Fall 2023

Fall 2023

Graduate courses:

NWMEDIA 201, 3 units

Questioning New Media

A. Kazmi & J. Miller

Recent developments in creative technologies (such as augmented/virtual reality and artificial intelligence programs) have allowed artists to experiment in their studios in novel ways. How do we tell stories, question the status quo, envision alternative futures, or push boundaries using new programs, forms, or spatial understandings? How can new mediums inform the way we understand and produce works of art? How do we critically engage, subvert, and challenge the commercial industry model of new media production?

By utilizing research and experimentation with new tools and software programs, we will consider art making in relation to other more traditional media. This is not a technology class with a dash of art on the side. In this class, developing your artistic voice will be just as important as honing your technical skills. We will have a historical approach and we will look at new media art in an ongoing dialogue with sculpture, installation, film, video, sound art, and performance art. Students will be introduced to contemporary art projects by artists working in socially engaged forms, raising awareness and creating opportunities for conversation about our political and ecological realities.

While it is not necessary to have proficiency in specific software programs before taking this course, having some familiarity with creative tools is beneficial. Merging new and traditional mediums will be encouraged. Assignments include: using artificial intelligence programs to iterate on collaborative drawings, using Adobe Illustrator and a laser cutter to design and install an art intervention, and exploring spatial immersion and critical worldbuilding using virtual reality.

NWMEDIA 205, 4 units

Locative Media

C. Wilmott

From postcards and maps to mobile phones, this course considers the history and future of locative media, as technological, situated and navigational ways of expressing and understanding space, place and mobility. Combining theory and praxis, students partake in a series of of lectures and discussion-based seminars as well as research, design and production workshops where they will learn to make a critical locative media project of their own.

NWMEDIA C262, 4 units

(laboratory also required)

Theory and Practice of Tangible User Interfaces

K. Ryokai

This course explores the theory and practice of Tangible User Interfaces, a new approach to Human Computer Interaction that focuses on the physical interaction with computational media. The topics covered in the course include theoretical framework, design examples, enabling technologies, and evaluation of Tangible User Interfaces. Students will design and develop experimental Tangible User Interfaces using physical computing prototyping tools and write a final project report.

NWMEDIA 290-002, 3 units

New Media Cities

E. Fraser

This course focuses on “new media cities” – real and imagined. From the early metaphors of the internet, to the technologically mediated smart city; from the city form as a media technology, to techno-imaginaries of future cities, this course asks students to engage with the significance of new media in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries, and the city as a new-media-oriented space. We will look at cities in video games; architectural design and modeling; spaces of new media art; online worlds and virtual communities; digital archives; urban simulations, and other new media contexts. Students will have the opportunity to research and imagine their own new media cities, as well as developing critical interdisciplinary awareness of new media and media studies, urban studies, cultural and digital geographies, game studies, and associated fields.

ARCH 200A, 5 units

Introduction to Architecture Studio


Introductory course in architectural design and theories for graduate students. Problems emphasize the major format, spatial, material, tectonic, social, technological, and environmental determinants of building form. Studio work is supplemented by lectures, discussions, readings, and field trips.

ARCH 229, 1-4 units

Special Topics in Digital Design Theories and Methods

L. Caldas

ARCH 270-001, 3 units

History of Modern Architecture

G. Castillo

This course examines developments in design, theory, graphic representation, construction technology, and interior programming through case studies of individual buildings. Each lecture will delve deeply into one or sometimes two buildings to examine program, spatial organization, critical building details, and the relationship of the case study building with regard to other parallel works and the architect's overall body of work.

COMPSCI 294-043, 1-4 units

Vision and Language AI

T. Darrell

Grounded perception is a key feature of most visions of future AI: the ability to refer to entities in the world provides semantic cues for machines to understand and act and can allow effective communication with human partners. The interplay of vision and language has long tantalized AI researchers, and has recently begun to bear considerable fruit. As time and the interest of participants permit, this course will overview the history of vision and language models including early generative and translation based methods, cover key deep learning techniques that provided significant advances in previous years including recurrent convolutional networks, review in detail contemporary large scale transformer models for multimodal processing, assess the state-of-the-art these methods achieve on challenges including image captioning, VQA, Video-QA, Visual Dialog, Video Description, and text-to-image synthesis. We will also consider multimedia forensic challenges, and how vision and language methods can help defend against the spread of falsified media. Finally, we will discuss the ethical issues that arise with large-scale vision and language datasets and models, and will consider methods for removing unwanted dataset bias and/or making models more explainable and transparent. Permission of instructor required for all students, including auditors. Students are expected to have completed graduate computer vision and/or NLP courses and be engaged in active research on related topics. This course may be taken for variable units (2-4), may be audited, and may be retaken for credit in different semesters as the material will change from term to term.

