Course Catalog

Please see the University of Illinois Course Explorer for official class schedules, locations, dates & times, and assigned instructors for the current and upcoming semesters.

IS 100 Exploring the iSchool with a Human-Centered Lens

This course introduces students to the School of Information Sciences (iSchool). Students will explore career and professional development within information sciences, building their leadership and collaborative skills, and building a network within and beyond the iSchool. Through a human centered design project focused on an information science problem, students will gain experience and a better understanding of the process to develop an innovative solution addressing a societal need. Prerequisite: Restricted to Majors Only; First Semester Freshman, Intercollegiate and Off-Campus Transfer Students Only.

IS 101 Introduction to Information Sciences

This course provides an introduction to the field of information science and the major. It offers both historical and contemporary context for understanding the role of information in society. Focus is placed upon critical analysis of information problems as well as understanding the creation, use, and distribution of information in business, policy, education, government, health, and other sectors

IS 107 Data Science Discovery

Data Science Discovery is the intersection of statistics, computation, and real-world relevance. As a project-driven course, students perform hands-on-analysis of real-world data sets to analyze and discover the impact of the data. Throughout each experience, students reflect on the social issues surrounding data analysis such as privacy and design.

Same as CS 107 and STAT 107.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for Quantitative Reasoning I.

IS 202 Social Aspects of Information Technology

Explores the way in which information technologies have and are transforming society and how these affect a range of social, political and economic issues from the individual to societal levels.

This course satisfies the campus undergraduate Social and Behavioral Science requirement.

IS 203 Analytical Foundations for Information Problems

A survey of mathematical topics for students in information sciences. Provides an introduction to sets, relations, graphs, grammars, probability, and propositional and predicate logic. These topics relate to applications in information modeling, representation and expression. Prerequisite: MATH 112 or Required ALEKS Score

IS 204 Research Design for Information Sciences

This course provides an introduction to different approaches to research in the information sciences, including social science methods, data and text mining, digital humanities, historical approaches, and others. Topics include methods for evaluating research, developing research questions, selecting research methods, conducting research ethically, and communicating findings clearly and effectively through words, graphics, and other visualizations.

IS 205 Programming for Information Problems

Covers common data processing methods and computing concepts used in the information sciences. Evaluates strengths and weaknesses of the techniques in the context of our discipline. No prior programming background is assumed. Course will use the Python programming language.

IS 206 Introduction to Database Concepts and Applications

Introduction to database technology concepts and architecture. Explore data types and reading/writing database layout descriptions. Discussion of database ethics and privacy concerns. Comparison of different database systems a user might encounter including RDBMS, XML/RDF/JSON, NOSQL, and Graph database systems. Labs involving common database tools and exercises in SQL

IS 226 Introduction to HCI

This course introduces students to fundamental theories and techniques in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). This course presents basic tools and methods for creating, designing, prototyping, and evaluating user interfaces to computing applications and web sites. Students will explore course content by conducting individual and group hands-on projects. Assignments involving prototyping can be implemented by self-selected solutions, e.g. Axure, JavaScript. Students from all backgrounds are welcomed.

IS 229 Web Design Fundamentals

This course will teach students about building inclusive interactive systems. They will learn to gather and understand user requirements and needs for a wide range of user populations, especially those that are under-served (e.g., children, older adults, people with disabilities), apply inclusive design frameworks and principles, and design, develop, evaluate and improve interactive prototypes in an iterative manner.

IS 236 User Research & Evaluation

This course will teach students about user research and evaluation. They will learn to apply various user research methods, gather and understand user requirements and needs for a wide range of user populations, especially those that are under-served (e.g., children, older adults, people with disabilities), conduct user evaluations of prototypes and interactive systems, and communicate effectively about the research insights and make actionable design suggestions.

