INFO 4940

INFO 4940

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2020-2021.

This course is designed for students to think critically about the need for diversity and inclusion in Information Science teams, and Computing organizations. It examines underlying reasons behind the perpetual underrepresentation of people of color in computing and the broader STEM fields. Race, gender, and neurodiversity are the primary investigative pillars. The course examines existing structures such as recruitment and retention practices, eligibility requirements, and philanthropic efforts to determine how structural operations and practices work to sustain the status quo of unequal STEM participation. This course investigates pedagogy, research, cultural underpinnings, policies, and concealed norms around potential exclusion and inclusion in STEM at key levels of entry, namely post-secondary education, and computing industry organizations. Students will analyze current issues and lived experiences pertaining to STEM computing participation for underrepresented populations and identify measures that lessen the perpetuation of unequal STEM participation. As a part of the course engagement, students will analyze current research on the intersections between diversity and team and/or organizational performance. The course will be of interest to students seeking to further social justice and equality in education and industry, students thriving to create increasingly diverse workforces for the future, and future STEM leaders seeking to enhance the productivity of their teams by taking advantage of diverse perspectives.

When Offered Fall or Spring.

View Enrollment Information

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Choose one lecture and one discussion.

  • 3 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Computing and Global Development

  • 16872INFO 4940  LEC 001

    • TOnline Meeting
    • Sep 2 - Dec 16, 2020
    • Vashistha, A

  • Instruction Mode: Online
    To date, most computing technologies have primarily benefited urban, affluent, and literate people in developed regions by empowering them with more information, resources, and agency. These technologies currently exclude billions of people worldwide, such as rural residents, people with disabilities, and indigenous communities, who are too poor to afford modern devices, too remote to be connected, or too low-literate to navigate the mostly text-driven Internet. In recent years, researchers and practitioners have examined how computing technologies can be designed or appropriated to empower such underserved communities. This course introduces students to the field of Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD). Through discussions of case studies from the Global South, students will study how computing technologies are used in different global development domains, such as agriculture, finance, health, social justice, and education. They will gain understanding of socio-economic, cultural, and political forces that impact technology adoption in low-resource environments and will learn to design, build, and evaluate inclusive technologies to empower marginalized people.

  • 19428INFO 4940  DIS 201

    • ROnline Meeting
    • Sep 2 - Dec 16, 2020
    • Vashistha, A

  • Instruction Mode: Online

  • 19429INFO 4940  DIS 202

    • ROnline Meeting
    • Sep 2 - Dec 16, 2020
    • Vashistha, A

  • Instruction Mode: Online

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: 1 available
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Choose one seminar and one field studies. Combined with: COML 4281ENGL 4705

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Human Centered Design and Engaged Media

  • 17900INFO 4940  SEM 102

    • WOnline Meeting
    • Sep 2 - Dec 16, 2020
    • McKenzie, J

  • Instruction Mode: Online
    This course connects critical design teams with researchers, activists, and community stakeholders. Practicing methods of transmedia knowledge, design thinking, and performance activism, students collaborate on projects through the Cornell Law School and Cornell's Small Farms Program, including:1) 4 Women on Death Row: Four US women face imminent execution: can transmedia knowledge help tell their stories and make the case for clemency to governors and parole boards? 2) Green Energy meets Golan Land Rights: The UN recently issued a resolution on Golan land rights: can we help prototype a campaign to publicize it and halt the construction of wind turbines on occupied land? 3) Black Farmer Fund: Soul Fire Farm made a Skillshare Video Series featuring Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other farmers of color: how to share the resources more widely and build community? 4) Labor Ready: Desiring to run their own farms, many Latinx farmers face language, cultural, and financial barriers and also lack management skills: can we build collaborations with experienced White farmers? 5) Land Grab Universities: US public land-grant universities, including some traditionally Black institutions, were built on Indigenous lands: what are the entangling stakes of today's "land grab" universities? Consulting with partners' ongoing projects, teams will study and emulate practices developed by ACT-UP, Black Lives Matter, Guerrilla Girls, Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, and Stanford's Design for Extreme Affordability program, presenting and sharing their collaborations via project site and other platforms. The course includes a series of public workshops by A.D. Carson (critical race rap), Jan Cohen-Cruz (community theater), Ricardo Dominguez (electronic activism), and Alainya Kavaloski (online activist games).