COMPSCI 294-082, 1-4 units

Experimental Design for Machine Learning on Multimedia Data

G. Friedlund

COMPSCI 294-137, 3 units

Immersive Computing and Virtual Reality

B. Hartmann, J. O’Brien, A. Yang

DESINV 201, 3 units

Debates in Design


As today’s most pressing challenges cut across disciplinary boundaries, designers need to articulate new methods for connecting conceptual knowledge with technical skills and develop new ways of integrating ideas from various perspectives and world views. Each year students in this colloquium-style course explore a topic in design. Invited lecturers present a relevant project or challenge from their professional careers at a given intersection of critical contemporary issues expressed at a particular scale of design practice. Speakers share background material or readings in advance, allowing students to arrive with thoughtful questions and discussion points. Students compose written reflections throughout and following each speaker.

DESINV 211, 5 units

Designing Emerging Technologies I


This course is an intensive, project-based course that focuses on design of interactive artifacts that use emerging technologies. Students are led through a sequence of projects of varying lengths (from one week to three weeks). This serves as the first in a two part sequence of courses (with DES INV 212) intended to develop student skills in designing with technology as a material. Projects include both individual and team activities, with teams frequently changing in size and composition.

EDUC 222C, 3 units

Design-Based Research Forum

D. Abrahamson

A design- build- implement- analyze- theorize- publicize practicum forum for participants to first learn about design-based educational research work and receive support in their original and on-going projects. Following several orientation weeks, in which we discuss fundamental resources and participate in hands-on activities, subsequent readings are customized to individual students. The course culminates with presentations, and students submit an empirical research paper.

ESPM C252-001, 3 units

(also ANTHRO C254-001, HIST C250-001, STS C200-001)

Topics in Science and Technology Studies


This course provides a strong foundation for graduate work in STS, a multidisciplinary field with a signature capacity to rethink the relationship among science, technology, and political and social life. From climate change to population genomics, access to medicines and the impact of new media, the problems of our time are simultaneously scientific and social, technological and political, ethical and economic.

FILM 240-001, 4 units

J. Gaboury

INFO 202, 2 units

Information Organization and Retrieval


Organization, representation, and access to information. Categorization, indexing, and content analysis. Data structures. Design and maintenance of databases, indexes, classification schemes, and thesauri. Use of codes, formats, and standards. Analysis and evaluation of search and navigation techniques.

INFO 213-001, 4 units

User Interface Design and Development


User interface design and human-computer interaction. Examination of alternative design. Tools and methods for design and development. Human computer interaction. Methods for measuring and evaluating interface quality.

INFO 253A, 3 units

Front-End Web Architecture


This course is a survey of technologies that power the user interfaces of web applications on a variety of devices today, including desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. This course will delve into some of the core Front-End languages and frameworks (HTML/CSS/JS/React/Redux), as well as the underlying technologies enable web applications (HTTP, URI, JSON). The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the technical issues surrounding user interfaces powered by the web today, and to provide a solid and comprehensive perspective of the Web's constantly evolving landscape.

INFO 256, 3 units

Applied Natural Language Processing


This course examines the state-of-the-art in applied Natural Language Processing (also known as content analysis and language engineering), with an emphasis on how well existing algorithms perform and how they can be used (or not) in applications. Topics include part-of-speech tagging, shallow parsing, text classification, information extraction, incorporation of lexicons and ontologies into text analysis, and question answering. Students will apply and extend existing software tools to text-processing problems.

INFO 271B, 3 units

Quantitative Research Methods for Information Systems and Management


Introduction to many different types of quantitative research methods, with an emphasis on linking quantitative statistical techniques to real-world research methods. Introductory and intermediate topics include: defining research problems, theory testing, casual inference, probability, and univariate statistics. Research design and methodology topics include: primary/secondary survey data analysis, experimental designs, and coding qualitative data for quantitative analysis.

INFO 272, 3 units

Qualitative Research Methods for Information Systems and Management


Theory and practice of naturalistic inquiry. Grounded theory. Ethnographic methods including interviews, focus groups, naturalistic observation. Case studies. Analysis of qualitative data. Issues of validity and generalizability in qualitative research.

