Academics
Spring 2024

Spring 2024

Graduate courses:

NWMEDIA 200, 4 units

History & Theory of New Media

H. Zeavin

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

Queering Digital Culture

E. Fraser

What does it mean to “Queer” digital culture, both as a retrospective, looking back, and as a present and future focus? Queering Digital Cultures reviews the Queer history of digital and new media, including well-documented communities and works and neglected or revised histories that have begun to feature in recent scholarship. Through Queering as both a conceptual framework and a mode of inquiry, students will consider early new media works; cyberspaces; online communities; fan cultures; video games, and other media as part of a process of ‘Queering’ digital culture. Students will analyse and interpret contemporary digital cultural practices using Queer theory, not only through LGBTQI+ themes but with a focus on the digital form itself.

NWMEDIA 290, 4 units

Digital Storytelling

E. Fraser

Through themes of crisis, catastrophe and speculative futures, this course introduces students to the history and practice of digital storytelling. Using theories like cybertext, procedurality and narratology the content covers established and recent scholarship on new media, video games, non-linear texts and digitality. Students will develop projects featuring interactivity, social media, machinima, podcasting, hypertext, StoryMaps and other natively digital forms and practices. Exploring ideas around crisis, ruin, dystopia and climate catastrophe, students will experiment with digital storytelling techniques to extend their work into fiction, creative non-fiction, and speculation. Introductory training and equipment available as required.

NWMEDIA 290, 4 units

Geo-Graphesis/Geo-Graphy - Visualizing the Spatial

C. Wilmott

Across data, dance, distance and decay, this course explores the myriad visualizations of the spatial, from the rational to the poetic. It starts with a pencil and paper, as we examine the basic principles of graphic expression and ask what it would take to bring diagramming, visualizing, mapping and tabling into a radical, redemptive and emancipatory visual politics. Each week students will be required to submit a suite of drawings that brings together a well-established form of geographical visualization with a radical contemporary text of students’ choosing which demands more of our visual politics before completing a final visual argument that critiques both form and content.

This class is by application only. Please contact the instructor clancy.wilmott(opens in a new tab)@berkeley.edu for information on how to apply.

ARCH 205B, 5 units

Studio One

R. Rael

This course is the second semester of a one-year, post-professional studio intended for those students who have a professional architecture degree and wish to explore current design issues in a stimulating, rigorous, and highly experimental studio setting.

ARCH 229, 1-4 units

Special Topics in Digital Design Theories and Methods

G. Eftaxiopoulos

This seminar will cast light on the notion of flexibility in architecture. As an unquestioned positive concept widely adopted by architects to describe almost every architectural project and respond to today’s ever-changing environment, it will challenge flexibility’s taken-for-granted reading by investigating the term beyond spatiality. The sessions—organized around talks, texts and drawing assignments—will discuss a number of paradigmatic case studies and construct a genealogy of flexibility, ultimately unveiling its hidden complexities, problematics and links to other disciplines.

ARCH 230-001, 3 units

Advanced Architectural Design Theory and Criticism

N. Turan

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

ARCH 240-001, 3 units

Advanced Study of Energy and Environment

L. Caldas

Minimizing energy use is a cornerstone of designing and operating sustainable buildings, and attention to energy issues can often lead to greatly improved indoor environmental quality. For designers, using computer-based energy analysis tools are important not only to qualify for sustainability ratings and meet energy codes, but also to develop intuition about what makes buildings perform well.

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.

COMPSCI C280, 3 units

Computer Vision

A. Kanazawa, 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.

CYPLAN 255, 3 units

Urban Informatics and Visualization

Staff

A hands-on data visualization course that trains students to analyze urban data, develop indicators, and create visualizations and maps using programming languages, open source tools, and public data.

DESINV 211, 5 units

Designing Emerging Technologies I

B. Hinch

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.

EDUC 203, 3 units

Cultivating Cognitive Development: From Sensorimotor Intelligence to Embodied STEM Concepts

D. Abrahamson

This Learning Sciences and Human Development graduate program required course provides a foundation for one strand of LS/HD scholarship: the sensorimotor grounding of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) concepts. We will cover seminal work from cognitive developmental psychology as well as a variety of theories of human learning, both of movement and of STEM concepts, that ultimately inform the design of artifacts and activities for equitable STEM learning.