IS 249 BSIS Practicum

A professional field experience program designed to provide the student with the opportunity to work in a professional environment under the supervision of an experienced information professional with the guidance of a faculty advisor. This opportunity allows students to integrate the theory and knowledge of course content with the application of principles and practices in a work environment, including these specific objectives Approved for S/U grading only. Prerequisite: IS 101 or IS 202. Restricted to BSIS students only.

IS 266 Community Innovation

How do communities contribute to transformative, world-changing innovations? Why is their participation indispensable for fostering change? And what makes change ultimately transformative across diverse spaces and time? Community Innovation explores how engagement with interdisciplinary communities and collaborations, as well as histories of globally-changing local innovations from the Illinois were critical to fostering and sustaining new social and technical practices across space and time.

IS 269 BSIS Internship

Designed to provide students an opportunity to apply the skills and concepts learned in Information Sciences classes to a work environment. Students will complete internships of their choosing under supervision and will be expected to complete activities online including a reflective paper and presentation. The goal of this course is to provide an experience that will form a connection between a student’s academic career and career goals for the future. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated. Prerequisite: IS 101 or IS 202. Restricted to BSIS students only.

IS 305 Programming for Information Problems II

Continuing coverage of common data processing and computing methods in the information sciences. Building on programming skills from IS 205, additional programming patterns will be explored, and additional tools like the command line and version control will be explored in the context of information problems. Course will be in Python. Some Python review will be provided, but students without prior experience in Python should contact the school or instructor for review material. Prerequisite: IS 205, or CS 101, or CS 105, or CS 125, or ECE 120, or equivalent. Basic programming (Python) proficiency required.

IS 309 Computers and Culture

Explores cultural ideas about computers, including hopes and fears about the effects of computers on our lives. Will analyze images of computers in fiction and movies. The course will also examine hackers, online subcultures, and other computer-related subcultures, and the integration of computers into various cultural practices.

IS 310 Computing in the Humanities

Explores use and application of technology to scholarly activity in the humanities, including projects that put classic texts on the web or create multimedia application on humanities topics.

IS 311 History and Foundations of the Information Society

Today's information society bespeaks a long history, exhibiting marked continuities with the past as well as some sharply defined new features. Yet the historical foundations of the information society remain poorly understood. This course develops such a framework, by examining emergent information institutions and practices from early modern Europe to the later 20th century. It examines the historical development of the information society through a number of important conceptual lenses, including: modernity and postmodernity; Fordist and post-Fordist capitalism; social class and information poverty; social and technological determinism; utopianism and dystopianism; and empire and globalization. Prerequisite: IS 202 Highly recommended.

IS 324 Social Network Analysis

Introduces theories of social networks (how they form, and how they influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors), while also providing hands-on experience with some powerful tools and methods for analyzing networks on various scales, ranging from small groups, to communities, to populations. It will also explore the use of network analysis to reveal patterns in large-scale data from the humanities such as periods of literary narrative, or character development across vast narratives with multiple interweaving plot lines.

IS 334 Usable Privacy and Security

From passwords to email encryption to privacy settings on social media services, it is widely recognized that human factors, usability or user experience play a crucial role in effective privacy and security solutions. Designers of privacy and security solutions need to understand how people might use, interact or appropriate the mechanisms they develop. This course introduces various aspects of user experience (e.g., usability problems, user interface designs, conflicting needs) related to privacy and security systems. It is also designed to provide students with knowledge and opportunities to analyze and evaluate user experience of privacy and security systems. This course is suitable for students who are interested in privacy and security, or user experience, or both.

IS 381 Introduction to Literacies for Youth

An overview of youth literacies covering: popular literacy myths, censorship, cognitive processes behind reading, visual and digital literacies, contemporary youth practices, government policies, and literacy education in schools. Course readings include fictional works and scholarship from the fields of education, library science, history, media studies, critical race studies, and literary and cultural studies. Students learn the history of marginalized youth in America in order to understand how literacies are defined, promoted, or stigmatized today.

