INF301 Introduction to Information and Power (Lecture / Required)
This course addresses the ways in which information and information practices are shaping and being shaped by social conflicts, tensions, and alignments. It introduces and integrates issues of representation and knowledge production, privacy and community, autonomy and control, culture and property that are revealed, alleviated, or exacerbated as information practice changes.
INF302 Integrative Approaches to Technology and Society (Lecture / Required)
This course explores how society, culture, and understanding of the human condition influence, and are influenced by, technological development. It focuses on the study of interdependent and institutionalized systems of law, economics, culture and technology, exploring the conditions of stability and instability in these systems. We will survey the available theories and methods for understanding large scale socio-technological systems.
INF311 Information in the Cultural Imagination(Lecture / Required)
How is the idea of information constructed through cultural representation? How do imaginative works provoke us to think about information technologies? This course surveys the cultural history of the idea of information, from its historical roots to present-day representations in popular culture, drawing on film, television, video games, literature, art, advertising, performance, and other media.
INF312 Worlds Become Data (Lecture / Required)
This course covers issues in the practices of translating phenomena to data and algorithmic description. What happens, what is gained, what is lost, when things that happen in the world are recorded and made into information or recorded as a document? The course explores representation, modeling, correctness, reliability, and bias in data and algorithms.
INF313 Computational Reasoning (Lecture / Required)
This course introduces principles and concepts of computational thinking and reasoning by providing an overview of data structures and algorithms, logic in computing, and programming paradigms such as object orientation and functions. It is accompanied by tutorials and assignments that make these concepts tangible and enable students to engage productively in the design of computational systems.
INF314 Information, Memory, and Culture (Lecture / Required)
This course offers an opportunity to explore the theories and practices employed by cultural heritage institutions, including libraries, archives, and museums, to acquire, manage and preserve information objects. Students will learn about traditional and contemporary approaches to the making and unmaking of collective memory, and will develop an appreciation for the challenges concerning remembering and forgetting in the digital age.
INF315 Information Practice in Organizations (Lecture / Required)
This course provides students with an understanding of organizations as social contexts where individuals enact information practices to carry out their work. Social contexts range from corporations and governmental agencies to fan clubs and activist organizations. Topics include ethnography, requirements modeling, records management, and knowledge translation and mobilization.
INF351 Information Design Studio I: How to Make a Computer. And Why. (Studio / Required)By developing a working system using lightweight computing platforms such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi and networked services, students will explore the implications of choices in architecture across the range from mainframes and personal computing to mobile devices and sensors, understand the nature of different network and service architectures including cloud computing, explore the relationship of hardware, data, and programs, and appreciate the various sensing mechanisms through which the world becomes data for the computer in operation.
INF352 Information Design Studio II: How to Design (Studio / Required)
Students will develop a general sense of design and the role it plays in the construction of our built environment. Human-centered design practices will be taught. Students will learn to identify important characteristics of the built environment using observational methods drawn from art and design practices, to analyze these characteristics using theories and perspectives drawn from relevant scholarship, and to represent their analyses using techniques of design sketching.
INF353 Information Design Studio III: Designing Interactive Systems (Studio / Required)
Using current computational tools students will use human-centered design methods to produce interactive systems that engage with socio-cultural issues and society. The course will mobilize analytic and technical skills drawn from other lecture and studio courses. Students will also engage in self and peer critique in order to reflect on their own digital objects and those they will encounter in society at large.
INF401 Practicum Prep (Lecture / Required)Where a university (or any formal educational setting) is student-centered and focused on facilitating student learning, a workplace is focused on its own strategic goals, stakeholders, and clients. Student learning is peripheral to the purpose of the organization. While it is assumed that any organization that engages a practicum student has a commitment to the educational value of the experience for all parties, employers are not responsible for the student’s academic development. In order for learning to occur in the workplace, the processes associated with learning (cognitive, emotional, affective, etc.) must be made conscious and accessible to the learner. This is the overriding purpose of this course: to create independent, autonomous and self-directed learning professionals.
INF402 Work Integrated Learning Practicum (Practicum / Required)
The practicum provides hands-on experience to supplement theoretical knowledge and to develop professional competencies. Students will complete a minimum of 100 hours of project work through one of the following: an unpaid internship, a faculty research project, a not-for-profit or an industry-based project. Students will be required to keep a reflective learning journal based on their personal, professional and intellectual growth, as well as produce a final report on the completion of their placement or project.
INF411 Information in the Global Economy (Lecture / Required)
This course surveys how information technologies, information services, and information itself are produced, circulated, and consumed. How is information made into a commodity? How are markets for information and information services created and sustained? Students will develop a basic understanding of the political, economic, cultural, and regulatory environment in which information, culture, and technologies are produced, as well as the implications of processes such as globalization, digitization, and commodification for social life.
Second Year Courses:
INF412 Data Analytics (Lecture / Required)
This examines core topics in probability and statistics through the study and practice of data analysis. Topics include hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, counts and tables, analysis of variance, regression, principal components, data summarization, and cluster analysis. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to critically think about data and use/implement standard statistical procedures to perform a wide range of analyses.
INF413 Information Policy in Canadian and Global Contexts (Lecture / Required)
This course provides students with an introduction to the history and development of information policy. Topics include Canadian and international regulations concerning data protection and privacy, intellectual and cultural property, and industrial organization. The course will also cover emerging models of governance and the politics of standards-setting bodies and global treaty organizations.
INF451 Information Design Studio IV: Information Visualization (Studio / Required)
Problems, practices, and techniques of conveying complex information analysis. Issues of clarity, persuasion, visual literacy and cultural context will be explored. Students will develop a data visualization project that will speak to or engage surveillance, data analytics, activism, or other issues covered in advanced IDM courses.
INF452 Information Design Studio V: Coding (Studio / Required)
Students will develop skills in coding principles and practice by working with media artifacts. Students will write and modify code to address and engage issues covered in lecture-based courses.
INF453 Capstone Project (Studio / Required)
A self-guided and collaborative student project. Students will identify a design problem, design a creative solution to the problem using a combination of skills from previous courses, and share their project with the class. Students will present the outcomes of their project in both visual and written formats.