Special Topics & New Courses

Special Topics & New Courses

Autumn 2017


INFO 198 A - Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data

  • Instructors: Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West
  • 3 credits, standard grading

The world is awash in bullshit. We expect it in some spheres, but the hype surrounding Big Data has provided ample cover for bullshit to infiltrate the sciences as well. Through readings and discussions, this course will develop the critical thinking skills for spotting and refuting bullshit wherever it may occur. More information about the course is available on http://callingbullshit.org

LIS 598 A - Participatory Design in Libraries

  • Instructor: Jason Yip
  • 3 credits, standard grading

Design is a traditional part of librarianship, and yet only has been explored more recently. Given the importance of “design thinking” in libraries, this course explores the notion of participatory design, a method focusing on engaging users in the design process, and emphasizing a democratic and collaborative relationship between users and designers to create new technologies and learning activities. There is rich work around how to interact with stakeholders together in the co-design space, the role of design techniques in co-design, and the different stages and phases of co-design. 

In this particular course, we will work with children and librarians in public libraries as an example of participatory design in context. Specifically, participants of this course will have a chance to engage in KidsTeam SPL (Seattle Public Library), an intergenerational co-design team of children (ages 7 – 12) and design researchers in public library settings. On Monday afternoons, we will hold discussion groups on readings and concepts in participatory design. On Friday afternoons, students will travel to The Seattle Public Library together with Dr. Yip to run participatory design sessions with children and stakeholders in the library. Activities of this class will include interacting as an adult design partner with children in co-design, working with researchers on a single project involving children and design, and running overall logistics to support the intergenerational design team. 

This course is well suited for librarians, educators, HCI researchers, and designers interested in understanding in design processes.

Summer 2017


INFO 498 A - Administration of Relational Database Systems

  • Instructor: Greg Hay
  • 5 credits, standard grading

Deeper investigation into construction and administration of high-volume, robust database systems from conception through deployment. Topics include Enhanced ERDs, explicit transaction-management (control-of-flow, error-handling and concurrency control), definition and coding business rules, troubleshooting/optimization of database processes. Investigation of disaster recovery, security, high-availability and scalability solutions as well as data warehousing topics.

INFX 598 A and INFX 598 B - Information Architecture

  • Instructor: Mike Doane
  • 4 credits, standard grading

This five-day intensive course covers many key elements of Information Architecture (IA) and provides hands on training and experience in many IA activities. We will first discuss and define the history and value of IA and where the field is going. We will then learn how to understand users’ information needs in order to provide the most usable and useful information experiences to support those needs. Along the way, we will hear from guest lecturers with different areas of information architecture expertise related to our studies. Also scheduled are practice information architecture activities with practical exercises to complete. At the end the week with group presentations based on teachings and experiences from the class. And overall, we will learn from each other and enjoy discussion and debate on the ever changing world of information architecture.

LIS 598 A - Geneaology Library Servcies

  • Instructor: Lisa Oberg
  • 3 credits, Credit/No Credit grading

In this courses students will learn the basic methods and resources used for conducting genealogical research as well as explore opportunities for developing and managing genealogy services programs in libraries. Students will learn how to record genealogical information, develop genealogical research questions and formulate strategies for locating information. A variety of genealogical sources including census records, vital records, archival sources and newspapers will be discussed. The course will also explore library services and programs relating to genealogy including genealogical libraries, repositories, and other specialized institutions; conducting genealogy reference service; collection development; and planning, marketing, execution, and assessment of genealogy programs.

LIS 598 B - Cultural Competence and Information Services

  • Instructor: Beth Patin
  • ​1 credit, Credit/No Credit grading

To meet the needs of a culturally diverse community, libraries need a significant shift in the types of services, programs, and collections provided. However, understanding how to provide services to diverse groups can a major challenge. Transforming libraries into multicultural institutions will require culturally competent professionals who understand and respect the diverse backgrounds of individuals, and who have developed a high level of expertise and knowledge about culture and its significance in all aspects of librarianship. This course will help students begin to develop cultural competence and provide them with skills to design and provide services to a diverse community.

LIS 598 C - Introduction to Library Grants

  • Instructor: Stephanie Gerding
  • 1 credit, Credit/No Credit grading

Would you like to know how to plan and write grant proposals?
Are you new to library grant work or do you want to update your skills?
Would you like personalized advice and best practices for grant writing from an expert?

In this course, you will discover the confidence, knowledge, and skills you need to win library grants with instructor Stephanie Gerding, grants expert and an author of Winning Grants. This course will cover all aspects of grant work, including understanding the process, planning, developing grant project ideas, finding the best funding sources and grant opportunities, and writing winning grant proposals. Learn an easy-to-follow grant process cycle and receive practical advice, including valuable time-saving strategies. Learn exactly what grant reviewers are looking for and how to bring clarity and professionalism to grant proposals. You will apply the concepts learned to discover grant opportunities, create a grant project, and get personalized feedback from an expert grant reviewer. When you complete the course, you'll be excited, motivated, and ready with the knowledge you need to win library grants!

Spring 2017


IMT 589 A - Leading Cybersecurity Initiatives 

  • Instructor: Ronaldo Nascimento
  • 4 credits, standard grading

This course will present and analyze cybersecurity technologies from a technical leadership stance in order to prepare information management professionals who will lead cybersecurity technical projects and information security teams. This course will introduce up to date cybersecurity topics such as data analytics, digital forensic methodologies and cybersecurity applied in IoT (Internet of Things) and SDN (Software Defined Networks) with the intention of equipping information leaders with the knowledge in contemporary topics in cybersecurity. Students will discuss case studies with the purpose of exercising leadership in technical projects similar to what CISO, security directors and managers face when dealing with large scale projects and business challenges.

