DCS 1200. Data Driven Societies
What sorts of questions can and should be answered using digital and computational methods? How can such methods in conjunction with data can reveal new insights and questions about the world? How do we construct models to help us better understand social phenomena? Covers topics such as data gathering, validation, analysis, and presentation, as well as statistics and programming. Provides substantive experience in digital and computational methods, and a critical lens for understanding and evaluating what computers can (and cannot) bring to the study of our world.
DCS 2331/ENVS 2331. The Nature of Data: Introduction to Environmental Analysis
Examines emerging digital techniques in environmental management and analysis within government, academic and media sectors. Examines social science methods used in environmental inquiry including text analysis, spatial analysis, and social network analysis. Topics include collaborative resource management, leveraging the power of social networks, spatial analysis, social-ecological system management, the role of volunteered information and citizen science, and expanding capacities for adaptation and resilience. Labs as part of class time provide students exposure to standard software programs used in social science research including NVivo, ArcGIS, and Gephi and introduce the basics of R as a programming language for text analysis, spatial analysis, geotagging, and crowdsourcing.
DCS 2335/ENVS 2004. Understanding Place: GIS and Remote Sensing
Geographical information systems (GIS) organize and store spatial information for geographical presentation and analysis. They allow rapid development of high-quality maps, and enable powerful and sophisticated investigation of spatial patterns and interrelationships. Introduces concepts of cartography, database management, remote sensing, and spatial analysis. The productive use of GIS and Remote Sensing technology with an emphasis on the biophysical sciences and environmental management is investigated through a variety of applied exercises and problems culminating in a semester project that addresses a specific environmental application.
DCS 2350/CSCI 2350. Social and Economic Networks
Examines the social and economic aspects of today’s connected world from a multitude of perspectives; namely, network science, sociology, economics, and computer science. The fundamental questions to be addressed are: What does a real-world network look like? What are its effects on various social and behavioral phenomena, such as smoking, obesity, or even videos going viral? How does Google search the Internet and make money doing so? Studies economic implications of networks, including networked economies and markets. Also debates the issue of centrality in networks. No programming background required; basics of probability theory and matrix algebra required.
DCS 2500. Digital Text Analysis
Explores how digital techniques can enhance our understanding of text. Investigates how to make sense of the burgeoning number of textual sources in a timely manner and what new questions can be raised and answered by computer-based text analysis. Students learn to apply tools for analyzing large texts to problems drawn from areas throughout the liberal arts, such as psychology, philosophy, and literature. In addition, students address questions ranging from authorship of Supreme Court opinions, to using thirty years of newspapers to reexamine historical questions, to interpreting Raphael’s masterpiece “School of Athens” through an analysis of Aristotle’s and Plato’s works. While doing so they also study the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches. No previous computer programming experience is required.
Prerequisite(s): CSCI 1000 – 2969 or CSCI 3000 or higher or DCS 1000 – 2969 or DCS 3000 or higher
DCS 2650. Art, Technology, and Design for Social Change
Both individually and collaboratively, students create public art projects and tools that engage in cultural critique utilizing digital tools, computational methods, and design thinking. Students explore firsthand the intersection of design, technological innovation, and art across multiple disciplines. Discussions, projects, and readings examine various aspects of social change including queer and feminist activist practices, new media theory, data as material, emerging data visualization forms, art for and from networks, critical design for community engagement, and artistic interventions in public spaces.
DCS 3400/CSCI 3400. Cognitive Architecture
Advances in computer science, psychology, and neuroscience have shown that humans process information in ways that are very different from those used by computers. Explores the architecture and mechanisms that the human brain uses to process information. In many cases, these mechanisms are contrasted with their counterparts in traditional computer design. A central focus is to discern when the human cognitive architecture works well, when it performs poorly, and why. Conceptually oriented, drawing ideas from computer science, psychology, and neuroscience. No programming experience necessary.
Prerequisite(s): CSCI 2101 or BIOL 2135 or PSYC 2040 or PSYC 2740