SPRING 2016

DCS 2016. Campaign Data in the Twenty-First Century

Computational tools and data sources have revolutionized the way campaigns are run in the United States. The 2016 election promises to continue this trend. Explores how political operatives and scholars alike can analyze these data sources to better understand modern campaigning. What can presidential candidate Twitter followers tell us about polarization? What does the text of candidate speeches tell us about their ideologies, or how can a campaign use marketing data to target undecided voters? Students engage with and think critically about the promise and pitfalls of computational social science techniques.

DCS 2331. The Nature of Data: Introduction to Environmental Analysis

Examines emerging digital techniques in environmental management and analysis within government, academic and media sectors. Topics include collaborative resource management, leveraging the power of social networks, social-ecological system management, the role of volunteered information and citizen science, and expanding capacities for adaptation and resilience. Labs introduce the basics of a programming language such as R or Python for network and text analysis, spatial analysis and GIS, geotagging, and crowdsourcing.

DCS 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 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? Studies 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 be addressed. Background required: basic probability theory (e.g., high school level) and basic matrix algebra (e.g, matrix multiplication).


DCS 2420. Data Driven Societies

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.

DCS 3030. Site-Specifics: Production of Socially Engaged Media

Students gain an understanding of how digital media technologies can serve as tools for creative cultural practice through the production of site-specific, socially engaged video, sound, and new media artworks. Site visits and meetings with community organizations contribute to the development of works distributed and displayed through mobile devices, projection, installation, and online platforms. Lectures, readings, and discussions provide a historical overview of the intersection of site-specificity and community-based sound and video works. Students develop technical skills in camera work, lighting, audio recording, and editing, and are introduced to video and sound artists that consider race, class, gender, sexuality, labor, and environmental politics.