IS 389 Independent Study

Advanced individual study in a subject related to Information Sciences not covered in normal course offerings. 

IS 390 Special Topics in Information Studies

Directed and supervised investigation of selected topics in information studies that may include among others computers and culture; information policy; community information systems; production, retrieval and evaluation of scientific or social science knowledge; computer-mediated communication; and computer-supported cooperative work. May be repeated. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

  • 390 CI - Consulting for Information Professionals
  • 390 FCE - Foundations of Community Engagement
  • 390 PIT - Privacy and Information Technology
  • 390 RDS - Race & Digital Studies
  • 390 RGS - Race, Gender, Sex in Comics

IS 400 Colloquium

Venue for presentation and discussion of research and professional activities by faculty, students, staff, and guest speakers. 0 or 1 undergraduate hours. 0 or 1 graduate hours. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated in separate semesters.

IS 401 Introduction to Network Information Systems

Hands-on introduction to technology systems for use in information environments. The course steps students through choosing, installing, and managing computer hardware and operating systems, as well as networking hardware and software. The course also explores alternatives for administering IT and how to assess emerging technologies and their applicability to library settings. While students are expected to have basic computer competencies per the School of Information Sciences admissions requirements, the goal of the course is to provide practical detailed knowledge of the technology for all levels of competency. The primary objective is to provide a conceptual understanding of the topics of the day through concrete hands-on examples of implementation. By learning the underlying concepts, students will be better prepared to help design networked systems that not only work well today, but also develop systems that can be easily adapted for the needs and technologies of tomorrow.

IS 403 Children's Materials

Evaluation, selection and use of books and other resources for children (ages 0-14) in public libraries and school media centers; explores standard selection criteria for print and non-print materials in all formats and develops the ability to evaluate and promote materials according to their various uses (personal and curricular) and according to children's various needs (intellectual, emotional, social and physical).

IS 406 Cognition in the Wild

Designed as a foundation for students who are interested in learning how to design human-centered information technologies. Students will learn basic principles in human cognition and behavior, and how these principles influence how we interact with information technologies. The course will prepare students to translate theories in human cognition and behavior to analyze, evaluate and rethink everyday design examples.

IS 407 Introduction to Data Science

This course introduces students to data science approaches that have emerged from recent advances in programming and computing technology. They will learn to collect and use data from a variety of sources, including the web, in a modern statistical inference and visualization paradigm. The course will be based in the programming language R, but will also use HTML, regular expressions, basic Unix tools, XML, and SQL. Supervised and unsupervised statistical learning techniques made possible by recent advances in computing power will also be covered.

IS 409 Web Technologies & Techniques

This course provides an introduction to the technologies behind the Web. Topics covered include: hypertext, hypermedia, the history of the Web, the role of Web standards and their impact on the development of Web resources. The course introduces principles of Web design and usability. Students will gain an understanding how the Web works and how to design, construct, evaluate, and maintain Web-based materials.

IS 410 Storytelling

Fundamental principles of the art of storytelling including techniques of adaptation and presentation; content and sources of materials; methods of learning; practice in storytelling; planning the story hour for school and public libraries and other public information settings; and audio, video, and digital media.

IS 413 Teen Materials

Evaluation, selection and use of books and other resources for young adults (ages 12-18) in public libraries and school media centers; explores standard selection criteria for print and nonprint materials in all formats and develops the ability to evaluate and promote materials according to their various uses (personal and curricular) and according to young adults' various needs (intellectual, emotional, social and physical).

IS 417 Data Science in the Humanities

Human culture provides an ideal testbed for students exploring data science, because the interpretive challenges that lurk beneath the surface in other domains become starkly visible here. For instance, cultural materials usually come to analysts as unstructured texts, images, or sound files, forcing explicit decisions about data modeling and feature extraction. Cultural questions also highlight the importance of interpreting statistical models in relation to a social context. Last but not least: songs, poems, and stories confront us with vivid problems that are inherently fun to explore. This course will start by reviewing descriptive and inferential statistics, and build up to applications of supervised and unsupervised machine learning. We will apply those methods to a range of cultural materials using them to model the pace of stylistic change in popular music, for instance, and the representation of gender in fiction.

