An overview of new communication technology and the process of adoption of new technologies in groups, organizations, and communities.
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Degree Requirements – Information Science & eSociety
If your catalog year is 2015 or before, please contact the Undergraduate Academic Advisor for your degree requirements.
- 1st Year English or equivalent
- Math: PHIL 110, LING 123, PSY 230, MATH 105, 107, 109C, 112 or higher
- 4th semester second language proficiency
- 6 units Tier 1 Individuals & Societies
- 6 units Tier 1 Traditions & Cultures
- 6 units Tier 1 Natural Sciences
- 3 units Tier 2 Humanities
- 3 units Tier 2 Natural Sciences
- 3 units Tier 2 Arts
- 3 units Diversity
ESOC 150 is a general education course, which fulfills a Tier 1 Individuals & Society requirement. It does not apply to the major.
Required, minimum of 18 units (or double-major)
Introductory Courses for Major
- Complete 9 units total
Choose three courses from:
This course examines the popular image of hackers and hacking by considering the larger cultural context of information sharing in the digital age. This course introduces students to theories and practices of information sharing including the public domain, information as a common public good, hacking, copy left, open source software, open access publishing, and the creative commons.
With the increasing reliance on new media for collaborative work, social connection, education, and health-related support, this course will analyze human collaboration and community processes online. By considering how people create a sense of community, maintain group connections, and cooperate with others to bring about a particular outcome, this class will focus on what humans do, how they present themselves, and how they do the work of collaboration in online contexts. In addition to focusing on how humans work together in online in communities, this course will examine the many theories and interdisciplinary bodies of literature that pertain to `community¿ generally, and `online communities¿ specifically. With a focus on both theory and practical applications, this course gives learners opportunities to think intellectually about technology-based collaborations and to apply course-based knowledge in their mediated social lives. This course is not a technical experience, rather it focuses on the theories pertaining to and the processes in play when humans engage in group collaborations (e.g., gaming, teaching, learning, working, or gaining health-related support) via mobile technologies and online sites.
This course offers a broad survey of contemporary thinking about social media and examines mediated practices across sectors such as health care, education, government, museums, tourism, and business. Students will be exposed to a range of applicable theories, will be introduced to contemporary notions of information behavior (i.e., seeking, using, and negotiating information), will consider the historical evolution of new media environments, and will become familiar with information and social media literatures. In focusing on how people share social and practical information online, this course will examine how people aim to bring about particular outcomes via social media.
This course explores the emergence of contemporary visual culture and technological changes over time as well as how these shifts have and continue to impact human events, societal eras, and the `telling' of human stories. Specifically, this course offers an introduction into thinking critically about past events and related interpretations, handling archival materials, and visualizing human activity over time with new media technologies. Students will consider the function of digital narratives in processing, creating, and representing understandings of historical, personal, or location-based events and experiences.
As data continue to grow in volume and penetrate everything we do in contemporary work across many professions, employers are seeking data scientists to extract meanings and patterns from large quantities of data. This user-friendly course will provide an introduction to a variety of skills required for data analytics in organizations, education, health contexts, and the sciences. Specifically, this course examines information management in the context of massive sets of data, provides students proficiency with a variety of data analysis tools, and exposes learners to varied data platforms as well as skills and concepts related to data mining and statistical analysis. Particular attention will be given to toolkits imbedded in R and other platforms.
This course provides an introduction to game design and teaches students the fundamental concepts for creating games. Students will survey many different games, exploring the issues game designers face when designing games in different genres. Students will participate in a series of game design challenges and will be responsible for designing and prototyping simple games using a game building tool. Students will present their solutions to these challenges in front of the class for general discussion and constructive criticism.
Students will study how digital technologies are changing how people learn, how technology-based learning supports new approaches to assessment, how theories of learning are being developed to support research in these emerging areas, and how research on human learning is informing the design of computers that learn.
Major Core Courses
- 15 units total
Choose five courses from:
This course will lay a foundation for understanding how stories shape communities, identities, memories, and perspectives on our lives. In addition, this course will provide opportunities for the theoretical analysis of self representation, composite narratives on behalf of others, cultural heritage, and memories as they are preserved and performed within stories and through narrative. Influences on digital digital storytelling such as the sociocultural context, the institutional contexts of production the audience, and the needs or goals of the digital storyteller will be examined. Students will be required to call on their own intellectual, emotional, and imaginative processes, as well as to develop their own skills in digital storytelling, interviewing, oral history collection, and the use of relevant digital storytelling tools.
