The Major

This week’s featured program is the Information Science Major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From the website:

Information science centers around people’s interactions with information, data and technology. By majoring in Information Science, you will explore the intersection between technology and human values. You will work with people to gain insight into the ways individuals and societies use information and data, while learning to develop equitable information and data systems. In short, you’ll leverage information and data technologies to enhance people’s lives. 

In the program, you will learn how to create technology-based systems that actively support social justice and promote the public good. Graduates will strive to increase impartial access and understanding of information and data that will increase productivity and foster well-being.

The interdisciplinary major integrates coursework in computing, analytics, design, human factors, ethics and impact on society.

Students can choose to pursue the major via either the BA or BS pathway. Students enrolled in the major complete 21 credit hours’ worth of core courses and then take courses in the following categories: Ethics, Computing & Society; Computational Techniques and Tools; Principles of Information and Data Science; Designing for Human Computer Interaction; Communicating Digitally; and Career/Community/Internship. Students also take electives, and can choose from one of the following Focus Areas: 

    • Civic Technologies
    • Analytics
    • User Experience Design
    • Information Policy, Law and Ethics
    • Health Informatics
    • Information, Data & Society (General Digital Citizenship)

Two Interesting Courses

LIS 202 — Informational Divides and Differences in a Multicultural Society

Explores the impact of and barriers to access to information on the lives of low-income ethnic/racial minority communities in the United States. Provides introduction to contemporary information society from a sociological perspective.

COMP SCI 570 — Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction

User-centered software design; (1) principles of and methods for understanding user needs, designing and prototyping interface solutions, and evaluating their usability, (2) their applications in designing web-based, mobile, and embodied interfaces through month-long group projects.

Five Possible Complementary Certificates (Minors) at the University of Wisconsin Madison

Unique Opportunities within the Major

Students have significant flexibility in structuring their path through the major, and benefit from the breadth of research, research groups, centers, and labs in the iSchool

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