- LIS 4701, Spring 2004
- Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:35-4:50 p.m.
- Tuesdays: 008 Louis Shores Building
- Thursdays: 216 Louis Shores Building
SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND WEEKLY CONTENT
Note about the reading assignments: You will read the assigned readings
for a given week before we meet on Tuesday of that week (for example, you
will complete the assigned readings for Week 2 before you come to class on
January 13). You will find this helpful because you will be prepared to
earn higher marks on the class participation, individual assignments, and
group in-class cumulative assessments if you have read the readings
carefully and on time. You should refer to the course Reading List for
full citations for the readings and their locations.
UNIT 1: Representation
Unit 1 introduces you to the main concepts associated with information
representation, including surrogation and aggregation. You’ll learn what
information entities are, and to distinguish between their form, content,
and intellectual attributes. You’ll also learn how information
representations are using in the development of information retrieval
- Week 1: January 8: Attendance is REQUIRED at this session
by the University. You must attend class ON TIME in order to be marked
present on this day.
- Week 2: January 13 and 15: Introduction to information
representation and its context(s). During this week we will go over the
syllabus carefully, introduce ourselves, get familiar with the course
textbook and the concept and terms to be used in the course.
- Introduction and Chapter 1 of Visual Explanations book (Tufte)
- Week 3: January 20 and 22: Surrogates (making things
smaller). Much of information representation can be broken down into two
activities: surrogation and aggregation. After completing this week’s
lectures, readings, and in-class activities, you’ll be able to define
surrogation, identify surrogates, and create them.
- Chapter 1 of Visual Explanations book (Tufte): Review
- Cleveland, Donald B. & Cleveland, Ana D. (1983). “The Nature and types
of abstracts.” Chapter 8 in their Introduction to indexing an abstracting.
pp. 104-111. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. (book at Goldstein
- Week 4: January 27 and 29: Aggregation (classification and
categorization). After completing this week’s lectures, readings, and
in-class activities, you’ll be able to define aggregation, identify
aggregates, and create them.
- Chapter 2 of Visual Explanations book (Tufte)
- Mulvany, Nancy C. (1994). "“Introduction to book indexing." Chapter 1
in her Indexing books. pp. 1-15. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
(book at Goldstein reserves)
- Week 5: February 3 and 5:
- Week 6: February 10 and 12: Form, content, and intellectual
attributes. This week you’ll learn more about information entities. After
completing this week'’s lectures, readings, and in-class activities,
you wi’ll be able to distinguish between form, content, and intellectual
attributes, and identify them given an information entity.
- O'Connor, Brian. (1986). “Considerations of representation.” Chapter
2 in his Explorations in indexing and abstracting: Pointing, virtue, and
power. pp. 19-34. (eBook available via netLibrary)
- Week 7: February 17 and 19: Organizing information. Often,
information representation is used to enable information organization.
After completing this week’s lectures, readings, and in-class activities,
you’ll be able to explain why information organization is important and
some techniques for using information entity surrogates to do it.
- *February 19: Individual assignment 2 is due
- Rosenfeld, Louis & Morville, Peter. (1998). “Organizing information.”
Chapter 3 in their Information architecture for the World Wide Web. pp.
22-46. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly. (book at Goldstein Reserves)
- Week 8: February 24 and 26: Tying representation to the
retrieval tool. After completing this week’s lectures, readings, and
in-class activities, you’ll be able to use and design information
retrieval tools more discerningly because you will understand how
information representations interact with the functioning of a retrieval
- Chapter 6 of Visual Explanations book (Tufte)
- Week 9: March 2 and 4: UNIT 1 Summary. This week allows us
to wrap-up Unit 1 and perform a group in-class assessment to make sure we
are all ready to move to Unit 2.
- *March 4: Group in-class assessment 1 for UNIT 1
UNIT 2: Schemas, genres, and mental models.
Unit 2 is where you learn how the mental models of designers and users
do influence and should shape information representation schemes. When
information is represented, it can take the form of various genres, and it
is important to know which ones are appropriate in what contexts of use.
Unit 2 is also where we’ll discuss intermediaries, which can be human or
machine, but which always insert an extra mental model into an information
- Week 10: March 16 and 18: Tying representation to the user.
In Week 8, we worked on tying representation to the retrieval tool; this
week, we focus on the user instead. After completing this week’s lectures,
readings, and in-class activities, you’ll be able to think about
information representation schemes from the perspective of users’ varied
- McDaniel, Scott. (2003). "What's your idea of a mental model?" Boxes and arrows. February 10, 2003. Available http://www.boxesandarrows.com/archives/large/003253.php
- McArthur, Tom. (1986). “Knowing, referring and recording: Storing
information beyond the brain.” Chapter 1 in his Worlds of reference:
Lexicography, learning and language from the clay tablet to the computer.
pp. 3-8. (book at Strozier reserves)
- McArthur, Tom. (1986). “Information and World 3: In the beginning was
the word.” Chapter 2 in his Worlds of reference: Lexicography, learning
and language from the clay tablet to the computer. pp. 9-16. (book at
- Week 11: March 23 and 25: Visual displays. Some of the most
influential and the most common use of information representation is in
the creation of visual displays. You already heard a bit about visual
displays during Week 5; this week, you’ll learn more about how visual
displays can be used to represent information clearly and well.
- *March 25: Individual assignment 3 is due
- Chapters 4 and 5 of Visual Explanations book (Tufte)
- Week 12: March 30 and April 1: Knowledge representations.
Last week, we worked with visual representations of information; this
week, we’ll work with representations of knowledge. The reading for this
week is especially difficult, but after completing this week’s lectures,
readings, and in-class activities, you’ll be able to understand how
individuals and groups can represent their knowledge (using some of the
same techniques you worked with in Unit 1, and encountering the mental
models we’ve worked with in Unit 2) to others.
- Tomas, David. (2002). “On the imagination’s horizon line: Uchronic
histories, protocybernetic contact, and Charles Babbage’s calculating
engines.” Chapter 10 in Clark, Bruce, & Henderson, Linda Dalrymple (Eds.).
From energy to information: Representation in science and technology, art,
and literature. pp. 217-234. (book at Dirac reserves)
- Week 13: April 6 and 8: Mental models of intermediaries and
UNIT 2 summary. Intermediaries can be human or machine actors. After
completing this week'’s lectures, readings, and in-class activities,
you’ll be able to identify and describe several types of intermediaries
and explain where intermediaries operate in the information representation
- Brown, Arnold. (2002). "A tangled web." Across the Board, 39(2), pp.
69-70. (available online through the WilsonSelectPlus database on OCLC
- Schuyler, Michael. (2003). “You can’t disintermediate the great
intermediaries!" Computers in Libraries, 23(4), pp. 42-43. (available
online through the Library Literature database in OCLC FirstSearch)
- Week 14: April 13 and 15: UNIT 2 GICCA and Tying the user ot
the retrieval tool. The GICCA for Unit 2 lets us make sure that we'’re
ready to use the next two weeks to consolidate Unit 1 with Unit 2 to
finish up our understanding of information representation and its uses.
- Week 15: April 20 and 22: The future of information
representation. We began the semester by laying groundwork for the course.
This final week of the course meetings gives you the opportunity to look
forward and speculate where YOU, as an information technologist, are going
to lead the world of information representation.
- *April 22: Individual assignment 4 is due
- Chapter 7 of Visual Explanations book (Tufte)