The focus of this course is on how social information is produced though language and identity work online, focusing on patterns of talk and interactional rules and practices across contexts (e.g., text-messaging, online communities, personal identity work, and transnational blogs). As part of this focused study of talk, this course will explore how online language use can create, maintain, reproduce, or disrupt roles and related norms (e.g., those of a friend, student, expert, or political agent), as well as identities and social categories (e.g., gender, sexuality, race, disability, or nationality). This course will also focus on the broader discourses on a 'global' level, examining human collaboration online for practices tied to elitism, the movement of social capital, racism, power, and the cultural production of inequalities.
This course will lay a foundation for theoretical analyses of how people socially create and negotiate information in the digital age. In addition, this course investigates a variety of approaches ranging from critical/cultural studies to positivist/behavioral research, considering the differing ways to think about social life and information in contemporary times. Broader paradigmatic assumptions (e.g., feminist theory, systems research) as well as specific theoretical topics (e.g., interactivity, mobility, telecommunity) will be examined. In addition, this class will survey the theoretical underpinnings of new media research across a variety of topic areas to include gaming, digital labor, communities, and global culture online.
In the early 21st Century, we see publishing in the throes of dramatic changes, from print to electronic most obviously but also in who authors books, the economics of publishing, and how books get to readers. These changes remind us that the dynamics of the movement of the written word to its audience are an integral part of the society in which books are written, produced, and circulate. This 3-credit course takes an historical perspective on publishing, which we will define as the processes by which books come into being in multiple copies and are distributed to reach their audiences. We will start with ancient societies all over the world, and we will investigate the circumstances across societies in which books distinguish themselves from administrative records and begin to serve the needs of the literate elite. We will examine the way the physical form of the book and the technologies for producing it arise from the circumstances of each society, and in turn, how that physical format conditions the character of books and their use. We will trace the rise of publishing practices and identify the factors necessary for the reproduction and distribution of books to form an actual trade in books in varying societies. As we work our way from the ancient world to the early modern world, we will compare publishing practices in different societies and explore commonalities and differences in the relationships that develop between the creation, reproduction and distribution of books. Of particular focus will be our comparison of the rise of publishing and book trades in Europe, Asia, and the Arab world before 1450. After the introduction of printing with metal moveable type in Europe, associated with Gutenberg in approximately 1450, we will have an opportunity to observe the changes that this new technology makes in publishing and the book trade, by comparing the mature manuscript book trade of the late middle ages to that of the hand-press book publishing of early modern Europe. In the run up to the mid-term we will see the effect of monetary capital on the book trades and the shaping of the function of the publisher (although not yet called that). We will also examine related publishing matters such as art and decorative print production as well as the emergence and social role of pamphlets.
This course will look at how commerce in information content (websites, books, databases, music, movies, software, etc.) functions. We will discuss things like switching costs, net neutrality, the long tail, differential pricing, and complementary goods. We will address the following sorts of questions: - Why do so many information producers give away content (such as "apps" for mobile phones) for free? How do companies (such as Google and Facebook) stay in business when no one has to pay to use their services? - What are contemporary practices with regard to purchasing access to information content? For instance, why do we tend to buy books, but only rent movies? Also, how do new modes of content provision (such as Pandora and Spotify) change the way that creators get paid for their work? - Why are there restrictions on how information content can be used? For instance, why can you play the DVD that you bought on your trip to Europe on the DVD player that you bought at home in the United States? But why should anybody other than an economist care about the answers to these sorts of questions? The world now runs on the production, dissemination, and consumption of information. All of us constantly access all sorts of information, through all sorts of devices, from all sorts of providers. We read and interact with websites, we query databases, and we communicate with each other via social media. These sorts of activities permeate both our personal and professional lives. In order to successfully navigate this digital world, information consumers, information producers, and information policy makers need to understand what sorts of information goods are likely to be available and how much they are likely to cost. We cannot learn enough about digital commerce simply by studying the various information technologies that are now available to create and disseminate information content. What matters most is how people choose to spend their time using these technologies, and what sorts of content can provide earning potential for its creators. What also matters are the unique properties of information content that make it very different from other sorts of goods. For instance, while only one person at a time can drive a particular car or eat a particular hamburger, millions of people can simultaneously read the same book, listen to the same song, and use the same software. These are issues that are part and parcel to living, working, purchasing, and being entertained in an eSociety; these are the issues addressed in this course.
This course provides a powerful introduction to some of the criminal activities taking place in relation to digital information, big data, and social media. Related to the exploration of criminal activity in an eSociety, this course focuses on some of the most common legal issues faced today, with regard to our own personal data (e.g., our health histories, our genetic make up, our cloud-based photos and messages, our past) and in relation to organizational or political data on social media and in society. In this course, students as future technologists, will be exposed to the 'dark side' of this current 'information society' (e.g., deception, cybercrime) as well topics such as big data privacy, digital disruptions, consumer data and related sales, gaming protections, youth safety online, big science data sharing issues and related trust, digital security, as well as how certain groups -- law firms, advocacy groups, marketing professionals, and political or lobbying groups -- are mining data for particular use. Students will be required to consider recent court cases and contentions around the use, management, and protection of data in society as well as the risk humans face in this digital information and mediated age.
