Spring 2021

Spring 2021

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

Graduate courses:

NWMEDIA 200, 4 units (also TDPS 266)

History and Theory of New Media

A. De Kosnik

This graduate seminar is one of the core requirements for the Designated Emphasis in New Media, offered by the Berkeley Center for New Media. This course will provide participants with a foundation in new media studies (major works, authors, historical events, objects, and schools of thought), such that they will be able to compile reading lists for their qualifying exams, bibliographies for their dissertations, and syllabi for their courses on topics related to new media. It will develop participants' skills in analyzing new media texts and artifacts, articulating their insights in speech and writing, and developing individual new media research projects.

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.

NWMEDIA 290, 3 units

Digital Geographies: Society, Space, and Politics in a Networked World

C. Wilmott

From the Bombe to Blockchain, digital technologies have heralded new systems of connection, and with them, restratified spatial politics. This course considers the explicitly spatial questions in the new arrangements of politics in virtual, mobile and sensing digitalities, as well as the complex, but consistent spatialities of digital information. This includes critical concerns over theories of digitality, governance, society, and politics - and how the process of scraping, cleaning, making and presenting digital information is always geographic.

AFAM 240-002, 1-4 units

Queer Studies & Comic Studies

D. Scott

Description forthcoming.

ARCH 229, 1-4 units

Special Topics in Digital Design Theories and Methods

R. Choksombatchal

Description forthcoming.

ARCH 230-001, 3 units

Advanced Architectural Design Theory and Criticism


Seminar in the analysis and discussion of contemporary and historical issues in architectural design theory and criticism.

COMPSCI 260A, 4 units

User Interface Design and Development


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.

COMPSCI C280, 3 units

Computer Vision

A. Efros

Paradigms for computational vision. Relation to human visual perception. Mathematical techniques for representing and reasoning, with curves, surfaces and volumes. Illumination and reflectance models. Color perception. Image segmentation and aggregation. Methods for bottom-up three dimensional shape recovery: Line drawing analysis, stereo, shading, motion, texture. Use of object models for prediction and recognition.

EDUC 295B, 3 units

Technology, Curriculum, and Instruction

M. Wilkerson

To explore the cognitive consequences of technology in instruction and learning, the promise of technology in education will be examined, and exemplary instructional software will be explored. A model of knowledge acquisition and knowledge change incorporating technological delivery of instruction will be developed.

GWS 236, 4 units

Diaspora, Border, and Transnational Identities

M. Moallem

This course will study debates around the notions of home, location, migrancy, mobility, and dislocation by focusing on issues of gender and sexuality. We will examine the ways in which various cultural flows have fundamentally challenged and changed the nature of global economy by expanding mobility of capital, labor, and systems of representations in a transnational context. We will also look at the impact of new technologies in production, distribution, communication, and circulation of cultural meanings and social identites by linking nationalism, immigration, diaspora, and globalization to the process of subject formation in a postcolonial context.

INFO C260F, 3 units

Machine Learning in Education

Z. Pardos

This course covers computational approaches to the task of modeling learning and improving outcomes in Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). We will cover theories and methodologies underpinning current approaches to knowledge discovery and data mining in education and survey the latest developments in the broad field of human learning research. The course is project based; teams will be introduced to online learning platforms and their datasets with the objective of pairing data analysis with theory or implementation. Literature review will add context and grounding to projects.

INFO 203, 2 units

Social Issues of Information


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, 2 units

Information Law and Policy


This course uses examples from various commercial domains—retail, health, credit, entertainment, social media, and biosensing/quantified self—to explore legal and ethical issues including freedom of expression, privacy, research ethics, consumer protection, information and cybersecurity, and copyright. The class emphasizes how existing legal and policy frameworks constrain, inform, and enable the architecture, interfaces, data practices, and consumer facing policies and documentation of such offerings; and, fosters reflection on the ethical impact of information and communication technologies and the role of information professionals in legal and ethical work.

INFO 218, 3 units

Concepts of Information


As it's generally used, "information" is a collection of notions, rather than a single coherent concept. In this course, we'll examine conceptions of information based in information theory, philosophy, social science, economics, and history. Issues include: How compatible are these conceptions; can we talk about "information" in the abstract? What work do these various notions play in discussions of literacy, intellectual property, advertising, and the political process? And where does this leave "information studies" and "the information society"?

