Location: Bowdoin / Digital and Computational Studies / Courses

Digital and Computational Studies

Spring 2013

INTD 2420. Data Driven Societies.
Eric Gaze and Jen Jack Gieseking.

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.

INTD 2610. The Rhetoric of Big Data: Copernicus to Climate Change.
Crystal Hall.

How did early modern intellectuals amass enough data to feel confident that the earth rotated around the sun? How did they write about their data (texts, diagrams, measurements, and calculations) in order to eventually convince a larger audience that the Copernican hypothesis of heliocentrism was valid even though the sun appears to move in the sky? This course examines the literary, artistic, religious, political, economic, and scientific context of these questions by introducing and using large-scale digital textual analysis, network visualization, mapping, and computation. The class will define a set of parameters for analyzing other famous cases of big data reshaping worldviews.