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Spring 2015 Courses

Spring 2015

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 203, 4 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.

NWMEDIA C265, 2 units
(Also INFO C265)
Interface Aesthetics
K. Ryokai

This course will cover new interface metaphors beyond desktops (e.g., for mobile devices, computationally enhanced environments, tangible user interfaces) but will also cover visual design basics (e.g., color, layout, typography, iconography) so that we have systematic and critical understanding of aesthetically engaging interfaces. Students will get a hands-on learning experience on these topics through course projects, design critiques, and discussions, in addition to lectures and readings.

FILM 240-001, 4 units
Mediatized War: Vision, Technology and the Spectacle of Violence in Contemporary Non-Fiction Media
A. J. Kaes

FILM 240-002, 4 units
The City: Urban Theory, Media Theory
W. Bao

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 216-001, 3 units
Computer-Mediated Communication
Coye 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 235-001, 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 296A-005, 2 units
Digital Activism
Q. Xiao

Rhetoric and History: Cognition and Technology in the Age of Automation
D. Bates

This seminar will look at key theorizations of the relationship between human cognition (especially reason) and technology, from the age of cybernetics and the early computer to the present digital episteme. We will examine closely philosophical, anthropological, and psychological approaches. Our topics will range widely, from the early interest in simulating human thought with computers, to theories of intelligence amplification and distributed cognition, and contemporary reflections on the technological foundations of human experience. We will pay special attention to the social and political implications of these works on human cognition. Authors we will study will include M. Horkheimer and T. Adorno, N. Wiener, A. Turing, M. Heidegger, G. Simondon, A. Leroi-Gourhan, D. Engelbart, N. Luhmann, B. Latour, E. Hutchins, A. Clark, K. Hayles, D. Haraway, and B. Stiegler.

RHETORIC 250, 4 units
Rhetoric of the Image
W. W. Wong

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

NWMEDIA 190-001, 4 units
Performance and Television
A. T. De Kosnik

NWMEDIA 190-002, 4 units
Advanced Digital Animation
D. D. Garcia & J. O’Brien

is 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.

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

This is an upper division class website surveying new media from a lens of personal transformation and artistic activism as means to create positive social change. This class focuses on uses of mass media in contemporary society worldwide—news, advertising, propaganda, censorship, and power—and consider the tremendous potential this medium has to subvert and transcend these uses—through art, activism, collaboration, transparency, global accessibility, and citizen journalism—as a powerful tool in the hands of a technologically savvy generation

ART 178-001, 4 units
Game Design Methods
G. Niemeyer

This course offers an introduction to game design and game studies. Game studies has five core elements: the study of games as transmitters of culture, the study of play and interactivity, the study of games as symbolic systems; the study of games as artifacts; and methods for creating games. We will study these core elements through play, play tests, play analysis, and comparative studies. Our reading list includes classic game studies theory and texts which support game design methods. After weekly writing and design exercises, our coursework will culminate in the design and evaluation of an original code-based game with a tangible interface.

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 98-002, 2 units
D. Garcia

COMPSCI 160 1-4 units
User Interface Design and Development
M. Agrawala

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

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.

DES INV, 2 units
Design Competition: Interactive Seating
G. Niemeyer, R. Full, B. Hartmann

To be considered for the competition apply online by November 10. For this class, student innovators from a wide variety of majors (art, design, engineering and more) work in teams to tackle the challenge of building smart seating. A smart chair might proactively improve posture, sense vital signs through the seat, adjust to put couples at eye level, or do something only you imagine. Designs merge physical form and digital function, aesthetics and intelligence; successful projects will combine shape, mechanisms, electronics and software.

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
Racialization, Gender, and Popular Culture

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. Additionally, our syllabus includes creative works by writers and artists of color who remap the boundaries of the human, robot, and the inhuman.

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.

MUSIC 29, 4 units
Music Now

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.

SOCIOL 166, 4 units
Society and Technology
L. B. Huang

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

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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