INFOSYS 290: Mixing and Remixing Information
Spring 2006
M,W 9-10:30 110 South Hall
Instructor: Raymond Yee, Ph.D.
E mail: rdhyee@sims.berkeley.edu

Document Last Updated: January 17, 2006

This course focuses on employing XML and web services to reuse or "remix" digital content and services. Students will learn practical tools and techniques to recombine personal information through hands-on explorations and projects. Information remix can easily come across as a confusing grab bag of techniques. The course will provide a systematic framework so that students can learn a particular example of remix in depth so they can understand remixing in a broader context. The class will be organized as a sequence of three parts:

For this course, we will use Flickr, the social photo-sharing site, as the central example. Flickr is a deep and fascinating application. Other applications will be studied to provide allied or contrasting examples, especially in the final, remixing part of the class. Advanced students can move rapidly to spend most of the course inventing remixes or mashups. Those who are new to programming can spend most of their time exercising the Flickr API, taking some time to learn how to program. The practical, interactive, project-based orientation should enable students to learn from each other and work on topics of interest to them.

Learning Objectives

  1. in-depth knowledge of Flickr as a specific end-user application and API provider
  2. practical workings of XML and web services (especially, as related to personal information)
  3. how to apply what was learned about Flickr to other applications and API sources
  4. how to combine two or more sources of data and services

Evaluation

  1. Projects 60%
  2. Exercises 25%
  3. Class participation 15%

Proposed Outline of Class

See: http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/academics/courses/is290-4/s06/Proposed.Class.Schedule.html

Projects

In the projects, students will synthesize and demonstrate what they have learned throughout the course. The projects need to be working syntheses of two or more data sources and services. Students will have opportunities to brainstorm ideas, choose a specific focal point (drawing from structured feedback from other students and the instructor), craft a proposal for their projects, and then present their work at the end of the course. We hope to assemble a panel of practitioners in the field to whom we can showcase the work of the course.

Class Participation

I strongly encourage and value student participation in class, including taking part in discussions and helping each other to learn and advance.

Readings for the Course

There is no paper-based reader for the class. There are two books recommended for the class. The first is Flickr Hacks : Tips & Tools for Online Photo Sharing, expected to come out in February 2005: The second is Greasemonkey Hacks : Tips & Tools for Remixing the Web with Firefox (Hacks). Because it is available online to the UC Berkeley community on safari.oreilly.com . I anticipate that the new Flickr Hacks book will also be on safari.