IS 418 Community Engagement

Community engagement refers to the multiple ways that information professionals in libraries and other settings learn about, collaborate with, and provide service and outreach to community members. Provides an introduction to, and overview of, community engagement theory and practice. A significant portion of coursework will take the form of service learning or community-based research via approved projects that match students' interests.

IS 419 Entrepreneurial Information Technology Design

Introduces students to a range of rapid prototyping techniques and methods to analyze needs, opportunities and design spaces. Students will work in teams to develop ideas for novel computational devices or applications to meet identified needs. Covers the interlinked entrepreneurial skills of identifying an unmet need, exploiting technological opportunities, exploring a design space to refine an idea, and communicating a design vision through demonstrations with prototypes and proofs of concept. This enables developers to show how their envisaged working interactive technology will be used productively in a particular real-life context. Communicating the vision of computational devices is a challenge because dynamic use in context is hard for people other than the device's developers to imagine. The ability to produce convincing, clear, powerful demonstrations even at the early stages of a project is a highly valuable entrepreneurial skill, and also highly applicable within an organization. Directed and supervised investigation of selected topics in information studies that may include among others the social, political, and historical contexts of information creation and dissemination; computers and culture; information policy; community information systems; production, retrieval and evaluation of knowledge; computer-mediated communication.

IS 420 Community Informatics

A survey of key concepts in an emerging field that studies how local, historical communities are using information and communications technologies. Covers key principles for work in the non-profit/public sector as people harness new technologies and media as individuals, students, families, community organizations, and so on. Overarching ideas prepare both professionals and researchers to understand and master this environment, whatever their technology background. Especially useful for those interested in public or community libraries, youth services, social work, education, and anyone interested in working with or studying underserved communities.

IS 423 Early Literacy

Librarians fill a key role in the literacy development of young children with opportunities for interaction both in the library and through outreach programs. Key skills center on developing literacy-rich library environments, classroom instructional support, intentional embedding of essentials skills and practices within daily activities and lessons, resources about early literacy strategies to share with families and caregivers. Practitioners will understand the importance of integration of technology to meet the diverse developmental, cultural, social and linguistic needs of children to ensure they are able to create meaning from text.

IS 424 Social Computing

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to fundamental theories, methods, technologies and applications of social computing. Students learn about this emerging discipline from two perspectives: First, basic principles of collective information production and processing, and methods for studying these principles. Topics include prediction markets, games with a purpose, open source software development, social media, social networks, information visualization, and online games. Second, socio-technical aspects of the design and usage of respective technologies. This includes participation, privacy and security. Students learn how to solve problems in social computing in a systematic and rigorous fashion. At the end of the course, students will be able to design, manage and execute social computing projects for scholarly and commercial use, and to critically assess work in this area.

IS 426 Museum Informatics

The course examines various ways that information technologies are and might be used in museums and other cultural heritage settings. Museum websites, visitor apps, interactive exhibits, and uses of digitized and federated collections are explored. Students gain an introduction to Design Thinking by working on a final project that involves the development of a novel computational resource. Students are encouraged to approach class topics from their individual backgrounds in the humanities, sciences, or social sciences.

IS 429 Web Content Strategy and Management

This course focuses on the basics of web site design, content development, constructing web pages with standard HTML and CSS. We will also cover usability and accessibility, content management system options, multi-media and interactivity in the context of standard HTML and CSS, procedures and policies for organizations, with a concentration on public, academic and special libraries. Students will investigate, design, and draft a representative site. Students may work with non-profit and library clients in constructing and redesigning their web sites or design and construct their own personal professional pages. In this course we will learn how to design and deploy flexible websites that serve dynamically changing content, focusing in particular on the needs of public-service organizations such as libraries, associations, and other not-for-profit entities.