INFO 290-001, 1-4 units

Product Design Studio

J. Reffell

INFO 290-005, 1-4 units

Politics of Information

A. Saxenian

JOURN 216, 2-3 units

Multimedia Reporting


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 233, 3 units

Advanced Coding Interactive Stories


This course teaches students code literacy. Beyond the specific skills they learn, students will have a more well-rounded understanding of crucial technologies that in influence the news industry in innumerable ways. They become better decision makers when working with technologists, and will help to forge the future of the journalism industry. This class covers prototypical object-oriented programming, an important component in many web coding languages. Topics covered include variables, typecasting, arrays, for-loops, conditional statements, comparison operators, functions, enclosures and cross-domain data requesting. This course will also cover popular data libraries like D3 and Pandas.

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 258A, 4 units

Sound and Music Computing with CNMAT Technologies

E. Campion

Explores the intersection of music and computers using a combination of scientific, technological, and artistic methodologies. Musical concerns within a computational frame are addressed through the acquisition of basic programming skills for the creation and control of digital sound. Will learn core concepts and techniques of computer-based music composition using the Cycling74/MaxMSP programming environment in combination with associated software tools and programming approaches created by the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies. Included will be exposure to the essentials of digital audio signal processing, musical acoustics and psychoacoustics, sound analysis and synthesis. The course is hands-on & taught from the computer lab.

RHETORIC 250, 4 units

Rhetoric of the Image

W. Wong

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.

STS C200, 3 units

Topics in Science and Technology Studies


This course provides a strong foundation for graduate work in STS, a multidisciplinary field with a signature capacity to rethink the relationship among science, technology, and political and social life. From climate change to population genomics, access to medicines and the impact of new media, the problems of our time are simultaneously scientific and social, technological and political, ethical and economic.

TDPS 266

Video/Art/Performance: Genealogies of Time-based Media Art Practice

S. Jackson

Developed from the mixed media experiments of the 1960s through to new digital and virtual aesthetics of our current moment, time-based media art offers an opportunity to explore cross-pollination amongst many art forms—including painting, sculpture, photography, cinema, dance, theater, and performance art. Sometimes video art begins as documentation of another art form; sometimes it is conceived as a limited edition art form of its own. Sometimes the screen is positioned as a delivery system of art and performance; sometimes the screen is incorporated as artistic material. We will consider these questions of form and system next to social and political questions of theme and content. How have video artists engagement with some of the most pressing issues of our time, including climate change, racial inequity, gender and sexuality, decolonization, globalization, pandemic politics, and the social impact of ever-new technology? The course will take advantage of local exhibitions and screenings as well as a variety of online tools and video collections. Students will engage as scholars throughout the course while also experimenting in curation and video-making themselves. Readings and case studies will likely include Marina Abramovic, Doug Aitken, John Akomfrah, Erika Balsom, Janet Cardiff, TJ Demos, Jeffrey Gibson, Allison Janae Hamilton, Lynn Hershman, Arthur Jafa, Kahlil Joseph, Joan Jonas, William Kentridge, Barbara London, Richard Mosse, Shirin Neshat, and many more, including the examples and projects that students bring to a growing a archive.

Undergraduate courses:

NWMEDIA 190, 4 units

Writing and Making in the Digital Age

A. Saum-Pascual

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

Bridging 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.

[No prior technical knowledge is necessary to take this class, but knowledge of Spanish is required. Non-Spanish majors/minors can opt to be evaluated in English, but instruction will be delivered in Spanish. Spanish majors and minors will complete their assignments in Spanish]

ART 23AC, 4 units

Digital Media: Foundations


Data and logic form core interfaces for information technology. New media art requires understanding their key dynamics. Students gain experience with data generation, visualization, and their impact on real persons, environments and situations. Can we measure, count and weigh everything? Is data fair? What is the role of privacy? How do digital conditions affect human conditions? From memes to machine learning, students participate in emerging data cultures including sampling, visualization, animation, video, interactive design, and music. Assignments follow readings on media and design theory, abstraction, interactivity, archives, performance, identity, privacy, automation, aggregation, networking, diffusion, diffraction and subversion.

ART 26-001, 4 units

Moving Image: Foundations


A practical and critical introduction to moving image media, focusing primarily on independent and experimental film and video art. Students learn video production and post-production and are introduced to key moments and concepts in moving image history and criticism. Course instruction includes basic camera operations, sound recording, and lighting, as well as basic editing, compression, and dissemination formats. Solo and group assignments are completed, and group critiques of class projects train students to recognize and discuss the formal, technical, critical and historical dimensions of their works. Weekly readings in philosophy, critical theory, artist statements and literature are assigned

ART 30-001, 3 units

Art, Water and California

G. Niemeyer

Water is one of the most precarious resources in California, yet many people believe the water supply to be unlimited. The arts and visual cultures contribute to such popular misconceptions of natural resources, but media art can also help people develop more accurate and relevant conceptions of natural resources. The course introduces students to interdisciplinary creative research and media art production with the end goal of advancing popular conceptions about water. Students study water cultures in California from the 1750's onwards and experience a wide range of watercourses and waterworks to inspire new art. Art projects include data visualization, short fiction, billboard designs, and interactive gallery displays.

