Special Topics Courses

This page contains descriptions for special topics offered at SILS (regularly offered courses are listed separately). Special topics courses are developed to cover emerging issues or specialized content not represented in the main curriculum. Not all courses are offered each semester—see the course schedule for availability.

Fall 2015

Spring 2015


Fall 2015

089-001 FYS: Social Movements and New Media (Tufekci) 3 credits
Movements ranging from uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and beyond to “Occupy” protestors in the United States have been using new media technologies to coordinate, to organize, to intervene in the public sphere as well as to document, share, and shape their own stories. Using a range of tools from Facebook to Twitter, from satellite modems to landlines to ad-hoc mesh networks, these movements have made their mark in history.

The objective of this course is to enhance our conceptual and empirical understanding of the interaction between the new media ecology and social change. We will explore various approaches to studying social movements and social change and look at specific cases.

Governments and powerful institutions are also responding to the challenge posed by the emergence of the Internet as a mundane and global technology. From increased surveillance and filtering capacity, to delivering propaganda over the Internet to their own, from “hacking” of dissident websites to sophisticated methods of censorship, governments around the world are broadening their repertoire of social, technical and legal tools for control and suppression of --and through-- the Internet.

We will explore the integration of new media tools within these movements as well governmental and institutional responses to these developments. We will also discuss the rapidly changing and contested terrain for shaping the infrastructure of global connectivity. Materials for this class will include readings, videos (not to be viewed in class but as material to be viewed), and a variety of visiting speakers (both in person and via Skype).

690-163W: Information Analytics (Rajasekar) 3 credits
Pre-req: INLS 560 or equivalent. The data explosion experienced by computerization of every aspect of our lives from social media to internet of things requires a deeper look at information analytics. The course introduces proven and emerging analytical techniques that can be used to deal with mountains of mostly unstructured data. We will look at several analytical paradigms from Predictive Modeling to Data Mining, Text Analytics to Web Analytics, Statistical Analysis to novel paradigms in Map Reduce and Storm, and from Crowd Sourcing to Scientific Workflows.  Knowledge of programming is essential.

690-172: Usability Testing and Evaluation (Capra) 3 credits
This course will introduce central concepts in usability engineering, testing, and evaluation. These include: UX lifecycle, interaction models, contextual inquiry, modeling and task analysis, rapid evaluation and inspection techniques, UX goals and metrics, formal and informal evaluation techniques, usability moderation, test plans, testing environments, analysis, and reporting.

690-207: Community Archiving (Anthony) 3 credits

690-220: Disaster Planning for Libraries (Flaherty) 1.5 credits, meets October 13-December 1

690-224: Visual Analytics (Gotz) 3 credits

690-228: Project Management (Nguyen) 1.5 credits, meets October 12-December 2

690-239: Everyday Life Information Practices (Thomson) 1.5 credits, meets August 21-September 25

690-240: Emotions in Information Interactions (Thomson) 1.5 credits, meets October 2-November 20) 

690-241: National Archives: Politics, Memory, and Public History (Ahmed) 1.5 credits meets October12-December 2
Suggested prerequisite: INLS 556, Introduction to Archives and Records Management, or an equivalent course. This course explores the theoretical, social and material construction of national archives. The creation of public memory in national archives will be examined from an international perspective, looking at examples from several countries. Using case studies, it will take into consideration the role political ideas and movements  (anti-colonial, for example) have played in determining what is included in (and what is excluded from) national memories and archival collections. It will also discuss the critique of national archives launched by the community archiving movement.

890-235: Health Informatics Seminar (Farrag/C. Moore) 1 credit

 

Spring 2015

INLS 089-001 First Year Seminar: Social Movements and New Media (Tufekci)
 

Movements ranging from uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and beyond to “Occupy” protestors in the United States have been using new media technologies to coordinate, to organize, to intervene in the public sphere as well as to document, share, and shape their own stories. Using a range of tools from Facebook to Twitter, from satellite modems to landlines to ad-hoc mesh networks, these movements have made their mark in history.

The objective of this course is to enhance our conceptual and empirical understanding of the interaction between the new media ecology and social change. We will explore various approaches to studying social movements and social change and look at specific cases.

Governments and powerful institutions are also responding to the challenge posed by the emergence of the Internet as a mundane and global technology. From increased surveillance and filtering capacity, to delivering propaganda over the Internet to their own, from “hacking” of dissident websites to sophisticated methods of censorship, governments around the world are broadening their repertoire of social, technical and legal tools for control and suppression of --and through-- the Internet.