IS 430 Foundations of Information Processing

Covers common data, document processing, and programming constructs and concepts. Focuses on problem solving and abstraction with a programming language. By the end of the course students will be able to design, develop and test a moderately complex computer program to manage full text, bibliographic records or multimedia. The course prepares students for working with applications in data analytics, data science, digital libraries, text mining and knowledge management. No prior programming background is assumed.

IS 436 Playful Design Methods

In this immersive and experiential course, students consider "playfulness" as a key aspect of design methodologies and practices. Looking closely at the philosophical, social, and relational dynamics of play from multiple disciplinary angles, students will explore how playful approaches to design thinking and other design methodologies can encourage collaboration, engagement, and emergent, transformative solutions to a range of challenges that face us in our rapidly-changing, information-based culture.  The course aims to build student competency in design methods through a sequence of project experiences arising from a deep consideration of play.

IS 439 Web Development using Application Frameworks

Web Development Using Application Frameworks: A course in the use and evaluation of Web application frameworks for system architects, designers, and developers. 
Prerequisites:

  • Experience in creating static Web sites using HTML and CSS
  • Experience in Python programming (IS 430 or equivalent)
  • Experience in creating dynamic Web sites using tools like PHP is helpful but not required.
  • Experience in using relational databases is helpful but not required.

IS 440 Community Informatics Studio

Studio-based learning methods, which are common in art and architectural education, are used to help students address a real-world problem or 'case' within a social justice framework. Working in teams and mentored by the instructor and experts, students will learn how to 'be a professional' in an environment in which process is as important as project.

IS 445 Data Visualization

Data visualization is crucial to conveying information drawn from models, observations or investigations. This course will provide an overview of historical and modern techniques for visualizing data, drawing on quantitative, statistical, and network-focused datasets. Topics will include construction of communicative visualizations, the modern software ecosystem of visualization, and techniques for aggregation and interpretation of data through visualization.Particular attention will be paid to the Python ecosystem and multi-dimensional quantitative datasets.

IS 446 Systems Analysis and Design

This is an introductory course in systems analysis for computer-based information systems. Systems analysts are primarily responsible for eliciting user requirements, proposing a systems solution that meets those requirements, creating a model of the requirements and a proposed solution that can be understood by both system users and system developers. Systems analysts also get involved in project identification, planning, management, supervision of detailed system design and supervision of system construction. While this course will specifically emphasize systems analysis for LIS applications, the knowledge, tools and techniques that are covered in the course would be equally applicable to other disciplines. The audience for this course includes anyone who is interested in the analysis and preliminary design of computer-based information systems.

IS 451 Bibliography of Africa

Covers the available universe of African studies materials in all formats and how to find them. The class begins with evaluating general reference sources and continues with sources by discipline for the study of the continent of Africa. Covers research strategies for the humanities and social sciences.

IS 453 Information Books and Resources for Youth

Evaluation, selection and use of information books and other resources for young people (ages 0-18) in public libraries and school media centers; explores standard selection criteria for factual print and nonprint materials in all formats and develops the ability to evaluate and promote nonfiction books and resources according to their various uses (personal and curricular) and according to young people's various needs (intellectual, emotional, social and physical).

IS 455 Database Design and Prototyping

The course provides students with both theoretical and practical training in good database design. By the end of the course students will create a conceptual data model using entity-relationship diagrams, understand the importance of referential integrity and how to enforce data integrity constraints when creating a database. Students will be proficient in writing basic queries in the structured query language (SQL) and have a general understanding of relational database theory including normalization.

IS 456 Information Storage and Retrieval

Introduces problems of document representation, information need specification, and query processing. Describes the theories, models, and current research aimed at solving those problems. Primary focus is on bibliographic, text, and multimedia records.