INFO 234, 3 Units

Information Technology Economics, Strategy, and Policy

J. Chuang

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


The design and presentation of digital information. Use of graphics, animation, sound, visualization software, and hypermedia in presenting information to the user. Methods of presenting complex information to enhance comprehension and analysis. Incorporation of visualization techniques into human-computer interfaces. Course must be completed for a letter grade to fulfill degree requirements.

MUSIC 207, 4 units

Advanced Projects in Computer Music


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.

MUSIC 208A, 4 units

Advanced Music Perception and Cognition


Experimental studies in Music Perception and Cognition. Research projects required.

MUSIC 210, 4 units

Composers and Improvisers Workshop


This course will provide a weekly forum for the exploration of strategies for composing for improvisers and improvising for composers, culminating in the presentation of new work. A number of approaches including gaming strategies, graphic and alternative notation systems, conduction, and other topics of interest to the students will be explored through performance, listening, analysis, and discussion.

RHETORIC 250, 4 units

Rhetoric of the Image

W. Wong and N. Zakariya

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

Advanced Digital Animation

D. D. Garcia

This 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.

AFAM 159-002, 1-4 units

Writing About the Climate Crisis: An Intersectional, Multi-genre Writing and Study Workshop

A. De Leon

Have you or your community been affected by the climate emergency? Have you watched as other communities have been impacted by this worldwide crisis? This course is for current or aspiring, activists, poets, essayists, short story writers, filmmakers, journalists, podcasters, or others who want to learn more about, discuss, and write about the climate emergency, with a goal of joining the worldwide cacophony of voices demanding change. All genres welcome. No experience in climate writing or activism is necessary. We will break down the science and the politics to create an inclusive classroom for everyone regardless of their prior knowledge. We will consider the origins of this crisis as well as current proposed solutions and obstacles. Our investigation of root causes will be intersectional, looking at how race, gender, class, nation, and neoliberalism have played a role in getting us to this point. We will explore intersectional solutions, including the Green New Deal, defunding police, and Indigenous community solutions.

ARCH 11B, 5 units

Introduction to Design


This Introduction to design concepts and conventions of graphic representation and model building as related to the study of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and city planning. Students draw in plan, section, elevation, axonometric, and perspective and are introduced to digital media. Design projects address concepts of order, site analysis, scale, structure, rhythm, detail, culture, and landscape.

ART 174, 4 units

Advanced Digital Video


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

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 160, 4 units

User Interface Design and Development


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. Russell and X. Song

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

M. Ball

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 22, 3 units

Prototyping & Fabrication


This course teaches concepts, skills and methods required to design, prototype, and fabricate physical objects. Each week relevant techniques in 2D and 3D modeling and fabrication are presented, along with basic electronics. Topics include a range of prototyping and fabrication techniques including laser-cutting, 3D modeling and 3D printing, soldering, and basic circuits. This course may be used to fulfill undergraduate technical elective requirements for some College of Engineering majors; students should refer to their Engineering Student Services advisors for more details.

DESINV 23, 3 unit

Creative Programming and Electronics


This course teaches techniques to conceptualize, design and prototype interactive objects. Students will learn core interaction design principles and learn how to program devices with and without screens, basic circuit design and construction for sensing and actuation, and debugging. Students work individually on fundamental concepts and skills, then form teams to work on an open-ended design project that requires a synthesis of the different techniques covered. This course may be used to fulfill undergraduate technical elective requirements for some College of Engineering majors; students should refer to their Engineering Student Services advisors for more details.

DESINV 25, 3 unit

User Experience Design


This studio course introduces students to design thinking and the basic practices of interaction design. Following a human-centered design process that includes research, concept generation, prototyping, and refinement, students work as individuals and in small teams to design mobile information systems and other interactive experiences. Becoming familiar with design methodologies such as sketching, storyboarding, wire framing, and prototyping, students learn core skills for understanding the rich contexts of stakeholders and their interactions with technology, for researching competing products and services, for modeling the current and preferred state of the world, and for prototyping and communicating solutions. No coding is required.

DESINV 95, 1 unit

Design Innovation Lecture Series


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.

DESINV 181, 3 units

Reimagining Mobility


In Reimagining Mobility, offered in a project-based learning format, students will envision meaningful interactions between people and different transportation modalities. Looking 10-15 years into the future, they will address elements such as car sharing, public transportation, autonomous driving, and more. The core objectives of this course are to 1) equip students with tools, techniques, and practice to master the design thinking process and 2) facilitate the creation of portfolio-grade design solutions, to be pitched to real-world customers and investors.

