Informatics Course Descriptions

All courses are three semester hours of credit unless otherwise indicated.

1 credit hour
Informatics looks at the many ways people use technology to find, produce, and use information. This course explores informatics as a social science, surveys the courses that comprise the informatics major and minor, and highlights careers available to graduates with informatics skills. Prerequisite: None

4 credit hours; includes 1 lab hour
What is information, and why is it is so critical to us humans? This course studies information in societies, exploring information use and users, privacy and security, access and power, digital divides, and trust and distrust of information technologies. Shares theoretical and methodological paradigms with other social sciences, including criminology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Satisfies the social science area requirement and the multicultural requirement. Lecture and lab.Prerequisite: None

4 credit hours; includes 1 lab hour
This course explores the principles and application of information technologies. Students will learn how computer applications, networking and telecommunications enable information transfer. It will introduce the computing techniques essential for processing, storing, and retrieving information. The ability to successfully use and manipulate information technology is foundational to being a successful digital citizen and information worker. This course provides students an introductory conceptual understanding of code and hardware: websites, applications, operating systems, personal computers, servers, tablets, and other mobile devices. Learning experiences in this course will be a combination of hands-on experiences with hardware, explorations of how code works and how to write it, and explorations of relevant literature. Prerequisite: None

Informatics focuses on solving information problems. This course introduces research and design methods used in informatics to understand social behaviors and technological designs for information seeking and use. Students will learn common qualitative and quantitative research methods as well as ethical concerns in research and design. Prerequisite: None

This course will introduce the basics of data science. It will explore diverse data science techniques to tackle real-world data-centric challenges. Students will learn data manipulation, cleaning, analysis and visualization techniques by using various R packages. This course will equip students with analytical skills that information professionals need to make better decisions in big data environments. Ultimately students will learn how to apply data science techniques on social media data and make inferences. Prior knowledge in programming or data science is not required. Prerequisite: None

Methods and issues related to organizing, planning, and managing information technology projects; applications and techniques to support project management needs. Prerequisite: None

4 credit hours
This course introduces cybersecurity issues by focusing on technical, organizational, and legal aspects of information security. Students will explore high-profile and emerging cybersecurity issues as useful case studies.  Prerequisite: None

4 credit hours
This course reviews informatics issues related specifically to healthcare with special emphasis on integrating data, information, and knowledge to support decision-making by patients and their healthcare providers, with an overall goal of improving the quality of patient care. Prerequisite: None

4 credit hours
Organizational informatics considers the needs, uses, and consequences of information practices and technologies in organizational contexts. This course prepares students to identify organizational information technology needs, address unique socio-technical issues in the workplace, and scan for emerging technologies and trends to enhance information work practices such as records management and retention, data collection and organization for decision making, and securing proprietary commercial and organizational information.  Prerequisite: None

4 credit hours
This course looks at the role of educational technology in learning. Students will investigate policies, ethics, opportunities, and limitations related to educational technology within and outside of traditional learning environments. Prerequisite: None

4 credit hours
Community informatics is broadly defined as the use and application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in local communities, specifically how social, cultural, political, and economic factors influence the adoption and use of ICTs among members of specific communities. This course introduces students to digital divide issues and the role of ICTs in cultural heritage and community development. Prerequisite: None

Introduction to database concepts, database design and database implementation. Examines the role of data in the information environment and the application of database principles in information storage and handling. Students will have hands-on practice with a database management system. Prerequisite: None

Design thinking is the process by which programmers, information architects, designers, and many others work up a product from start to finish. This course considers design thinking from a user’s perspective, emphasizing methods for identifying user needs, ideating products and services, prototyping new concepts, and using research methods for evaluating a prototype’s usability. Students will encounter a mix of design methods, user behavior theory, and an introduction to usability testing procedures in this course. Learning experiences in this course will be hands-on, team-based and iterative, meaning that students can expect to be build a product with their peers in collaborative teams. Prerequisite: INF 130

This course provides a brief history of the Internet and World Wide Web before moving to skills required to design and deploy working websites. Topics in the course include web design standards, including accessibility standards, and use of XHTML, HTML5, and CSS for basic information architecture. Prerequisite: None

This course introduces foundational concepts of cybersecurity and systems analysis: computer system basics, their relationship to security issues, and how basic hardware and software configurations can be hardened to decrease security concerns on devices and across networks. User access controls and permission levels will also be highlighted. Prerequisite: INF 160 or equivalent

Learning management systems, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and non-traditional online learning communities all benefit from designs that focus users on acquiring and creating knowledge in efficient ways that feel intuitive and are appealing. This course provides foundational design concepts, frameworks, and skill sets to design digital learning spaces. Students will get hands-on experiences with a variety of instructional technology systems in order to understand the relationship between instructional design choices and technological affordances. Prerequisite: None

This course addresses information seeking behaviors and information use in specific contexts (e.g., health information seeking) by exploring relevant frameworks and theories. It also engages students in meta-analyses of their own information seeking and use practices and that of their peers using reflective strategies and structured inquiry. Prerequisite: None