IS 457 Data Storytelling

An introduction to understanding data as a source for storytelling and to telling stories based on data. This process will include understanding and analyzing data sets to find informative aspects, changes, or contrasts that will provide the basic information for developing stories. Course participants will learn storytelling concepts, narrative theories, and performance techniques and develop stories in a collaborative workshop style. Students will work with data visualization toolkits, which will involve variable levels of coding and skill. By using storytelling techniques with data, students can develop, and tell well-evidenced stories, organizations can make better data-driven decisions.

IS 461 Russian, East European, and Eurasian Bibliography & Research Methods

This course is intended to provide all necessary tools for the conduct of effective research in the field of Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies for both scholars and librarians. Relying on the rich bibliographic tradition of Russia, Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe, the latest techniques, strategies, databases and full-text options will be explored and explained.Topics include national bibliography, archival materials, émigré publications, rare books, open-Web resources, citation management tools, and web archiving, with particular emphasis on the transliteration systems, abbreviations, bibliographic and cataloging conventions, and constant troubleshooting that are essential to efficient REEES research.Attention is also paid to information architecture in general and the ways that historical, political, intellectual and technological phenomena affect access to published and unpublished research materials.

IS 464 Information Assurance

The course provides an introduction to the concepts, technologies, practices and challenges of Information Assurance. It takes a broad view of Information Security and Privacy and covers the essential principles for the protection of information systems; the relevant technologies; organizational concerns; policies, human aspects; legal approaches; criminology; and ethical issues. Students will gain an appreciation for the difficulty of designing, developing, deploying and maintaining information systems, services and software products that are secure and comply with expectations of security and privacy.

IS 467 Ethics & Policy for Data Scientists

The course will address common ethical challenges related to data including privacy, bias, and data access. These challenges will be explored through real-world cases of corporate settings, non-profits, governments, academic research, and healthcare. The course emphasizes the complexity of ethical decision-making and that trade-offs between priorities are often necessary. The course also considers how the burdens of addressing ethical concerns should be distributed among stakeholders. Students will be introduced to a range of relevant policy responses at the organizational, institutional, governmental, and supranational levels.

IS 471 Instructional Strategies and Techniques for Information Professionals

Provides an introduction to learning theories and instructional methods used in a variety of information settings, including libraries, archives, museums, online, and educational environments. Includes an overview of theoretical and applied research and discusses relevant issues and concepts. Students will have an opportunity to design and present an instructional program.

IS 477 Data Management, Curation & Reproducibility

This course addresses issues in Data Management, Curation & Reproducibility from a Data Science perspective. We discuss definitions of data science, and then introduce and use the Data Science Life Cycle as an intellectual foundation. Topics include Research Artifact Identification and Management, Metadata, Repositories, Economics of Artifact Preservation and Sustainability, and Data Management Plans. We use the case study to ground our discussions in both data sets and in specific data science research. This course requires a final project that applies course knowledge to a data science experiment and creates a data management plan for that experiment. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: STAT 107/CS 107/IS 107; STAT 207/CS 207/IS 207; CS 227/STAT 227.

IS 490 Topics in Information Foundations

Directed and supervised investigation of selected topics in information studies that may include among others the social, political, and historical contexts of information creation and dissemination; computers and culture; information policy; community information systems; production, retrieval and evaluation of knowledge; computer-mediated communication.

  • 490 PS - Professional Skills in Information Science
  • 490 SM - Social Media and Global Change

IS 496 Topics in Human-Centered Design & Systems

Variety of newly developed and current topics courses within the field of human-centered design and systems, intended to augment the existing Information Sciences curricula.

  • 496 DE - Designing for Social Interactive Experience

IS 497 Topics in Data Analytics & Data Science

Variety of newly developed and topics courses within Data Analytics & Data Science, intended to augment the existing Information Sciences curricula.

  • 497 DA - Database Administration & Scaling for Information Science
  • 497 DSA - Data Science and AI in Society
  • 497 IM - Interdisciplinary Methods in Research Computing