deployment of new media content allows students to engage in mediated self-representation. Studying their peer’s mediated performances as well as source texts, students analyze their own experiences as both content providers and consumers. Social networks emerging from these mediated performances serve as proving grounds for theories of mind and machine, embodiment, multiplicity of personal and collective identities, morphing among stereotypes, hybridization, privacy issues, and finally the digital divide. Media experiments will be contextualized with weekly assignments that address non-mediated, direct, concrete human experiences. These direct experiences connect the perceived fluidity of online identities with the troubling interactions between technology, race, and gender and allow students to investigate their own ethical and political multiplicity.

ART 160-004, 4 units
Media for Social Change
A. Seraj

ART 171, 4 units
Digital Video: The Architecture of Time

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. Non-linear and non-destructive 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. This course will expose students to a broad range of industry standard equipment, film and video history, theory, terminology, field and postproduction skills. Students will be required to technically master the digital media tools introduced in the course. Each week will include relevant readings, class discussions, guest speakers, demonstration of examples, and studio time for training and working on student assignments.

COMPSCI 10-001, 4 units
The Beauty and Joy of Computing
D. Garcia

This course is an introduction to the beauty and joy of computing, including the history, social implications, great principles, and future of computing. Beautiful applications that have changed the way we look at the world, how computing empowers discovery and progress in other fields, and the 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.

COMPSCI 160 1-4 units
User Interface Design and Development

This course looks at the design, implementation, and evaluation of user interfaces. It focuses on user-centered design and task analytics, conceptual models and interface metaphors, usability inspection and evaluation methods. We will also perform analysis of user study data, input methods (keyboard, pointing, touch, tangible) and input models. The course will investigate visual design principles, interface prototyping and implementation methodologies and tools. Students will develop a user interface for a specific task and target user group in teams.

COMPSCI 184-001, 4 units
Foundations of Computer Graphics
J. O’Brien

This course is an introduction to the foundations of 3-dimensional computer graphics. Topics covered include 2D and 3D transformations, interactive 3D graphics programming with OpenGL, shading and lighting models, geometric modeling using Bézier and B-Spline curves, computer graphics rendering including ray tracing and global illumination, signal processing for anti-aliasing and texture mapping, and animation and inverse kinematics. There will be an emphasis on both the mathematical and geometric aspects of graphics, as well as the ability to write complete 3D graphics programs.

COMPSCI 188-001, 4 units
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.

COMPSCI 195 1, 1 unit
Social Implications of Computer Technology

Topics include electronic community; the changing nature of work; technological risks; the information economy; intellectual property; privacy; artificial intelligence and the sense of self; pornography and censorship; professional ethics. Students will lead discussions on additional topics.

COMPSCI 98 2, 2 units
D. Garcia

ENV DES 1-001, 3 units
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.

ETH STD 103E, 4 units
Race, Robots, & the Inhuman
M. Rhee

This course addresses a key concern of our digital age, the human/machine analytic, through the lens of race, gender, and sexuality. We will investigate discourses of mechanization and racialization, focusing on how technology and racialization intertwine. Specifically, we will examine the representational processes of making and unmaking human, machine, and animal demarcations within the context of empire. Our syllabus includes creative works by writers and artists of color who remap the boundaries of the human, robot, and the inhuman. Additionally, we will employ principles of digital constructionist learning—learning through creating—in our work together. Student writing will be encouraged through collaborative projects that utilize new media formats such as Wikipedia and Twitter. In addition to a final paper, you will express your ideas digitally and creatively in a final class project.

IEOR 170-001, 3 units
Industrial Design and Human Factors
K. Y. Goldberg

This course surveys topics related to the design of products and interfaces ranging from alarm clocks, cell phones, and dashboards to logos, presentations, and web sites. Design of such systems requires familiarity with human factors and ergonomics, including the physics and perception of color, sound, and touch, as well as familiarity with case studies and contemporary practices in interface design and usability testing. Students will solve a series of design problems individually and in teams.

INFO 198-001, 1-4 units
The Politics of Piracy
P. Duguid

Mediating Disaster: Fukushima, Before and After
D. O’Neill

The course considers the different literary, social and ethical formations that arise or are destroyed in disaster. We will pay particular attention to a range of works that explicitly or obliquely reframe discursive and popular representations of disasters in cinema (documentary and fictional films), literature (poetry, prose fiction, biography) and other media (music, photography, social media). Throughout the semester, we will examine how these works transpose historical trauma into the post-3/11 environment, what new vulnerabilities are made legible by these emergent representations and what becomes of communities and individuals in times of catastrophe.

MEDIAST 140-001
Media and Politics
G. King

This course explores the intersection of media and social change through the lenses of law, history, ethics and aesthetics. The course will focus not only on mass media representations of political change, but also “bottom-up” (or as we like to say at Berkeley, “counter-hegemonic”) representations through, e.g., political posters, graffiti, music, photography, investigative and citizen journalism, and movement tracts. We will look at everything from the muckraking journalism of the 19th century, to 1960’s civil rights photographs, to slave songs, gospel, punk and hip hop, to the Tweets of Arab Spring and the livestreams of Occupy and more.

MES 194, 3 units
‘iScience’ The new Frontier
H. K. Issa

This three-unit course will provide students with thorough training in online research methods (ORMs) for Middle Eastern Studies Projects, transforming the traditional research and publishing tools to web based tools. While “understanding” social research methods (e.g. online surveys and focus groups) will be covered, there will be greater emphasis on research methods, e.g. quantitative (statistical) analysis of Internet trace data from emails, websites, blog sites, and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The course also will introduce students to web building techniques to support their senior theses and MES projects as a publishing media to reach wider a audience using web content management systems, and using basic sourcing (hyperlinking) and search engine optimization practices; find and attribute Creative Commons licensed content; shoot and edit their own photography; identify and interview experts or sources with firsthand knowledge and information; use a variety of media tools to present research findings in innovative ways.

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.

RHETORIC 114-001, 4 units
Rhetoric of New Media
F. R. Gutterriez

This course examines a range of digital media practices including hypertext, interactive drama, videogames, literary interactive fiction, and socially constructed narratives in multi-user spaces. Through a mixture of readings, discussion, and project work, we will explore the theoretical positions, debates, and design issues arising from these different practices. Topics will include the rhetorical, ludic, theatrical, narrative political, and legal dimensions of digital media.

SOCIOL 166, 4 units
Society and Technology
T.D. King

This course studies the interaction between society and technologies in a comparative and multicultural perspective. Some topics covered include the relationship between technology and human society; technology, culture and values; technology in the new global economy; development and inequality; electronic democracy; how technology has transformed work and employment; and the challenges of technological progress and the role that society plays in addressing these challenges.

SOCIOL 167-001, 4 units
Virtual communities/Social Media
T.D. 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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to suggest changes or additions, please contact BCNM Program Officer Lara Wolfe:

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