DESINV 190-009, 1-4 units

Technology Design Foundations

V. Rao and A. Hutz

Description forthcoming.

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.

EDUC W141, 3 units

Exploring Digital Pedagogy

G. Hull

Over the past decade, online education and classroom-based education have begun to converge in the form of digital pedagogy. What does this mean for the role of the instructor, how a student learns, the design of a learning experience, the structure of education and the impact on society overall? This course provides the opportunity to explore issues that are impacting 21st century education and pedagogy due to the disruptive force of technology.

ENV DES 1-001, 3 units

People and Environmental Design


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 Theory

M. Doane

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.

FILM 35, 4 units

Digital Media Studies

J. Gaboury

This course will focus on introductory topics related to the field of digital media studies.

FILM 155, 4 units

Media Technologies

J. Gaboury

This course will focus on the history, theory, and experience of old and new media technologies.

GWS 131, 4 units

Gender and Science

M. Chen

Examines historical and contemporary scientific studies of gender, sexuality, class, nation, and race from late 18th century racial and gender classifications through the heyday of eugenics to today's genomics. Explores the embedding of the scientific study of gender and sexuality and race in different political, economic, and social contexts. Considers different theories for the historical underrepresentation of women and minorities in science, as well as potential solutions. Introduces students to feminist science studies, and discusses technologies of production, reproduction, and destruction that draw on as well as remake gender locally and globally.

GEOG 170, 3 units

Digital Geographies: Society, Space, and Politics in a Networked World

C. Wilmott

From the Bombe to Blockchain, digital technologies have heralded new systems of connection, and with them, restratified spatial politics. This course considers the explicitly spatial questions in the new arrangements of politics in virtual, mobile and sensing digitalities, as well as the complex, but consistent spatialities of digital information. This includes critical concerns over theories of digitality, governance, society, and politics - and how the process of scraping, cleaning, making and presenting digital information is always geographic.

GLOBAL 110K, 3 units

Africa in Global Context


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.

HUM 20, 1 unit

Explorations in Arts + Design at Berkeley

S. Jackson

A+D Mondays @ BAMPFA is a weekly public lecture series organized by the Arts + Design Initiative and co-curated by departments throughout the campus and local and national arts organizations. Through lectures by leading scholars, artists, and public figures, students are introduced to vocabularies, forms, and histories from the many arts, design, humanities, and media disciplines represented at UC Berkeley. Explore cutting-edge thinking and making on topics of current interest to UC Berkeley's creative faculty and national leaders in the cultural and creative arts. Students engage with the lecture series through weekly response papers and a final reflection paper.

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

P. Duguid

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?

LS 25, 3 units

Thinking Through Art and Design @Berkeley

S. Jackson

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

W. Turner

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 111, 4 units

Media History

M. Berry

This is a lecture-format survey course on the history of media forms, technologies, institutions, and regulation—from the origins of writing, invention of print technology, through the development of digital media. Attention to the specific characteristics of individual media, the changing role of media as a force in culture along with the hopes as well as anxieties they provoke, and the continually transforming institutions and business of media will all be touched on. The role of media forms in the creation of public discourse and the social controls on media through censorship, legal constraints, and economic policies will also be examined.

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.

MEDIAST 165, 4 units

Internet and Culture

J. Jackson

This class uses the approaches of media studies and cultural studies to critically consider how historical and emerging new media technologies as well as the behaviors and forms of cultural production associated with them influence and are themselves influenced by our everyday practices and lived experiences. It focuses particularly on concerns of identity, community, access, citizenship, industry, and regulation as these relate to social networking, collective endeavor, and public speech.

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.

MUSIC 158B, 4 units

Situated Instrument Design for Musical Expression


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.

RHETORIC 107, 4 units

Rhetoric of Scientific Discourse

D. Bates

Examination of the characteristic functions of discourse in and about the natural sciences; with particular examination of the ways in which scientific language both guarantees, and at the same time, obscures the expression of social norms in scientific facts.

SOCIOL 166, 4 units

Society and Technology

L. 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, 4 units

Virtual Communities/ Social Media

E. Lin

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.

THEATER 177, 4 units

Sound Design for Performance

A. De Kosnik

In this course, undergraduate students will learn to construct sound cues and soundtracks for theater performances and videos using industry standard software, and will learn fundamental principles of incorporating video and sound into stage productions. Students will be exposed to the writings and works of prominent sound theorists, designers, and engineers and multimedia performance artists. The most successful students may be invited to participate in UC Berkeley theater productions as sound designers.