Professor Marc Davis, Professor Peter Lyman and PhD student danah boyd
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 - 3:30 pm
247 Cory

Course News

05/13: The Assignment 7 turn-in page is now online.
05/10: The final exam is now available. It is due by 9:00am on May 20. E-mail your completed exam to
04/25: The Assignment 6 turn-in page is now accessible. As always, you'll need your group login and password to submit. E-mail if you encounter any problems.
04/12: Here are the Midterm Grading Criteria.
03/31: Bring Midterm Questionnaire and Group Project Questionnaire to class next week to get your midterm back
03/31: You can now view your LOGO logos online! Check it out...
03/07: You can now access the assignment 4 turn-in page. You'll need your group login and password.
02/27: If you want to use the Logo interpreter on your own computer without having to be online, you can download the Logo interpreter. Unzip the downloaded file and open the logo.html file to run the interpreter, just like on the course webpage.
02/17: There is no section on Monday due to the holiday. Please attend either Jeff's Tuesday section (4-5pm, 255 Dwinelle) or Matthew's Wednesday section (3-4pm, 47 Evans) if you are in the Monday section. If you can't make either of these, please e-mail Jeff and let him know.
02/17: Assignment 3 submissions are now closed. E-mail the instructional staff if you have any questions or issues.
02/15: The turn-in page for assignment 3 is now online. You will need your group login and password to submit the assignment.
02/08: An online LOGO interpreter is now available for you to play with. It is also linked to on the webpage navigation bar.
02/03: Assignment 3: Observing Artifact Usage has been posted.
02/01: Assignment 2: Group Formation has been posted. It is crucial that you contact your GSI if you miss section this week, as you will be assigned into your project groups.
01/27: The syllabus went through a slight change, the current syllabus and online schedule and reading list have been updated to reflect this. In particular, note that the readings for class on February 1 have changed.
01/19: If you volunteered to provide discussion questions, please send them to
01/18: Don't forget to fill out the student questionnaire.

Course Description

This course is based upon the premise that New Media — a spectrum of technologies for representation and communication based on the paradigm of computation — represents a once in several century innovation in the representation of knowledge and culture. The goal of the course is to prepare you to participate in this process of innovation by analyzing the emerging genres of New Media and their history, and by designing New Media.

To analyze the design challenges and opportunities of this moment, the class will examine key moments in media history to gain perspective on the nature of the process of technological innovation and cultural change. The course will analyze the design of new media in the telephone, the camera, the web, and computer games, using insights and methods from the humanities (i.e., theories of language, communication, and media), using social science techniques to analyze culture and media (i.e., participant-observation, interviewing) and applying basic computational understandings and skills (i.e., how computation works, what programs are, how to write simple programs).

You will work in project groups of 5-6 students to develop concepts and sketches for the redesign of your group's chosen artifact (i.e., the telephone, the camera, the web, or a computer game). You will observe and document your use of your chosen artifact, and redesign your artifact to make it more programmable, and to enable new forms of communication, social organization, and game play. In this course you will learn to analyze and design New Media in order to become active participants in understanding and shaping our culture.


Exams. There will be a midterm examination (March 7, 8, and 9) in section, and a final examination during finals week.

Student Questionnaire. The Student Questionnaire is essential for us to place you in your project group for the design assignments.

Design Assignments. Six assignments will ask you to work in a project group (5-6 students) to apply concepts from the readings and lectures to redesign your group's chosen artifact (i.e., the telephone, the camera, the web, or a computer game). Each design assignment will be due about two weeks after it is assigned. Your design assignments don't require you to build your designs, but to work with your project group to collectively brainstorm, sketch, and describe your solutions to the design problems.


Sections are required, which are designed to explore class readings in depth, to work on seven required design exercises, and to receive critique and feedback on your designs. Design teams will work on the projects with GSIs in section, applying readings and lectures, and post your projects on your web pages. At the end of the Semester we'll have a Poster Section for everyone to show off your design ideas, inviting friends, and having some fun.
  • Section 101: Monday 4-5pm, 204 Wheeler
  • Section 102: Tuesday 4-5pm, 255 Dwinelle
  • Section 107: Wednesday 3-4pm, 47 Evans


Your course grade is comprised of:
  • 50% midterm and design assignments
  • 30% final exam
  • 20% attendance and participation

3 hours of lecture/seminar per week.


No prior media production experience required.