Special Topics Courses Offered Fall Semester

April 25, 2012

The fall schedule for the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers special topics courses in the areas of: Building a Personal Digital Library; Data Management; Making the Humanities Digital; Marketing; Mobile App Design and Development; Personal Information Management; Social Media and Society: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview; Text Mining; and User Experience Design. These special topics are not always available. If you have an opportunity and an interest in these courses, sign up today!     

"As you’re making your plans for fall, there are several special topics courses being offered, or courses that are offered irregularly, but will be available in the fall," said Dr. Barbara Wildemuth, associate dean for Academic Affairs. "Be sure to take a special look at them as you discuss your registration plans with your advisor."

More detailed information on the courses follows.

490-161, Building a Personal Digital Library

MW 9:30-10:45, Reagan Moore

This class will prepare students to implement their own personal digital LifeTime Library.  The collection that is assembled at SILS will be maintained throughout their academic career, and will be available for migration to their own laptop when they graduate.  Topics covered will include: creation of a personal digital library including organization of the material, creation of descriptive metadata, management of the collection, and sharing of the collection. 

The LifeTime Library will be based on the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS).  The iRODS software implements policy-based data management.  Up to a terabyte of storage space will be provided for each student.  During the course, we will investigate choice of user interface, automation of digital library management functions, enforcement of management policies, and assessment of collection properties.  Students will be able to use the LifeTime Library to manage class material, organize multimedia material, archive personal data collections, and share selected material.

Students will be asked to test the digital library, help evaluate the functionality, and generate ideas for improving the system.  Students are encouraged to think of themselves as the innovators in the development of digital libraries that will be used by other students.


490-046, Data Management

M 12:30-3:15, Helen Tibbo

This class will explore the full range of data curation lifecycle activities starting with the design of good data, through content creator management, metadata creation, ingest into a repository, repository management, access policies and implementation, and data reuse. Speakers from the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences will discuss data requirements in their fields and data curators will discuss challenges and current best practices as well as resource allocators. Data management plans for various funders such as NSF and NIH will be explored and federal funders will join in this discussion.

786, Marketing

TuTh 11-12:15, Evelyn Daniel

Application of marketing theory to libraries and other information settings. Includes consumer behavior, market research, segmentation, targeting and positioning, public relations, product design, and sales promotion.

890-186, Making the Humanities Digital

Tu 6-8:45, Ryan Shaw

According to the New York Times, "data" is "the next big idea in language, history and the arts." What does this mean? In an attempt to find out, this seminar will investigate the not-so-new field of the "digital humanities." Topics to be investigated include: computational methods for humanist research, new ways of presenting and disseminating humanist thought, new media as objects of humanistic inquiry, interdisciplinary work in the humanities, and critiques of the digital humanities. Implications for libraries, archives and museums as well as public engagement in the humanities will be emphasized throughout.

The course will be organized as two parallel threads and will meet twice a week. One meeting will be devoted to discussing readings and developing an understanding of the theoretical, philosophical, and political dimensions of the topics. The other meeting will be devoted to hands-on work, using and making tools for humanistic exploration. Interested or skeptical graduate students in the humanities, information and library science, and computer science are all encouraged to participate.

JOMC 491-007, Mobile App Design and Development

TuTh 5-6:15, Jones/Davis (must register through the JOMC registrar, 9 seats reserved for SILS students)

In this course, students will learn to design and develop mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. Students will work directly with the Objective-C programming language and Apple’s Xcode development tool to build mobile apps from scratch, with the goal of enabling students to independently produce fully functional app prototypes. User experience design plays a large role in app develop, with most development decisions being informed by design decisions. While prior programming experience is not necessary, it will certainly be helpful as this course will move quickly.


490-172, Personal Information Management

Tu 2-4:45, Rob Capra

Personal Information Management (PIM) is the study of how people organize and manage information in their daily lives, including to-do lists, calendars, email, address books, and file management. In today's digital age, many devices including cell phones, computers, PDAs, and music players play a role in PIM. This course will focus on major issues in PIM research, including information organization, human cognitive and memory issues, task continuity across devices, mental models of information, usability issues, and the role of technology in PIM. The course will be structured as a readings and discussion seminar with a semester-long research project. Students will become familiar with current PIM research and will design and implement a research study of PIM. Students will also prepare "a day in the life of my PIM" presentations to share aspects of their own personal information management techniques and challenges and to stimulate classroom discussion.

490-189, Social Media and Society: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview

Th 2-4:45, Zeynep 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, politics, power and inequality, education, knowledge, and information. Our emphasis will not be on any one current platform (such as Facebook or Twitter) or 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 developments in this area.

613, Text Mining

MW 2-3:15, Jaime Arguello

Changes in technology and publishing practices have eased the task of recording and sharing textual information electronically. This increased quantity of information has spurred the development of a new field called text mining. The overarching goal of this new field is to use computers to automatically learn new things from textual data.

The course is divided into three modules: basics, principles, and applications. The third module (applications) will focus on: methods for automatically organizing textual documents for sense-making and navigation (clustering and classification), methods for detecting opinion and bias, methods for detecting and resolving specific entities in text (information extraction and resolution), methods for learning new relations between entities (relation extraction), and methods for synthesizing documents or sets of documents (summarization). Throughout the course, a strong emphasis will be placed on evaluation. Students will develop a deep understanding of one particular method through a course project.


490-188, User Experience Design

Tu 12:30-3:15, Javier Velasco-Martin

This course will provide an overview of user experience (UX) design. We will cover some of the basic concepts and techniques used to create useful and purposeful information systems, as well as the basic process for leading such projects. This course is practical in nature, and focuses on how people will interact with information systems. The outcome of the design process is a series of blueprints for the system. We will not discuss how to build systems, but rather, you will learn about how to shape strategy and structure design in order to empower end users, and as a result, create good business for the project’s stakeholders.