This course introduces key concepts and skills needed for those working with information and communication technologies (ICT). Students will be exposed to hardware and software technologies, and they will explore a wide variety of topics including processing and memory systems, diagnostics and repair strategies, operating systems in both desktop and mobile devices. As part of this course, students will consider current technological disruptions, those issues emerging as technologies and social needs collide. Students we also learn about design issues and user needs tied to mobile or computer applications and web-based tools, sites, games, data platforms, or learning environments.
This course is a broad survey of the processes, theories, and practices around instructional technologies that can be applied to various learning situations. Students will study and apply research and theory on technology adoption, analysis, and support, along with instructional design, learning theories, and training needs analysis. The course will also guide students through the design of effective tech-supported training, technology selection dependent upon learning situations, evaluation of chosen learning technologies, and considerations in instructional technology piloting, adoption, and support. By the end of this course, students will make educated decisions about technology implementation across diverse learning environments.
How have literary expression and our understandings of the self changed alongside the media technologies of the twenty-first century? This course examines the place of fiction among social media, big data, fan fiction, video games, and the many other forms of entertainment that compete with it today. To do so, we'll learn about the history of media forms, and some of the methods of media studies, which consider how media forms shape the stories they convey. We will read novels, a play, poetry, and experimental forms that ask what technology might be changing about the human condition, including concerns about privacy, identity, politics, memory, and more. Along the way, we will encounter some of the history of experimental literature and we'll consider what forms the future of literary expression will take.
This course focuses on the ethical issues that arise in the context of new and emerging information technologies-- e.g., threats to privacy of ubiquitous technological surveillance, limitations on access created by digital rights management. The course will use the framework of ethical theory to analyze these issues and to propose policy solutions. The goal of the course is to give students the necessary theoretical foundation to be involved in the evaluation and construction of information policies at the local, national, and international level. The course will focus on three core areas where digital dilemmas arise--information access, information privacy, and intellectual property. In order to achieve depth as well as breadth, the course will put one of these issues at the center and discuss the others in relation to it. So, for instance, the course may focus on Intellectual Property looking at the threats and benefits of IP to privacy and access. This syllabus provides an overview of the range of topics that may be discussed.
We are living in a time when nearly everyone has the means to make movies, music and photos using just their own personal tools like smartphones, iPads, and similar mobile gadgets. This course will develop and refine skills and understanding of multimedia in contemporary culture. Offering a survey of innovative works in film and information arts, this course will allow students a hands-on opportunity to respond to concepts covered in class using self-produced media. This course will address how information functions in time-based forms of multimedia and video in this era of interactive information and displays. Drawing on historical precedents in the media and computational arts, this course focuses on both linear and non-linear approaches of using image, sound and text to create critical and creative works that function in a the context of social media and our contemporary digital society. How and why do certain images, music or films affect us so profoundly? We will address this question through a study of the components of media literacy that include: Production, Language, Representation, and Audience. These concepts will be examined through a cross-section of writers including: Marshall McLuhan, John Berger and Susan Sontag.
Research Methods and Data Analysis
- 6 units total
Choose one class from:
This course will lay a foundation for understanding how to design and conduct qualitative research in the digital age. This course will focus on such practices as digital ethnography, online discourse or text analysis, web-based survey research, virtual interviewing, and data collection via mobile technologies. Broad paradigmatic assumptions underpinning interpretive inquiry will also be examined.
This course will explore broad research paradigms and theoretical approaches that inform contemporary social research, varying study designs, as well as the systematic methods utilized in differing types of data analyses. Though this course will introduce research processes across the academic spectrum, quantitative analysis of both small and large data sets will be emphasized. Therefore, students will learn about basic statistical analyses and will be introduced to the emerging worlds of data science and social media analytics. Students will also consider related topics such as data visualization or research presentations.
Does sleep improve memory? Does having friends improve mental health? These questions can be examined through controlled scientific experiments. This course will teach students the methods of statistics that are used for exploring data collected in experiments and for evaluating scientific hypotheses. Students will learn how to apply the core statistical tools used in science such as t-tests, ANOVA, regression, and Chi-square tests.
and one from:
An introduction to computational techniques and using a modern programming language to solve current problems drawn from science, technology, and the arts. Topics include control structures, elementary data structures, and effective program design and implementation techniques. Weekly laboratory.
