Humanists on the Move

This class is about renaissance humanists and how we can use digital means, as well as traditional ones, to study them. Our particular focus is on the ways people were connected in the renaissance -- as patrons, as readers, as travelers, as correspondents. Students will gather data about the travels and connections of their individual humanists. Then, working in groups, they will form databases and use mapping and network analysis on their data to chart interconnections between these historical figures over time.

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Moral Questions of Data Science

This course explores, from a philosophical perspective, ethical questions arising from collecting, drawing inferences from, and acting on data, especially when these activities are automated and on a large scale. Topics include: bias, fairness, discrimination, interpretability, privacy, paternalism, freedom of speech, and democracy.

Meets Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth Requirement

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The Image as Data

A historical introduction to digital images. This class explores how computers store, process, and display visual information, and the cultural impact that these technologies have had since the dawn of the computer age. Special attention will be given to the ways in which this information differs from direct inputs to the human visual system--that is, how digital images differ from “what we really see”, as well as the differences between modern computer graphics techniques and prior analog notational systems.

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Aesthetics and Data [Data Science Connector]

When we organize and visualize data, we make it meaningful and communicative. But in so doing, we also give it a form—an aesthetic shape—that did not previously exist. In this course, we will consider aesthetics as a crucial, but often overlooked, component of data science. Our goal will be to develop the basic aesthetic literacy needed to critically consider the ways we present information. The course contains two interrelated units: first, we will study the vocabulary that 20th-century art critics developed to talk about the sensory, emotional, and political qualities of art.

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Calculating Americans: Big Histories of Small Data

The data we collect both reflects our values and shapes them, constraining and defining the questions we ask about our society. This course will use a series of case studies from the history of American data to examine a wide array of political, economic, and cultural issues. We will explore the ways that categories, units of analysis, and practices of instruction and collection both reflect and reshape assumptions about race, gender, labor, and household structure.

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Digital Worlds: An Introduction to Geospatial Technologies

An introduction to the increasingly diverse range of geospatial technologies and tools including but not limited to geographical information systems (GIS). Via a mix of lecture and lab-based instruction, students will develop knowledge and skills in web-mapping and GIS. How these tools are used to represent fundamental geographic concepts, and the wider socioeconomic context of these technologies will also be explored.

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