Crystal Hall (she/her)
Office hour scheduling: see Blackboard
Fernando Nascimento (he/his)
Office hour scheduling: see Blackboard
Patrick Bloniasz ‘22, TA hours to be held via Zoom, link will be posted on Blackboard and circulated by email
We invite you to make sense of the chaos of digital devices, apps, and algorithms that we confront every day. We use so many of these objects (or they are used on us), and some of them work well, but others aren’t great. We encourage you to use your enthusiasm for your favorite app or internet-of-things gadget to imagine something better. Our hope is that you gain a habit of asking four types of questions whenever you encounter a digital artifact to restore agency and power to you in a technological world that often seems out of our control. Our approach is collaborative and project-based so that you can immediately apply what you have learned and draw on the perspectives and experiences of your classmates to identify nuances, seek solutions that work for broader communities, and be actively involved in every class. You will have a chance to demonstrate your Digital and Computational Studies (DCS) knowledge in a final project that you can opt to share outside of class.
For students on campus: optional in-person components replicate the asynchronous group work assigned to all students. More information will be provided in the instructions for these activities.
In terms of workload, Bowdoin asks for a minimum of 3 hours in class plus 9 hours of preparatory work, labs, discussion sections, film viewings, etc. for each course credit. Our estimates below of ~5-7 hours recognizes that completion time varies by student, with some additional work on the project likely, but also leaving time for office hour check-ins as necessary.
Week 1 Feb. 8-12 Module 1.1 Tech-Check and Introductions
Week 2 Feb. 15-19 Module 2.1 Artifacts
Week 3 Feb. 22-26 Module 2.2 Artifacts
4As Project: Artifact Section Due Feb. 28 at 11:59pm ET
Week 4 Mar. 1-5 Module 3.1 Architecture
Week 5 Mar. 8-12 Module 3.2 Architecture
4As Project: Architecture Section Due March 14 at 11:59pm ET
Week 6 Mar. 15-19 Module 3.3 Artifacts & Architecture
Week 7 Mar. 22-26 Module 4.1 Abstraction - asynchronous only
Week 8 Mar. 29-Apr.2 Module 4.2 Abstraction
Week 9 Apr. 5-9 Module 4.3 Abstraction
4As Project: Abstraction Section Due April 11 at 11:59pm ET
Week 10 Apr. 12-16 Module 5.1 Agency
Week 11 Apr. 19-23 Module 5.2 Agency
4As Project: Agency Section Due April 25 at 11:59pm ET
Week 12 Apr. 26-30 Module 6.1 Digital Analysis
4As Project: Optional Revisions Due May 1 at 11:59pm ET
Week 13 May 3-7 Module 6.2 Digital Analysis
Week 14 May 10-14 Module 7.1 4As Major Challenges
Week 15 + Reading Period Digital Analysis Consultations (optional)
Finals Week Digital Analysis Project due at noon ET Monday, May 24
1-2 days prior to class Weekly Journal & Computational Python
Synchronous class meeting Review the journal entry & Python activities before class
3 days after class Reading & Concept Checks due at 11:59pm ET
Please contact the professors if there are any obstacles to accessing the course materials.
One of the principal components of a DCS course is collaboration. However, you should always be clear on what part of the work you hand in is your own, what parts come from other sources, and what parts are collaborative. As a general rule, we distinguish between interacting with another student using any written medium (e.g. pencil and paper, email, looking at their code, screen sharing) and having broad discussions with them. Unless you work with another student in a group, you are not allowed to exchange information through a written medium with them or provide answers to activities such as problem sets through conversation. This is a zero-tolerance policy.
It is permissible to use materials available from other sources such as the Internet (understanding that you get no credit for using the work of others) as long as: 1) You acknowledge explicitly which aspects of your assignment were taken from other sources and what those sources are. 2) The materials are freely and legally available. 3) The material was not created by a student at Bowdoin as part of this or another course this year or in prior years. To be absolutely clear, if you turn in someone else's work you will not receive credit for it; on the other hand, if you acknowledge it, at least you will not violate the Honor Code. All write-ups, reviews, documentation and other written material must be original and may not be derived from other sources.
Credit/D/F. DCS 1100 can be a requirement for the coordinate major and the minor in DCS. You retain the option to change your grading option to Credit/D/F until May 3 at 5pm EST. We would be glad to talk to you about this decision. For students planning a major or minor in DCS, you would then need to take DCS 1200 for a grade to satisfy the introductory course requirement. If taken for Credit/D/F, this course will not satisfy the MCSR distribution requirement.
Late work. This semester might go smoothly for us all or it might be full of surprises for everyone. If things feel out of control, prioritize the project work. Be a good community member first. We can work with you on timing of the individual responsibilities. Importantly: we can’t help if we don’t know what is going on. Please stay in touch!
Please be in touch with Profs. Hall and Nascimento as soon as possible if deadlines conflict with religious holidays. We will make course materials for the week available on Mondays to allow for flexibility when completing any activities, but the Monday night meeting at 7pm might conflict with Jewish High Holidays, for example.