Academics
Spring 2020

Spring 2020

This list is updated regularly. Check back often for the latest updates. Email lara@berkeley.edu with suggestions.

Graduate courses:

NWMEDIA 201, 3 units

Questioning New Media

A. Kazmi

Questioning New Media is a hybrid studio/lecture course that explores issues and practices in contemporary new media culture. Students will research, present and make creative works that critically examine new media. The course will focus on the issues addressed in select campus lectures, local art exhibitions, and course readings. In class, students will enhance their skills in "questioning" new media: how to think critically about advanced topics, how to look at new media art work with a discerning eye, and how to transform their “questions” into an engaging creative work of art or performance.

Students will attend campus lectures, art shows and events, in addition to doing selected readings. There will be a final presentation/performance night open to the public. This course is open to graduate students from any department and upper- level undergraduates (upon instructor approval). This course fulfills one of the core course requirements for the Designated Emphasis in New Media.

NWMEDIA C203, 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 to receive notification of the application.

NWMEDIA C265, 3 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.

COMPSCI 260A, 4 units

User Interface Design and Development

B. Hartmann

The design, implementation, and evaluation of user interfaces. User-centered design and task analysis. Conceptual models and interface metaphors. Usability inspection and evaluation methods. Analysis of user study data. Input methods (keyboard, pointing, touch, tangible) and input models. 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.

INFO 203, 2 units

Social and Organizational Issues of Information

J. Burrell

This course is designed to be an introduction to the topics and issues associated with information and information technology and its role in society. Throughout the semester we will consider both the consequence and impact of technologies on social groups and on social interaction and how society defines and shapes the technologies that are produced. Students will be exposed to a broad range of applied and practical problems, theoretical issues, as well as methods used in social scientific analysis. The four sections of the course are: 1) theories of technology in society, 2) information technology in workplaces 3) automation vs. humans, and 4) networked sociability.

INFO 205-001, 3 units

Information Law and Policy

D. 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 234, 3 Units

Information Technology Economics, Strategy, and Policy

Staff

Application of economic tools and principles, including game theory, industrial organization, information economics, and behavioral economics, to analyze business strategies and public policy issues surrounding information technologies and IT industries. Topics include: economics of information; economics of information goods, services, and platforms; strategic pricing; strategic complements and substitutes; competition models; network industry structure and telecommunications regulation; search and the "long tail"; network cascades and social epidemics; network formation and network structure; peer production and crowdsourcing; interdependent security and privacy.

INFO 247, 3 units

Information Visualization and Presentation

Staff

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.

JOURN 216, 2-3 units

Multimedia Reporting

Staff

For journalists, the World Wide Web opens a powerful way to tell stories by combining text, video, audio, still photos, graphics, and interactivity. Students learn multimedia-reporting basics, how the web is changing journalism, and its relationship to democracy and community. Students use storyboarding techniques to construct nonlinear stories; they research, report, edit, and assemble two story projects.

JOURN 220, 2 units

Coding for Journalists

Staff

This course is an introduction to programming concepts as they relate to the journalism industry. The goal of this course is to equip students with a foundational technical literacy to construct interactive online stories such as data visualizations, infographics, maps, multimedia packages, games or innumerable other types of projects students may conceive.

JOURN 222, 3 units

Interactive Narratives

Staff

This class teaches students how to develop interactive online news packages using best practices in design and web development. The course focuses on story structure and production of content and will cover the following topics:Best practices in developing interactive multimedia stories online; Design fundamentals and typography for online content; HTML and CSS for designing and constructing web projects; jQuery coding for adding interactivity to online content.

MUSIC 207, 4 units

Advanced Projects in Computer Music

Staff

Designed for graduate students in music composition, but open to graduate students in related disciplines who can demonstrate thorough knowledge of the history of electro-acoustic music as well as significant experience with computer music practice and research. All projects are subject to approval of the instructor.

