This course 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 is a network? 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? This course will then study the network structure of the Internet, how companies like Google search it, and how they make money doing so. Further economic implications of networks, including networked economies and markets, will also be addressed. Background required: basic probability theory (e.g., high school level) and basic matrix algebra (e.g, matrix multiplication).
INTD 2401. Gateway to the Digital Humanities. What's new for 2015?
How do the liberal arts compute?
Explore the possibilities of using exciting new tools for text analysis, network analysis, spatial analysis and image analysis. Work with data that faculty across campus are using in their own research and teaching projects. See how digital mapping can change the way we understand the history of racial identities in the U.S. Use computational text analysis to contextualize and evaluate the ways female authors express themselves within a masculine canon of literature. Apply network studies to the plots of English and foreign novels. Combine all of these approaches to gain a deeper understanding of the questions and methods being used in the humanities today. What sorts of new questions can be asked and answered using computational tools?
These topics will be explored in class through a series of projects. Weekly labs will provide hands-on experience with the concepts and tools presented in class, and will give students the opportunity to work on their own projects. Assumes no prior knowledge of computers, programming, or statistics. Fulfills MCSR distribution requirement.
Eric Gaze and Jen Jack Gieseking.
This course tackles a number of cutting-edge issues and questions that confront society today: What sorts of questions can be answered using digital and computational methods to rethink our relationships to data and what can data can show us about the world? How do we construct models to help us better understand social phenomena and associated data? The course covers topics such as data gathering, validation, analysis, presentation, as well as statistics and software skills such as contributing to a data-oriented web site, programming, and employing GIS and network analysis. Students will leave the course with 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 economy, politics, and society.
SOC 2226. Power, Knowlege, Vision
How do politics, technologies, and cultural practices shape what we can see? How do they affect what we know and how we understand the world? How can representation be historically constituted and technologically shaped? This course explores the social and political dimensions of vision and perception. It investigates how knowledge is lodged in structures of authority. Topics include cultural identities, national borders, mass spectatorship and witnessing, humanitarian projects, digital perceptions, geoinformational systems (GIS) and Google Earth, environmental visions, and war technologies.