This course introduces data analytics methods for accessing, storing, cleaning, mixing, and mining data for insights. Students will gain hands-on experience with a suite of analytics tools. Prerequisite: INF 160 or equivalent

Designers of information technology tools, systems, and services often embed their values (or the values of their superiors) into the products they create. This course provides an introduction to the value-sensitive design of information systems and technologies. Students will examine existing systems from a value-sensitive design perspective while employing conceptual, technical, and empirical methods. Prerequisite: INF 130

This course builds on web design skills established in previous courses by introducing complex markup languages and extensible language frameworks. Students will learn the browser/server/application relationship before getting hands-on experience with open source content management systems. Prerequisite: INF 253 or equivalent

This course surveys network security, with special emphasis on securing networks and their connected devices to increase their integrity and the confidentiality of information flows. Foundational topics include cryptography, primitives and protocols, and authentication and authorization schemes. Prerequisite: INF 160 or equivalent

This course examines gaming principles–skill points, levels, bosses, etc.–and their relevance in digital and hybrid learning environments, both in traditional learning institutions (e.g., primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools) and non-traditional programs of learning (e.g., massive open online courses). Students will analyze digital games and design their own game-based learning systems or conceptual prototypes. Prerequisite: None

This course explores humans-as-users and their relationships with technology. Students will examine how users employ, modify, design, reconfigure, and resist technology in an Information Society. Prerequisite: None

Information and communication technologies present social issues with competing values in complex legal and cultural environments. This course addresses moral and ethical issues of information, information technologies, and information industries with special emphasis on intellectual property, free speech, and information privacy. Prerequisites or co-requisites: INF 110 and INF 120

Computer code, the language that drives information and communication technologies, is inherently powerful. It frames how we think, prescribes our actions, and controls how we interact with others. In this course students assess technology by exploring specific technologies and their code constructions. Topics include open and closed source coding, communities, and culture, with special emphasis on competing value sets and the role of intellectual property rights (e.g., the DMCA) in protecting closed code constructions. Prerequisites or co-requisites: INF 110 and INF 120

This course addresses the historical transformation of an Industrial Society to an Information Society. Topics include analog and digital print culture, what it means to be digitally literate, norms and values of digital citizenry, information labor, and the rise of technology-based surveillance. Prerequisites or co-requisites: INF 110 and INF 120

The Information Society brings advances in knowledge creation and dissemination that enhances wealth, power, and comfort for some but not for all. Information divides exist, especially among underrepresented groups and those without access to online information. This course addresses information divides with regard to economics, education, health, and democracy. Prerequisites or co-requisites: INF 110 and INF 120

This course covers informatics topics based on the research interests of the course instructor. This course may be repeated for credit if the content of each class is different. Prerequisites or co-requisites: INF 110 and INF 120

The rise of Big Data has increased the relevance and usefulness of information visualization strategies. This course examines the tenets of information visualization, including human perception, aesthetics of information design, and information interaction. Students will critique existing information visualizations as well as create visualizations using open datasets and visualization tools. Prerequisite: INF 160 or equivalent

This course provides an advanced and focused examination of user experience evaluation methods, skills, and tools. Core concepts include choosing dimensions to study, identifying important constructs, and employing the right method to get the most useful information. Students will test existing information systems to build their user experience evaluation proficiencies. Prerequisite: None

This course presents basic information architecture, organization schemes and structures, labeling systems, navigation systems, and search systems. The course emphasizes contextual factors, user needs, and content strategies, including content lifecycle management. Prerequisite: INF 353

While the optimal condition of a network or connected device is to remain secure and unaffected by threats, attacks and leaks happen, as we know all too well. In these cases, identifying what went wrong is critical for reestablishing security and reporting network weaknesses. This course provides an overview of digital forensics concepts, techniques, and tools with emphasis on the collection, analysis, presentation, and preservation of digital evidence for stakeholders, legal entities, and law enforcement. Prerequisite: None

This course explores emerging digital pedagogy and related learning theory in order to orient students to teaching in an online environment. It also explores specific technological applications and their respective affordances to examine how they influence and constrain instructional choices and learning opportunities. Prerequisite: None

This course surveys established and emerging face-to-face and online information seeking services and resources. Students will prototype information services for different kinds of users based on a broad understanding of reference materials, databases, and websites, which will be developed in-class. Prerequisite: None

4 credit hours
The Capstone Experience (CE) showcases the student’s intellectual advances and technical skills developed in the program by providing a creative venue for expressing their interests and growth. Additionally, the CE prepares students for the job market by providing structured time for job prospecting, preparing materials (e.g., résumés, cover letters, design portfolios, etc.), and getting feedback from faculty and the career services coordinator on job applications and mock interview sessions. Students will create a digital portfolio and complete one of three experiences: an internship, a project, or a thesis.  Prerequisites: INF 110, INF 120, INF 130, INF 160 and INF 190. Prerequisites or co-requisites: one of INF 200, INF 210, INF 220, INF 230 or INF 240; three of INF 25x, INF 35x and INF 45x; two of INF 400, INF 410, INF 420, INF 430 or INF 440