Suggested Courses for Spring 2013

Tele-BEARS is here, and for the design, cultural, and technological minds out there, Berkeley offers a wealth of classes that may potentially pique your interest.  Many of these courses, however, do not scream “Design! Culture! And Tech!”  Additionally, finding these courses can sometimes require hours of sifting through departmental websites and schedule.berkeley.edu.

Here at berkeleyByte, we’ve collected and identified some resources to help you find these design/culture/tech courses at Cal. A big thanks to Berkeley Innovation (BI), the human-centered design club at Berkeley, for contributing to this list!

Here are berkeleyByte’s suggested resources for courses for the upcoming Spring 2013 semester:

First, two courses that directly teach the human-centered design process are Introduction to New Product Development (ME 110) and User Interface Design (CS 160). ME 110 will be taught by Professor Agogino and is open to all majors, and CS 160 will be taught by Professor Hartmann and is mostly for CS students.

There is also the {design.} decal for 2 units that is offered every semester.

Next, there is the list of courses from the Course Threads Program.  Course Threads is a certificate program; students who choose to participate in it choose a topic, take three courses from the topic’s approved list, and participate in a symposium upon finishing their courses to receive the certificate. (Caliber has an article giving an overview of the program).

Human-Centered Design is one among the 10 total: Human RightsCultural Forms in TransitThe Historical & Modern City  Visible LanguageHumanities & Environment, Old Things: Past & Present, Sciences and Society, Politics of Freedom & Violence, and Visibilities: The Still Image. Even if you do not choose to participate in the program, the course lists from Course Threads offers a great way to find a theme among the classes you’ve taken or will potentially take. One of the goals of Course Threads is to foster interdisciplinary thinking, as the faculty who assembled each thread must have representatives from distinct departments, and the courses themselves span various departments and schools within Berkeley.

The Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) also has a list of recommended graduate and undergraduate courses on its site related to various types of media, technology, and design. Many of the BCNM suggested courses are geared more towards those interested in media and its intersection with technology.  Some of the courses on the list include The Dialectic of Poetics and Technology (Arch 238); Critical Making: Materials, Protocols, and Culture (New Media 290); and Youth, Technology, and Democratic Uprising.

The smallest school at Cal, also located in the oldest building on campus, South Hall, is the graduate School of Information, or I School. According to its site, the I School is “a graduate research and education community committed to expanding access to information and to improving its usability, reliability, and credibility while preserving security and privacy.”

Although it does not offer an undergraduate major, the I School does offer some undergraduate courses each semester. This spring it will once again offer History of Information, and among the grad courses there are classes such as Innovation and Information, Theory and Practice of Tangible User Interfaces, and Information Systems and Healthcare.  A full list of Spring 2013 I School courses can be found here.  Don’t hesitate to sign up for grad classes! There is always the issue of seats filling up in grad classes, too, but don’t let the 200+ course number scare you away.  Undergrads taking grad classes are not uncommon!  Other schools and colleges to check out include the Haas School of Business and the College of Environmental Design.

For those who have caught start-up fever or want to delve more into technological leadership and entrepreneurship, check out the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (CET). CET offers a concentration in Engineering Leadership for students who complete six units from the CET curriculum. The courses in the CET curriculum range from 1 to 3 units, so it could be a good way to find that one extra class to fill up your unit count if you are interested in tech leadership.

And if you are simply trying to find a class to satisfy your L&S breadth requirements, L&S is now offering a new flavor of Discovery Courses called “Big Ideas Courses.” These Big Ideas courses are team-taught by two or more highly-rated professors from different disciplines. The Spring 2013 offerings are Music and Meaning, Origins in Science and Religion, Sense and Sensibility and Science, Societal Risks and Law, and Time.

In summary, here are the resources mentioned in the article to check out:

One comment on “Suggested Courses for Spring 2013

  1. Shellin on said:

    There is a frosh/soph seminar coming up this spring that deals with design thinking.

    Architecture 24, Section 1
    Design Thinking and the Design Professions

    Here’s the link: http://fss.berkeley.edu/about/FSS_Spring_2014.pdf

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