INFO 102 · Little Bits to Big Ideas

4 credit hours
GenEd credit for Quant I

SPRING ONLY


This course provides a broad introduction to the nature, capabilities, and limitations of computing. Topics range from

  • the way data is represented and stored, to
  • the way today’s computers work, to
  • the general ideas of algorithms and computational efficiency, to
  • the future of computing.

It covers “Great Ideas” across various areas of the field, including, for example,

  • cryptography and internet security,
  • problem solving,
  • modeling and simulation, and
  • artificial intelligence.


Course catalog link:
http://catalog.illinois.edu/courses-of-instruction/info/

INFO 325 · Social Media and Global Change

3 credit hours
Same as EPS 325, AFST 325, ASST 325, EURO 325, LAST 325, REES 325, and SAME 325.


Social media is a new frontier of politics, religion, commerce, courtship, and education. It has altered an array of social relations from statecraft to sex.

The course draws on case studies from across the globe to explore the wide-ranging transformation taking place, from how people organize mass uprisings, to ways the mange the most intimate details of their lives. Examples will be taken from the Middle East, East Asia, Africa, Latin America, the US and Europe.


Course catalog link:
http://catalog.illinois.edu/courses-of-instruction/info/

INFO 303 · Writing Across Media

3 credit hours
GenEd credit for Adv Comp starting Fall 09, offered fall, spring, summer


Media changes not only how we write but what we write-and what we recognize as writing. It is no longer practical to think of writing as simply words on a page. (Maybe it was never practical.) Writing Across Media (WAM) will pay close attention to those points where text and image meet and consider the ways in which writing is shaped by these interactions.

A guiding principle of this course is that effective writing cannot take place simply by learning a set of functions or techniques. We will approach multimodal writing from theoretical and practical perspectives. For example, we will consider not only how to create a web site but also why people have chosen to represent their ideas (and themselves) in certain ways.

Some of the questions the course will explore are

  • What are the invisible media forms that we use each day?
  • Is the media the message?
  • What are the implicit rules that govern how we choose to represent our ideas in different media?
  • How can we identify those rules (and challenge them) to produce effective media productions?
  • How can theoretical ideas about new media inform practical training?
  • What does it mean to read visual images?
  • What are the rules that shape how we choose to design and literally position our ideas?

By integrating practical “how-to” guidelines with broader theoretical issues of what it means to write (and read) with different media, we will work on developing effective strategies for creating dynamic web pages, multimodal presentations, videos and other digital projects. Class sessions will be a combination of class discussion and hands-on training. No prior experience is necessary.


Course catalog link:
http://catalog.illinois.edu/courses-of-instruction/info/

INFO 345 · Digital and Gender Cultures

3 credit hours
Same as GWS 345/ MACS 345/ SOC 345.


This interdisciplinary course uses the lens of gender critique and pairs it with social activism to provide students analytical tools to engage with, reshape, and create digital cultures.

Examines recent research and public policies related to

  • the gender, race, and class dimensions of digital cultures and inequality;
  • the broad range of labor issues embedded in the growing income disparity related to digital cultures;
  • the various ways that digital inequality has been defined by public policy, sociologists, and activists, and
  • real examples of collective activism and social change related to emerging technologies.


Course catalog link:
http://catalog.illinois.edu/courses-of-instruction/info/

INFO 326 · New media, culture, & society

3 credit hours
Same as MACS 326.


Digital media is an immensely pervasive and powerful form of communication that despite its rapid growth has yet to reach most of the world’s population.

  • This lecture-based survey course for undergraduates traces
  • the history and formation of personal computing and the Internet,
  • the development of virtual communities and virtual worlds,
  • evolving forms of digital representation and communication,
  • digital visual cultures,
  • features of new media industries, and
  • the rise of participatory media.

Evaluation and assessment is based on written exams, quizzes, class discussion in section, and practice-based assignments using new media technologies such as wikis, blogs, games, and digital video.

Emphasis is on mastering key concepts of digital media through theory and history, and on critical discussion of distinctive features of digital media objects. Lectures and discussion sections are held in computer-equipped classrooms.


Course catalog link:
http://catalog.illinois.edu/courses-of-instruction/info/