HSEM 2520H: Visualization & Virtual Reality for Social Justice

3 CreditsHonorsTechnology and Society

From interactive web-based storytelling at the New York Times to analyzing climate change data in virtual reality, data visualization - computer-based visual depiction and analysis of data - is changing the way that we understand and communicate about the world we live in. This seminar encourages aspiring activists, artists, poets, journalists, engineers, doctors, scientists, and other creative thinkers to come together to study: (1) How information is communicated visually; (2) how to use computers to create effective data visualizations; and (3) how to apply visualization to further social justice and to understand data related to social justice. In this way, the course aims to provide a visually oriented introductory experience with computer science that is applied from day one to real-world problems of critical importance to today's society. Students are expected to bring their own ideas, causes, and (optionally) datasets to the seminar. Students will study and have opportunities to create visualizations addressing gender and racial inequality, health equity, climate change, gun violence, gender identity, and more. Readings will cover a mix of current scholarly perspectives on these topics as well as technical information, such as computer programming techniques for using color, form, and metaphor to depict data using processing.org, a visual programming environment originally designed for artists. Exciting current research on virtual reality will also be discussed, for example, recent studies on virtual embodiment that aim to foster empathy for people of diverse races and genders.

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A Average (4.000)Most Common: A (95%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

20 students
  • 4.58


  • 4.42


  • 4.47



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