IMT 598 A - Future of Technology

  • Instructor: Frank Coker
  • 3 credits, standard grading

Technology is moving rapidly and changing the way we work, play, build relationships, create business opportunities, govern, and manage our own lives. This course examines major changes, disruptions and trends that are driving technology advancements and adoption. The course also builds a framework for understanding change as we see it today, and as change and redirection occur into the future. Understanding technology in its current status has limited value in the market. Understanding where technology is headed, how to spot dead-end innovations, and how to adapt will be the key to building a successful career.

INFO 198 A - Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data

  • Instructors: Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West
  • 1 credit, Credit/No Credit grading

The world is awash in bullshit. We expect it in some spheres, but the hype surrounding Big Data has provided ample cover for bs to infiltrate the sciences as well. Through readings and discussions, this seminar will develop the critical thinking skills for spotting and refuting bs wherever it may occur. More information about the course is available on http://callingbullshit.org.

INFO 415 A - Web Application Security

  • Instructor: Andrew McKenna
  • 5 credits, standard grading
  • Prerequisites: CSE 143, INFO 310, INFO 343 or CSE 154. INFO 344 is also recommended but not required.

This course will cover the components of web application security from the perspective of the developer, the administrator, and the attacker. It will cover common vulnerabilities such as Cross-Site Scripting, Cross-Site Request Forgery, Sensitive Data Exposure and SQL Injection, as well as provide an introduction to advanced topics such as hash length extension attacks, cookie tossing, and specialized vulnerabilities against common web frameworks.

The goal of this course is to both familiarize students with how to recognize and demonstrate common web vulnerabilities as well as to develop skills in remediation and secure development in order to properly mitigate threats. There will be a large emphasis on hands-on learning and students will be expected to think creatively as they face common defenses and work with unfamiliar frameworks and environments.

INFO 498 D - Advanced UX Studio

  • Instructor: Jason Levine​​
  • 5 credits, standard grading
  • Prerequisite: INFO 360 or demonstrated familiarity with design thinking and UX fundamentals. 

In this class, students will work in small groups to design and prototype innovative solutions to real-world problems and develop an end-to-end prototype application. Students will develop their projects from a user experience (UX) design perspective and produce a strong piece for their portfolio.

The course emulates real-life aspects of UX design teams, including in-depth experience with user research, usability testing and iterating on the product with real-life users. By the end of the course, students will construct a map of a product’s full customer journey, develop personas with use cases, design a working prototype, and build a proposal with requirements for the concept. The course structure includes short lectures with small and large group activities, and a two-hour studio for hands-on work on the projects. The lab is an extension of studio time. Guest speakers from the UX design field are planned throughout the quarter.

INFX 598 A and INFX 598 B – Information Infrastructure Studies

  • Instructor: Megan Finn
  • 3 credits, standard grading

In this seminar, we will examine the making, maintenance, and use of infrastructures for circulating information.  This class covers theoretical and historical perspectives on the development of infrastructure, methods for studying infrastructure, and studies of infrastructures. We will pay close attention to the cultural, social and political aspects of information infrastructure as we examine case studies of how vast means for circulating information developed and endured over centuries, or, equally importantly, failed.

INFX 598 G and INFX 598 H – Advanced Data Curation

  • Instructor: Carole Palmer
  • 4 credits, standard grading
  • Prerequisite: INFX 551

This course examines a broad range of practical and conceptual issues in the emerging field of data curation. It focuses on recent advances and challenging problems in the curation of research data across disciplines and new trends in open data resources and services for the general public. The course will draw on research, case studies, and current initiatives to examine key challenges in the field and and practical solutions applied by data professionals. In-depth study of topics will be driven by student interests and their contributions to the course through presentations, discussion facilitation, and a final project.

INFX 598 I and INFX 598 J – Introduction to Programming for Information and Data Science

  • ​Instructor: Joel Ross
  • 4 credits, standard grading

Introduces fundamentals of computer programming as used for data science. Covers foundational skills necessary for writing stand-alone computer scripts, including programming syntax, data structuring, and procedural definition (functions). Includes programming environments (command-line) and version control. Emphasizes skills in algorithmic thinking, abstraction, debugging, and code reuse. Assumes no previous programming background.

INFX 598 K and INFX 598 L – Native American Knowledge Systems: Sovereign Rights, Protections and Protocols

  • Instructor: Clarita Lefthand-Begay
  • 3 credits, standard grading

Who owns, protects and disseminates the knowledge systems and data among tribal communities?  For several years, tribal nations in the United States have established internal mechanisms and protocols to protect their traditional knowledge from appropriation, exploitation and misuse.  In this course, students will engage multidisciplinary literature to examine the complexities tribes face when protecting their communities, become familiar with efforts of tribal citizens to revitalize their knowledge and demonstrate understanding by synthesizing topics discussed in class. To illustrate these concepts, the course will include case studies, interactive lectures, guest speakers, and in-class discussions.

LIS 598 A – History of Children's and Young Adult Literature

  • ​Instructor: Michelle Martin
  • 3 credits, standard grading

This course will provide a historical overview of the literary content, illustration, and social values of children’s and young adult literature written in English. It will examine the influence of movements such as Romanticism, Rationalism, and Postmodernism, as well as changing trends over time.