  • Topic: Human Centered Design and Engaged Media

  • 17907INFO 4940  FLD 801

  • Instruction Mode: Online
    Taught in Dryden, NY.

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Combined with: INFO 6940

  • 3 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Privacy and Security in the Data Economy

  • 18027INFO 4940  LEC 003

    • TROnline Meeting
    • Sep 2 - Dec 16, 2020
    • Cheyre Forestier, C

  • Instruction Mode: Online
    Increasingly, social and economic interactions are mediated by online platforms and algorithmic systems that rely on ubiquitous connectivity and data accumulation for their operation. While these systems have brought an unprecedented number of new products and services that have fostered growth and innovation, they have also created novel challenges to privacy and data security. In this course, we explore privacy and data security as multi-faceted concepts with economic, legal, social, ethical, and psychological underpinnings. In particular, we will explore the trade-offs that arise between the benefits created by the data economy and the need for protecting privacy and data security.

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Choose one lecture and one discussion.

  • 3 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Knowledge Infrastructures

  • 18016INFO 4940  LEC 004

  • Instruction Mode: Distance Learning-Asynchronous
    Knowledge infrastructures describe the network of technologies, institutions, policies, and human beings that enable the creation, communication, management, and archiving of scientific and scholarly knowledge. This course explores how institutions and individuals create and use knowledge infrastructures in support of science, scholarship, and the public good. Institutions studied will include the formal (universities, research labs, government agencies, libraries, non-profits, etc.) and the informal (such as open source communities, citizen science projects, and social movements). Working with contemporary examples ranging from public health (e.g. the creation of open datasets to combat the COVID-19 pandemic) to scientific research (e.g. open preprint platforms like arXiv and bioarXiv) to the role of key knowledge institutions like libraries, archives, and universities, we will explore questions such as: How does data-intensive research with open data repositories help accelerate the pace and quality of scientific discovery? How does copyright policy both restrict and promote access to knowledge resources? What role can alternative data sources (e.g., social network and geospatial) play in revealing patterns in human behavior and natural phenomenon? Through lectures, discussion, and case studies we will explore opportunities and tensions inherent in rapidly evolving and emerging infrastructures. We will engage with artifacts of knowledge with discussion on issues of quality, openness, collaboration, commercialization, policy, and public good. Overall, this course will provide a working knowledge that will help you prepare for careers at institutions focused on research data management, information technology design, scientific publishing, digital libraries, and more.

  • Topic: Knowledge Infrastructures

  • 19053INFO 4940  DIS 204

    • WOnline Meeting
    • Sep 2 - Dec 16, 2020
    • Payette, S

  • Instruction Mode: Online

  • Topic: Knowledge Infrastructures

  • 19054INFO 4940  DIS 205

    • WOnline Meeting
    • Sep 2 - Dec 16, 2020
    • Payette, S

  • Instruction Mode: Online

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 3 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Good Tech, Bad Tech

  • 18675INFO 4940  LEC 005

    • TROnline Meeting
    • Sep 2 - Dec 16, 2020
    • Csikszentmihalyi, C

  • Instruction Mode: Online
    Making technology means simultaneously making politics, facilitating or impeding justice, increasing or decreasing inequality and exploitation. Every product or service is created by people – be it compiler or car, teargas or vaccine – so political and social valences are “baked in” at every step. Throughout a product design lifecycle, from specification to engineering bench work, through to Series C funding and marketing campaigns, tech remakes society and reconfigures the planet. Can a technologist consciously address this responsibility while also juggling technical requirements? GTBT is a course not about the criticism, ethics, or analysis of technology, though it draws upon this work. Rather it aims to help a technologist to practice synthesizing ethical tech considerations mindfully and creatively, as they will have to do for the rest of their career. Through exercises, role-playing, discussions, guest lectures from activist technologists, and wide-ranging readings, students will practice connecting broader implications of their designs with technical choices. GTBT seeks to arm students with many diverse ways of reflecting on their authorial relationship to technology, drawing from art and literature to political science and anthropology. Course participants will be encouraged to focus on areas of personal interest, enumerating the social, political, and economic parameters of particular technical systems: parameters that are as or more important than power consumption, usability, or efficiency.