DMS 220 Machines, Codes, Cultures
Reg.#22661, Mon/Wed 15:00 - 16:15
This course will follow the history of machines and coding systems from the monastery bell to the latest humanoid robot, from the origins of numeric notation to social media in select episodes. The course offers an overview of concepts related to information technologies that substantially impact daily life today. The course will focus on cultural aspects of technologies and the myriad ways in which they are woven into the fabric of human activities. Topics will include the onset of agriculture, the making of cities, numbering systems, technologies of timekeeping and navigation, robots, interaction design, household appliances and automobiles, software systems and social media. Students will be introduced to these concepts through primary source materials (texts and videos) and guided through them in weekly discussions. Grades will be based on a mid-semester position paper, a research materials compilation task, a multiple choice final exam as well an extra credit essay assignment.