EDUC 295B, 3 units

Technology, Computing, and Data in the Classroom

T. Sengupta-Irving

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.

FILM 240-001, 4 units

Screen Dynamics: A Comparative Perspective

W. Bao

In recent years, the proliferation and ubiquity of screen across the globe has raised new questions about the ontology, archaeology, and ecology of media. What is a screen? Is it a technical device, a material surface, an optical portal, a spatial construct, or a living environment? Or is it a psychic mechanism, a social interface, a cultural articulation, and a political instrument?

FILM 240-003, 4 units

TEMPORALITY IN/AND THE CINEMA/MEDIA

M. Doane

An examination of the cinema’s historical and theoretical position as a mode of representing time. Is time recorded or produced by film? How can we analyze duration in the cinema? What is the cinema’s relation to the archive and to modernity?

FILM 240-004, 4 units

The Elements of Media Studies

N. Starosielski

This is a seminar on media and its elemental constituents, contexts, and interfaces. These include air and atmospheres, oceans and water, particulate matter and dust, microbes and viruses, ice and heat, surfaces and lubrication, minerals and supply chains.

GERMAN 267-001, 4 units

Media Archaeology

N. Baer

Taught in English.

This seminar surveys the burgeoning field of media archaeology, exploring its wide-ranging implications for media theory, historiography, curation, and creative practice. We will read core texts in the field, including writings on time axis manipulation, topoi, deep time, radical media archaeology, zombie media, and experimental media archaeology. We will also consider recent scholarly interventions on a broad array of media (e.g., paper, screens, sound, television, wireless, virtual reality)—interventions that have extended, challenged, and reoriented the field and placed it in more sustained conversation with decolonial, Afrofuturist, feminist, and queer thought.

INFO 203, 2 units

Social Issues of Information

C. Cheshire

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

Staff

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 217A, 3 units

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Research

N. Salehi

This course is a graduate-level introduction to HCI research. Students will learn to conduct original HCI research by reading and discussing research papers while collaborating on a semester-long research project. Each week the class will focus on a theme of HCI research and review foundational and cutting-edge research relevant to that theme.

INFO 218, 3 units

Concepts of Information

A. Saxenian

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 233, 3 units

Social Psychology and Information Technology

J. Antin

Discusses application of social psychological theory and research to information technologies and systems; we focus on sociological social psychology, which largely focuses on group processes, networks, and interpersonal relationships. Information technologies considered include software systems used on the internet such as social networks, email, and social games, as well as specific hardware technologies such as mobile devices, computers, wearables, and virtual/augmented reality devices. We examine human communication practices, through the lens of different social psychology theories, including: symbolic interaction, identity theories, social exchange theory, status construction theory, and social networks and social structure theory.

INFO 290T-003, 2-4 units

Human-Centered AI

N. Salehi

This course will explore what HCI knowledge and methods can bring to the study, design, and evaluation of AI systems with a particular emphasis on the human, social, and ethical impact of those systems.

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

S. Oh, Y. Martinez

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

J. Rue

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 201A, 4 units

Proseminar in Computer Music

E. Campion

Overview of the field of computer music and its application to music composition. Practices, procedures, and aesthetics related to the application of newer technologies to music composition will be covered in tandem with contemporary research topics in computer music. Recent computer music repertoire with its related technologies will be examined.

STS C250, 3 units

Science and Technology Studies Research Seminar

H. Zeavin

This course will cover methods and approaches for students considering professionalizing in the field of STS, including a chance for students to workshop written work.






Undergraduate courses:

ARCH 11B, 5 units

Introduction to Design

R. Pakravan

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 160-002, 4 units

Art and Climate Change

A. Kazmi

This is a production and theory class that looks at creative responses to climate change. We will approach art making through the lens of a socially engaged praxis that creates opportunities about conversations about our political and ecological realities. We will be taking what we read into the world through various kinds of multi-sensorial activities or “practicums” that give us a hands-on exploration of earthly and ecological materials and processes. We will explore an array of creative strategies like drawing, making pigments, making 3D objects using photogrammetry, exploring image based AI, and various forms of community engagement to learn about a web of biological, cultural, and political interrelationships and how such engagements can generate art projects and practices. In addition, we will look at the work of artists, thinkers, and scientists that help us retune our understanding of nature and technology, the human and the non-human.

ART 171-001, 4 units

Video Projects

S. Asgary

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.

