Description: In the modern world, individuals' activities in both the physical and digital worlds are tracked, surveilled, and computationally modeled to both beneficial and problematic ends. Working jointly with students and faculty from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), this course will examine privacy and security issues at the intersection between the physical and digital world. Coursework will encompass both technical problem sets with substantial programming components and the creation of a capstone interactive art installation following the studio art process. The course will introduce algorithms for processing and modeling various types of data: (i) mobility data; (ii) video data; (iii) audio data; (iv) natural language data; (v) structured information archives. Through both the lenses of computer science and studio art, students will be asked to design algorithms, implement systems, and create artworks that communicate, provoke, and reframe pervasive issues in modern privacy and security. The course will both unpack and re-entangle computational connections and data-driven interactions between people, built space, sensors, structures, devices, and data. Synthesizing technology and aesthetics, the collaboration between UChicago and SAIC will communicate its findings to the broader public not only through typical academic avenues, but also via provocative and compelling public art and media.
|Prerequisites||A previous course in computer security or privacy, such as CMSC 23200 or CMSC 23210 or CMSC 25900 or CMSC 33210 or CMSC 33250 or CMSC 33251.|
|Class Meetings||We will be meeting in person on Mondays and Fridays from 1:30p - 2:50p. If you are unable to meet in person due to illness, personal emergency, or potential covid exposure, please let Blase know, and he'll set up a Zoom link so that you can join that class virtually.||Relationship Between UChicago and SAIC Cohorts||We will be meeting on Mondays 1:30p - 2:50p as a UChicago (CS-only) cohort at UChicago in Ryerson 176. We will be meeting on Fridays 1:30p - 2:50p as a joint UChicago-SAIC cohort. The joint meetings will sometimes take place virtually (UChicago students meeting in person at UChicago in Ryerson 176, SAIC students meeting in person at SAIC), although we will sometimes meet jointly (either at UChicago or SAIC). Meetings at SAIC will be in Room 1407 of the SAIC Sullivan Center at 36 S. Wabash Ave. in the loop. Please take the elevator to the 14th floor vestibule and then let Blase know to let you in through the locked doors you will encounter at that point. The SAIC cohort meets twice as long as the combined cohort on Fridays (1:30p - 4:30p), and UChicago students are welcome, but absolutely not obligated, to stay longer on Fridays. This extra time is typically unstructured time for instructor critiques of projects. Staying longer on Fridays will have no bearing on your grade; instead, think of it as an extra opportunity for office hours.|
|Textbook||We will not be using a textbook, but rather reading papers published in recent computer science conferences, learning about art projects, and reading news articles.|
The coursework for this class consists of five programming assignments (in the first five weeks of the class) and a capstone interactive artwork. There are no exams.
Programming assignments will ask you to engage with both algorithmic and creative aspects of five different types of data: (i) mobility data; (ii) video and audio data; (iii) sensor data; (iv) natural language data; (v) structured information archives. We have designed these assignments to provide you depth in terms of the technical details of computing on these various types of data, but also to give you the opportunity to think about how to frame and communicate this data creatively. Programming assignments will be graded on both technical and aesthetic qualities, but with the weight on the former.
The cornerstone of this class, however, will be the creation of an interactive artwork. You can either create this artwork alone or (highly encouraged) in a cross-disciplinary team with one of the MFA students from SAIC. Joint projects between UChicago and SAIC students will receive additional material resources (four times what a single project would receive). The form this artwork takes can vary based on student interest, ranging from an interactive installation to light/sound to screen-based.
We will update the course schedule regularly throughout the course. All assignments will be distributed and collected on Canvas. If you have multiple files, you may upload them individually or as an archive (zip, tar, etc.).
We'll use Campuswire for questions about the CS-only course material, CS-only logistics, and questions about CS-oly assignments. Please try to keep all course-related communication to Campuswire rather than email to facilitate coordination among the course staff. If you need to reach out to the instructors (e.g., pertaining to an illness or other events that might be impacting your performance in class), please make a post on Campuswire visible only to the instructors. Please be sure to use the "Extension request" tag on Campuswire for any requests for extensions (see "Late Policy" below for further details). In addition, please use the "P/F request" tag on Campuswire to request to take the class pass/fail (see "P/F Grading" below for further details). Obviously, post both types of requests as private, visible only to the course staff.
We'll use Slack for communication across the UChicago and SAIC cohorts, discussion of your capstone artworks, and for sharing links to projects of general interest to the combined cohorts.
We will accept assignments up to 24 hours late with a 15 point grade penalty. Assignments more than 24 hours late will not be accepted without a previously approved extension.
Of course, in exceptional circumstances related to personal emergencies, serious illness, wellness concerns, family emergencies, and similar, please make the course staff aware of your situation and we will do our best to find a mutually agreeable solution, such as an extension. We do not consider job interviews, midterm weeks in other classes, or non-emergency travel to be exceptional circumstances.
|Assignments (5)||40% (8% each)|
|Participation in Lectures/Discussions||10%|