We will explore the integration of new media tools within these movements as well governmental and institutional responses to these developments. We will also discuss the rapidly changing and contested terrain for shaping the infrastructure of global connectivity. Materials for this class will include readings, videos (not to be viewed in class but as material to be viewed), and a variety of visiting speakers (both in person and via Skype). (3 credits) 

INLS 089-002 First Year Seminar: Smart Cities (Rajasekar/Rademaker) 

A smart city is one where the needs of a populace meet the needs of environmental sustainability. The balance between the social and environmental issues is governed by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that power a smart city infrastructure. In this course, we learn about the influence of urban networks, smart city urban planning, energy as a catalyst of sustainable development, smart city infrastructure, sustainable transportation, flow of information and communications, smart grids, digital infrastructure and the role of data and information technology. We will discuss criteria for measuring the smartness of a city, including quality of life, citizen governance, and discuss issues that go towards the making of a future smart city. Several case studies will be presented with guest lecturers invited to present on critical thinking and practices in smart city development. (3 credits) 

690-163: Information Analytics (Rajasekar)
Pre-req: INLS 560 or equivalent. The data explosion experienced by computerization of every aspect of our lives from social media to internet of things requires a deeper look at information analytics. The course introduces proven and emerging analytical techniques that can be used to deal with mountains of mostly unstructured data. We will look at several analytical paradigms from Predictive Modeling to Data Mining, Text Analytics to Web Analytics, Statistical Analysis to novel paradigms in Map Reduce and Storm, and from Crowd Sourcing to Scientific Workflows.  Knowledge of programming is essential. (3 credits) 

690-187: Web Development (Hassell)
An introduction to front-end web development using the latest standards, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is recommended. (1.5 credits) 

690-189: Social Media and Society (Tufekci)
This course examines the increasingly important technologies of connectivity from a theoretical and empirical perspective. We will explore the evolution, implications and complications of social media in multiple spheres of life including sociality, community, power and inequality, education, knowledge, and information. Our emphasis will be not on one current platform (such as Facebook or Twitter) or a even a particular device. Rather, we will study how different configurations of connectivity encourage or stifle different socio-cultural practices and values. This course will provide conceptual and methodological foundations for studying and evaluating current and future development in this area. (3 credits) 

690-212: Audio-Visual Archives Management (S. Wiess)
An introduction to the practice and curatorship of audio, film and video archives with an emphasis on the history of recording, best practices for preservation and access, copyright, and collection development.  Through selected readings, lecture, class discussion, assignments, and hands-on demonstrations, students will gain an understanding of the history of recording, format identification, philosophy of media preservation as well as copyright, and collection management. (1.5 credits) 

690-215: Leadership: Nature and Nurture (Lowry)
The student will gain insight into the nature of leadership and its organizational impact. A major goal is to begin to understand personal interest in leadership roles for library and information agencies through examining the origins of leadership theory from classic models arising in political and military practice to modern research revealing how leadership emerges in the larger cultural context.  (1.5 credits)  

690-216: Social Sciences Information (Bardeen)
Prerequisite: INLS 501. Survey of information and its needs in the social sciences, with an emphasis on information use and search strategies and on reference and other information resources. (1.5 credits) 

690-217: Humanities Information (Holloway)
Prerequisite: INLS 501. Survey of information and its needs in the humanities, with an emphasis on information use and search strategies and on reference and other information resources. (1.5 credits) 

690-232: Business Information (Ernsthausen/Drewry)
 

This class introduces students to important information sources  and strategies needed to respond quickly and capably to the needs of patrons looking for data or news about companies, industries and market segments, business deals, new products, or other information that helps them make real-life, business-related decisions.  We will spend time with free and fee based data resources in electronic and print formats from commercial, organizational, and governmental providers.  We will also identify and apply evaluation criteria for business resources and discuss ways of conveying the importance of resource evaluation to clients. We will discuss the differences and similarities between the needs of academic researchers, entrepreneurs and small business owners, corporations, non-profits, community patrons, news organizations, governments and NGOs.   We will discuss the differences and similarities between business services in special, academic, and public libraries.  

690-233: Issues in Cloud Computing (Hassell) 

Cloud computing claims to be a fundamentally new paradigm in which computing services and resources is migrating from personal computers sitting on a person's desk (or lap) to large, centrally managed datacenters.  We will evaluate this claim based on the basic paradigm of cloud computing.  Next we will examine the technical characteristics and the business reasons for cloud computing.  We will discuss common commercial and open source offerings.  Emphasis will be placed on cloud answers to common business computing issues, like scalability of processing and storage, security, relational and other database models.  Issues of privacy and security will also be addressed.
This will be a reading intensive course, with all material coming from open sources or from the university’s electronic holdings.