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Courses in School of Information

Courses in the School of Information are listed in the Schedule of Classes under the School of Information. The following courses count as LSA courses for LSA degree credit.

Information (SI)
SI 422. Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

Any product--whether a website, a technological system, or an electronically mediated service--benefits from evaluation before, during, and after the development cycle. Too often, the people who use a product cannot find what they want or accomplish what they need to do. Products are more successful when they are developed through a process that identifies how the products will be used, elicits input from potential users, and watches how the product function in real time with real users. This course provides a hands--on introduction to methods used throughout the entire evaluation process--from identifying the goals of the product, picturing who will use it, engaging users through a variety of formative evaluation techniques, and confirming a product's function through usability testing and summative evaluation. Specific methods include personas and scenarios, competitive analysis, observation, surveys, interviews, data analysis, heuristic evaluation, usability testing, and task analysis. Students will work on group projects that apply these techniques to real products in use or development.

SI 541 / HISTORY 661. Knowledge and Information Infrastructures
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course offers historical, comparative, and theoretical perspectives on infrastructure from the 19th century to the present. The course examines how infrastructures form, how they change, and how they shape (and are shaped by) social systems. We will focus mainly on knowledge and information infrastructures: libraries, scientific research practices, the Internet, the World Wide Web, and cyberinfrastructures in the physical and social sciences. To set the stage, we will briefly explore transport, cities, and communication infrastructures. The course then turns to the historical roles of standards and social structures in infrastructure development. For example, we will study the emergence of such standards as shipping containers, library catalogs, race classification, TCP/IP, and scientific metadata, and the history of such social structures as scientific disciplines, research laboratories and universities. Finally, we will explore the frontiers of the emerging field of infrastructure studies.

SI 561 / EECS 595 / LING 541. Natural Language Processing
Senior standing. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Linguistics fundamentals of natural language processing (NLP), part of speech tagging, hidden Markov models, syntax and parsing, lexical semantics, compositional semantics, word sense disambiguation, machine translation. Additional topics such as sentiment analysis, text generation, and deep learning for NLP>

SI 580 / HISTORY 600. Understanding Records and Archives: Principles and Practices
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

Provides an understanding of why societies, cultures, organizations, and individuals create and keep records. Presents cornerstone terminology, concepts, and practices used in records management and archival administration. Examines the evolution of methods and technologies used to create, store, organize, and preserve records and the ways in which organizations and individuals are archives and records for ongoing operations, accountability, research, litigation, and organizational memory. Participants become familiar with the legal, policy, and ethical issues surrounding records and archives administration and become conversant with the structure, organization, and literature of the archival and records management professions.

SI 637 / HISTORY 637. Research Seminar on Archives and Institutions of Social Memory
SI 580/HISTORY 600 or permission of instructor. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is a research seminar. Readings, discussions, and assignments focus on the central themes of the seminar: how collective memory is constructed and transferred over time and what roles documents, artifacts, and archival institutions play in capturing, conveying, and distorting collective memory. To accomplish this we explore a range of theories of collective memory, the historical relationships between orality and literacy, and postmodern perspectives on archives and why "the archive" has become a problematic concept. We examine the shifting connections between history, archives, and memory, as well as explore the relationships between memory and heritage, identity, and trauma. Different methodological approaches are reviewed to uncover how collective memory is mediated through phases of creation, dissemination, and reception.

SI 652 / EECS 547. Electronic Commerce
SI 502 or taken concurrently or Instructor permission. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. W.

Introduction to the design and analysis of automated commerce systems, from both a technological and social perspective. Infrastructure supporting search for commerce opportunities, negotiating terms of trade, and executing transactions. Issues of security, privacy, incentives, and strategy.

SI 719 / HISTORY 619 / RACKHAM 619. Knowledge/Power/Practice in Science, Technology, and Medicine
Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (3). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

The graduate seminar provides a comprehensive introduction to the major themes and issues in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS, or S&TS). Drawing on scholarship in history, sociology, anthropology, and information studies, we will mix theoretical material with more empirically oriented studies. The course will focus particularly on the relation between social, political, and cultural contexts and the development of ideas, practices, tools, and objects within science, technology, and medicine. While some background in science, technology and/or medicine is helpful, this course does not require prior training in the field. Work for the seminar will include reading approximately 300 pages per week.

SI 760 / EECS 597 / LING 702. Language and Information
EECS 380 or concurrent election of one of SI 503 or LING 541; and Graduate standing. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Surveys techniques used in language studies and information processing. Students learn how to explore and analyze textual data in the context of Web-based information retrieval systems. At the conclusion of the course, students are able to work as information designers and analysts.

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