RHETORIC 250, 4 units

Rhetoric of the Image

D. Bates

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 190-002, 4 units

Writing and Making in the Digital Age

A. Saum-Pascual

Are you an artist? A poet? What about a hacker? Do you think computers AND literature are cool?

Trying to bridge the gap between makers and writers, this exciting course engages in the critical making of digital literature together with the writing of scholarly essays on related topics. “Writing and making in the digital age” is a hybrid class that combines humanities literary analysis with the teaching of digital tools and resources through practical, hands-on work. Throughout the semester you will learn how to talk and write about electronic literature (e.g. hypertext narratives, kinetic poetry, automatic generators, social media fictions, chatterbots… and many, many more!) from the Spanish speaking world, learning specific terminology and theoretical frameworks for its analysis. Further, you will also gain the skills to hack, remix, and build your own digital poems and stories in a collaborative workshop setting.

ART 119, 4 units

Global Perspectives in Contemporary Art

A. Kazmi

This course is designed to explore a range of contemporary art movements around the globe, through a closer look at their central ideas, artists, and artworks, as well as the preconditions and broader social context in which the work is being produced. Topics covered will range from the emergence of localized avant-garde movements in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America to the implicit globalism of the international biennial circuit.

ART 178

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.

ART 174, 4 units

Advanced Digital Video

Staff

This advanced studio course is designed for students who have mastered basic skills and concepts involved in digital video production, and are interested in further investigating critical, theoretical, and creative research topics in digital video production. Each week will include relevant readings, class discussions, guest speakers, demonstrat ion of examples, and studio time for training and working on student assignments.

COMPSCI 10-001, 4 units

The Beauty and Joy of Computing

M. Ball

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, 4 units

User Interface Design and Development

B. Hartmann

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

R. Ng

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

S. Levine

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

J. Hug

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.

DESINV 95, 1 unit

Design Innovation Lecture Series

Staff

In this one semester, P/NP course, students will attend the weekly Design Field Notes speaker series, which features local design practitioners who share real-world stories about their projects, practices, and perspectives. Talks are scheduled most weeks during the semester; during any off weeks, students will engage in facilitated discussions.

EDUC W140A, 4 units (also EDUC 140AC)

The Art of Making Meaning: Educational Perspectives on Literacy and Learning in a Global World

G. Hull

This course combines theory and practice in the study of literacy and development. It will introduce sociocultural educational theory and research focused especially on literacy teaching and learning, and this literature will be examined in practice through participation in after-school programs. In addition, the course will contribute to an understanding of how literacy is reflected in race, culture, and ethnicity in the United States and how these symbolic systems shift in a digital world.

ENV DES 1-001, 3 units

People and Environmental Design

Staff

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.

FILM 20, 4 units

Film and Media Cultures

E. West

This course is intended to introduce undergraduates to the study of a range of media, including photography, film, television, video, and print and digital media. The course will focus on questions of medium "specificity" or the key technological/material, formal and aesthetic features of different media and modes of address and representation that define them. Also considered is the relationship of individual media to time and space, how individual media construct their audiences or spectators, and the kinds of looking or viewing they enable or encourage. The course will discuss the ideological effects of various media, particularly around questions of racial and sexual difference, national identity, capitalism, and power.

GLOBAL 110K, 3 units

Africa in Global Context

Staff

This course will provide students majoring in Global Studies with an introduction to Africa and its significance to the globe. We will address issues related to Africa that span all three concentrations of the major (Society and Culture, Development, Peace and Conflict). In particular, we will focus on the following four themes:conflict, identity, development and technology.

HISTORY 182A, 4 units

Science, Technology, and Society

A. Wesner

Where do science and technology come from? How did they become the most authoritative kinds of knowledge in our society? How do technology, culture, and society interact? What drives technological change? The course examines these questions using case studies from different historical periods. We shall discuss the emergence of science as a dimension of our modernity, and its relations to other traditions such as magic, religion, and art. The aim of the course is for students to learn about how science and technology shape the way we live and, especially, how technological change is invariably shaped by historical and social circumstances.