**Programming-intensive Course, College Algebra recommended
Using readings, lectures, demonstrations, and varied assignments, introduces students to search functions and indexes on the Web; proprietary databases that provide full-text articles not available on the open Web; search syntax and protocols; non-text retrieval of numeric data, photos, and other forms of information; and how to evaluate and reformulate search results.
Note: PSY 230 can double-dip with foundation math
Engaged Learning Requirement
- Complete 3 units
This course is designed to be a culminating experience for the eSociety degree program, a course that engages students in practical activity as well as prepares learners for contemporary work. eSociety major and minor students as well as other undergraduates preparing for work relating to digital information or related fields can enroll in and will benefit from this course. Students will be given opportunities to discuss, review and reflect on their learning in their undergraduate work relative to an eSociety and will be provided the mechanisms through which their coursework can be applied to `real-world' contexts (e.g., internships, interviews with leaders in their area of study, professional shadowing experiences, service learning projects, or community-based event planning). Ultimately, this course provides students the opportunity to learn about what it means to be prepared in an eSociety as well as reflect on their own skill sets and the professional preparation needed for career satisfaction and success.
- Choose one course (3 units)
This course will investigate the role that information and information technology plays in our social and communicative processes. It will look at the affects of information access/aggregation and instantaneous communication on management styles, the shape, functionality and utility of modern organizations and societies, the changing role of individuals and the issues of anonymity, privacy and security.
Security is about protecting assets, such as money and physical possessions. For instance, we use walls, locks, burglar alarms, and even armed guards to keep other people from stealing and/or destroying our stuff. These days, information is typically one of our most important assets. Thus, we have to worry about the possibility of other people stealing and/or destroying it. For instance, criminals threaten our data with scareware or ransomware in order to extort money from us.
In today's digital society, people have access to a wide variety of information sources and scientific data. In this course, students will learn about the role of science and scientific data in society, and they will consider means for making science information findable and understandable for a wide variety of audiences. This course will provide students an interdisciplinary experience for considering science data and how that information gets shared across contexts.
Special topics courses are offered to allow students to explore specialized topics not covered in the program curriculum. Multiple topics might be offered in any given year, and specialized topic descriptions will be advertised by the School for students interested in enrolling in the course.
This course provides an introduction to video game development. We will explore game design (not just computer games, but all games) and continue with an examination of game prototyping. Once we have working prototypes, we will continue with the development of a complete 2D computer game. The remaining course topics include: designing the game engine, rendering the graphics to the screen, and artificial intelligence. Students will be given periodic homework that reinforces what was learned in class. Homework will include developing a game prototype, game design documentation, some programming tasks. Students will work in small teams to develop a working game as a term project. Grades will be primarily based on the term project with some small amount of weight to homework. The examples provided in class will be programmed in Java and available for execution on any operating system. Programming homework assignments will be done in either Java or the language chosen by the instructor. The term project can be written in any programming language with instructor permission.
Special topics courses are offered to allow students to explore specialized topics not covered in the program curriculum. Multiple topics might be offered in any given year, and specialized topic descriptions will be advertised by the School for students interested in enrolling in the course. A specific course syllabus will be published prior to the offer of a special topic course.
Digital information technologies shape our lives. The benefits and the possible dangers of digital information technologies will be explored from a multidisciplinary perspective, looking at the insights into our digital age from history, linguistics sociology, political theory, information science, and philosophy. Students will have opportunities for active reflection on the ways in which digital technology shapes learning and social interaction.
This course will focus on how to ensure that we can reliably get quality information and will also consider information quality from the perspective of the suppliers of information. Principles of evaluating information exchanges and sources will be discussed and topics will include the verification of the accuracy of information and the evaluation of resources in specialized subject domains.
This course covers theory, methods, and techniques widely used to design and develop a relational database system and students will develop a broad understanding of modern database management systems. Applications of fundamental database principles in a stand-alone database environment using MS Access and Windows are emphasized. Applications in an Internet environment will be discussed using MySQL in the Linux platform.
The U.S. government collects, generates, publishes and distributes a vast amount and variety of information. All information professionals-even those who do not intend to specialize as government document librarians-should understand the organization of and promote access to this body of work. In this course, lectures, discussions, and readings will acquaint students with theoretical and practical knowledge. The assignments will provide opportunities for deeper exploration of government information policies and resources.
Study of the user interface in information systems, of human computer interaction, and of website design and evaluation.
Study of patterns of social interaction at the individual and group level. Survey of network theory and methods, with applications to areas of current sociological interest.
Additional elective courses can be taken if needed to reach 120 total units or 42 upper-division units.