ART 171-001, 4 units

Video Projects


This course develops more advanced technical and conceptual skills, with focused attention on the pre- and post-production practices of writing and production design as well as image and sound editing. Class meetings include technical workshops, studio work, individual and class critique, and discussion of readings and screened course materials. Course projects vary in focus depending upon instructor; areas of emphasis may include: video in performance practices; video for sculptural installation; and social activist video.

COMPSCI 10, 4 units

The Beauty and Joy of Computing

D. Garcia

An introduction to the beauty and joy of computing. The history, social implications, great principles, and future of computing. Beautiful applications that have changed the world. How computing empowers discovery and progress in other fields. 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 188, 4 units

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence


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 195-001, 1 unit

Social Implications of Computer Technology


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 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 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.

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.

ENVDES 1, 3 units

Introduction to Environmental Design


This course will teach anyone how to start to be a designer, not just of drawings and objects, but also buildings, landscapes, and urban spaces. And not just in isolation, but in the complex web of ecological and man-made systems which makes up our shifting environment. You will take from the course first-hand experience of drawing, measuring, and design which form the basis of the professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and which culminate in a final design project in the course. The course is open to all undergraduate students.

FILM 20, 4 units

Film and Media Theory

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.

FILM 155, 4 units

Media Technologies

J. Gaboury

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

GEOG 80-001, 4 units

Digital Worlds: An Introduction to Geospatial Technologies

C. Wilmott

An introduction to the increasingly diverse range of geospatial technologies and tools including but not limited to geographical information systems (GIS). Via a mix of lecture and lab-based instruction, students will develop knowledge and skills in web-mapping and GIS. How these tools are used to represent fundamental geographic concepts, and the wider socioeconomic context of these technologies will also be explored.

INDENG 115-001, 3 units

Industrial and Commercial Data Systems


Design and implementation of databases, with an emphasis on industrial and commercial applications. Relational algebra, SQL, normalization. Students work in teams with local companies on a database design project. WWW design and queries.

MEDIAST 104D, 3 units

Privacy in the Digital Age

G. King

This course examines issues of privacy in contemporary society, with an emphasis on how privacy is affected by technological change. After an introduction to features of the American legal system and the theoretical underpinnings of privacy law, we will consider privacy in the context of law enforcement and national security investigations; government records and databases; commercial enterprises; and the freedoms of speech and press.

MEDIAST 111B, 4 units

Text and Data Media History

M. Berry

This course covers the modern global history of textual and digital media forms, with a focus on interactions between emerging media technologies and emerging modern power structures. We will examine how and why historical agents responded to, made use of, and tried to regulate new information technologies such as the printing press, documents and forms, newspapers, the postal service, the telegraph and teletype, filing and punch-card systems, electro-mechanical and electronic computers, networked databases, and the internet. Lectures will consider the impact of specific media technologies on the historical development of state administrations, colonial empires, ideological movements, and modern global business.

MUSIC 107, 4 units

Independent Projects in Computer Music


Students will develop, in consultation with the instructor, a semester length project that focuses on creating a piece of music, and/or researching and building new software tools for music.

MUSIC 158A, 4 units

Sound and Music Computing with CNMAT Technologies


Explores the intersection of music and computers using a combination of scientific, technological, and artistic methodologies. Musical concerns within a computational frame are addressed through the acquisition of basic programming skills for the creation and control of digital sound. Will learn core concepts and techniques of computer based music composition using the Cycling74/MaxMSP programming environment in combination with associated software tools and programming approaches created by the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies. Included will be exposure to the essentials of digital audio signal processing, musical acoustics and psychoacoustics, sound analysis and synthesis. The course is hands-on and taught from the computer lab.

RHETORIC 145, 4 units

Science, Narrative, and Image

S. Jackson

What is the role of narrative in science and conversely? How do images supplement or displace these narratives? How have scientific conceptions impacted narrative forms and theories of narrative? How important are images to the rhetoric of scientific persuasion? Finally, how can science itself be narrated or visually represented? This course will examine critical discussions of these questions.

SOCIOL 166, 4 units

Society & Technology

J. Klett

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


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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to suggest changes or additions, please contact BCNM Associate Director Lara Wolfe: