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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Postgraduate Course: Knowledge and Action in the Data Society (DESI11104)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers an introduction to the complexity of data driven society
Course description Through a series of lectures this course provides an introduction to the social, economic and technical characteristics that define a data driven society. The course addresses key historical and contemporary developments across digital media, economic models and the network society and plots the primary themes, initiatives and technologies that have informed the present conditions in which identity, value, decision making and communication are bound to digital technologies and the flow of data. The lecture series will explore the role of data through academic disciplines across the technical, material and social sciences, whilst using case studies across sectors such as healthcare, education, policy and business. Students will also receive intellectual support through a series of seminars and workshops in the first that are intended to provoke creative responses to intractable problems. Involvement in these early workshops will establish the skills sets for the development of a significant piece of individual coursework that responds to the themes within the course.

This course will address the following themes:

1. Mapping the impact of digital and data-driven technology on society and our sense of what it means to be human
2. Data-driven paradigms for governance, decision-making, the digital economy and technological interventions in cognition and selfhood
3. Critical perspectives on data-driven society
4. Decisions that change the world
5. What counts as a good decision
6. The practice and process of decision making
7. Risky decisions
8. Understanding the social knowledge base needed for successful completion of a pathway through the EFI Masters portfolio.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge: Demonstrate a critical awareness of the social, technical and economic developments that underpin the data driven society.
  2. Research: Understand a research problem and apply appropriate methods for negotiating it, including an analysis of both literature and industrial precedents to support a personal enquiry.
  3. Analysis: Demonstrate an ability to analyse aspects of data driven systems and identify how they impact upon social, economic, environmental relations.
Reading List
Ng, I. (2012) Value & Worth: Creating New Markets in the Digital Economy, Innovorsa Press.
Maull RS, Mulligan C, Godsiff P. (2015) ┬┐Introduction to New Economic Models of the Digital Economy Minitrack. IEEE HICSS, pp. 1264-1264.
Bratton, B. The Stack, MIT Press
Kitchin, R. The Data Revolution
Gregory, K. The Datalogical Turn in Non-Representational Methodologies: Re-Envisioning Research, Edited by Phillip Vannini
Beer, D. Metric Power
Pasquale, F. The Black Box Society
Boyd, D & Crawford K. Critical Questions For Big Data: Provocations for a cultural, technological, and scholarly phenomenon
2014, "Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy", by Vasilis Kostakis and Michel Bauwens, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 9781137415066
Rob Kitchin, Tracey P. Lauriault, Matthew W. Wilson Understanding Spatial Media
Rob Kitchin, Tracey P. Lauriault, Towards critical data studies: Charting and unpacking data assemblages and their work
Finn, E. (2017) What Algorithms Want: imagination in the age of computing. The MIT Press.
O'Neill, C. (2016) Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. Crown Publishing
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry, Personal and Intellectual Autonomy, Technical/practical skills, Communication
Course organiserProf Chris Speed
Tel: (0131 6)51 5747
Course secretaryDr Eadaoin Lynch
Tel: (0131 6)51 5735
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