ART 172, 4 units

Advanced Digital Media: Computer Graphics

G. Niemeyer

Computer Graphics constitute a default method of image synthesis, from fine art to game design, cinema, and advertising. This production-intensive studio course introduces students to professional CG tools (Blender, Python) as well as an overview of CG aesthetics. Weekly project assignments based on tutorials cover modeling, texturing, lighting, animation, rendering, physics simulations and data-driven image synthesis. Final projects focus on portfolio work with scenes and characters to be exported into VR, AR, and game design.

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

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

A. Dragan

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.

DESINV 23, 3 unit

Creative Programming and Electronics

S. Tewari

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.

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.

FILM 35, 4 units

Digital Media Studies

J. Gaboury

This course is about digital media: how it came to be, where it is going, and how we can engage with it critically and creatively. Over the course of five units we will trace both the history and theory of digital media technologies, examining how they have come to shape our engagement with contemporary culture with a particular focus on aesthetics, form, and politics.

FILM 135-001, 4 units

Experimental and Alternative Media Art

I. Cortez

This course is a survey of the history and aesthetics of experimental and alternative media forms and practices situating them in relation to the larger art historical, social and intellectual contexts from which they arise.

FILM 155-001, 4 units

Cinema After Digitization

J. Gaboury

How has digital technology transformed the way we make, view, and understand film and moving image media today? This course examines the influence of digital media on film and visual culture over the past 25 years, from video games to virtual reality.

FILM 170-002, 4 units

Cinema and the Anthropocene

E. West

What is “The Anthropocene?” What do we do with it? How do we live through it? How do we use this concept to expand our understanding of deep time and human agency? To expand our awareness of interspecies relational entanglements? To intensify our commitments to social and environmental justice?

FILM 171-002, 4 units

Our Others, Our Selves: Race, Gender, and Technologies of the Body in Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema

E. West

Science fiction is a highly political genre, historically rooted in Western colonial expansion and directly expressive of imperialist desire and anxiety. This course aims to illuminate the ways in which science fiction film constructs its Others through scenes of encounter that mobilize ideologies of race, class, and gender in complex and contradictory ways.

FILM 187-002, 4 units

Topics in Media Production, Making Digital Infrastructure Visible

N. Starosielski

The digital “cloud” is a real place. It is a patchwork of subsea fiber optic cables (the highways of the internet), internet exchanges (the transit hubs of the internet), and data centers (the interconnection points and storage centers of the internet). Although almost all global digital communications transit these infrastructures, they remain largely invisible.

GLOBAL 110K, 3 units

Africa in Global Context

N. Schimmel

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.

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?

LS 25, 3 units

Thinking Through Art and Design @ Berkeley

L. Wymore & K. Goldberg

L&S 25 introduces students to key vocabularies, forms, and histories from the many arts and design disciplines represented at UC Berkeley. It is 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 locally.

This undergraduate letters and sciences course will expose students to ChatGPT, Midjourney, and other forms of Generative AI and contemporary issues at the intersection of AI and Robotics. The class will explore, critique, and use these technologies to express ideas through accessible and approachable assignments that draw upon the fine arts and design.

MEDIAST 132, 4 units

Researching Digital Media: Methods & Methodologies

E. Fraser

The question of how to study digital content, or use digital methodologies, is extremely complex. Should we simply adapt existing methods for media, culture and social analysis and apply these to digital and networked technologies? Are web-native or digital-native processes the only appropriate methodologies available for the study of the digital? What theoretical frameworks or technical skills are best positioned to capture ever-evolving online communications, communities and practices? What are the pitfalls of digital research, and can they be avoided? How do you use digitally-focused methods in context? Finally, how has academic research and practice changed in response to digitally mediated cultures and societies? These key questions wi

MEDIAST 168, 4 units

Cybernetics and Cybercultures: The Psychosocial Impact of Digital Media

M. Berry

How have the realities and representations of digital media affected how we think, feel, and interact? What impulses, events, and personalities gave rise to the relentless digitization of information, choice, and even life itself?

MUSIC 29, 4 units

Music Now

E. Campion

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 158A, 4 units

Sound and Music Computing with CNMAT Technologies

J. Kulpa

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.

MUSIC 158B, 4 units

Situated Instrument Design for Musical Expression

A. Blanton

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 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.