INFO 103, 4 Units

History of Information

Staff

This course explores the history of information and associated technologies, uncovering why we think of ours as "the information age." We will select moments in the evolution of production, recording, and storage from the earliest writing systems to the world of Short Message Service (SMS) and blogs. In every instance, we'll be concerned with both what and when and how and why, and we will keep returning to the question of technological determinism: how do technological developments affect society and vice versa?

INFO C167, 4 Units

Virtual Communities/Social Media

Staff

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).

LS 25, 3 units

Thinking Through Art and Design @Berkeley

L. Kroiz & L. Raiford

This course introduces students to key vocabularies, forms, and histories from the many arts and design disciplines represented at UC Berkeley. It is conceived each year around a central theme that responds to significant works and events on the campus, providing an introduction to the many art and design resources available to students on campus. Students will compare practices from across the fields of visual art, film, dance, theater, music, architecture, graphic design, new media, and creative writing, and explore how different artists respond formally to the central themes of the course, considering how similar questions and arguments are differently addressed in visual, material, embodied, sonic, spatial, and linguistic forms.

LS C30Z, 3 units

Bioinspired Design

R. Full

Bioinspired design views the process of how we learn from Nature as an innovation strategy translating principles of function, performance and aesthetics from biology to human technology. The creative design process is driven by interdisciplinary exchange among engineering, biology, art, architecture and business. Diverse teams of students will collaborate on, create, and present original bioinspired design projects. Lectures discuss biomimicry, challenges of extracting principles from Nature, scaling, robustness, and entrepreneurship through case studies highlighting robots that run, fly, and swim, materials like gecko-inspired adhesives, artificial muscles, medical prosthetic devices, and translation to start-ups.

MEDIAST 104A, 3 units

Freedom of Speech and the Press

Staff

The course considers the history and contemporary meaning of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and the press. Emphasizing the real world implications of major Supreme Court decisions, the course examines restrictions on speech and press imposed by national security, libel, injurious speech, and privacy, as well as issues of access to information and government regulation of new media.

MEDIAST 160, 4 units

International Media

I. Davis

Case studies of the foreign mass media. Focus may be on the press and publishing, broadcasting, documentaries, or new media. Possible topics: Pacific Rim press; mass media in China; Israeli and Palestinian media.

MUSIC 29, 4 units

Music Now

Staff

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.

MUSIC 158B, 4 units

Situated Instrument Design for Musical Expression

Staff

The practice and theory of contextual instrument design for use in musical expression is explored. Students create new instruments and performance environments using a variety of physical interaction paradigms, programming practices, and musical processes emerging from the UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). Building on the methodologies established in Music 158A, the course develops aesthetic, analytic and technical skills through discussion, empirical study, and collaborative engagement. With a balance of artistic and technical concerns, participants deepen understanding of the creative process, demonstrating the results through class installation and public performance.

SOCIOL 160, 4 units

Sociology of Culture

G. Mora-torres

This survey course studies human meaning systems, particularly as manifested in art, literature, music, and other media. It includes study of the production, reception, and aesthetic experience of cultural forms.

SPANISH 135-002, 4 units

Writing and Making in the Digital Age

A. Saum-Pascual

Are you an artist? A poet? What about a hacker? Do you think computers AND literature are cool?

Trying to bridge the gap between makers and writers, this exciting course engages in the critical making of digital literature together with the writing of scholarly essays on related topics. “Writing and making in the digital age” is a hybrid class that combines humanities literary analysis with the teaching of digital tools and resources through practical, hands-on work. Throughout the semester you will learn how to talk and write about electronic literature (e.g. hypertext narratives, kinetic poetry, automatic generators, social media fictions, chatterbots… and many, many more!) from the Spanish speaking world, learning specific terminology and theoretical frameworks for its analysis. Further, you will also gain the skills to hack, remix, and build your own digital poems and stories in a collaborative workshop setting.