Jean Anne Fitzpatrick
The School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS) is an interdisciplinary program which addresses issues related to information technology from a variety of perspectives, including cultural, economic, and legal aspects, as well as the "traditional" disciplines of computer science and library science.
The SIMS Master's program typically involves a substantial final project rather than a thesis; this was the focus of my concentration in the Spring 2002 semester.
The NewsHound project explored visualization of themes in web-based news, and involved integration of a Java information retrieval system, MySQL database, and web-based user interface. Our prototype system, BreakingStory, is available online.
In conjunction with this project work, I took courses in New(s) Media (IS290 S1) and Information Visualization (IS247).
This course encompassed both a theoretical framework and extensive practical applications of database management systems. Topics included comparison of database models, relational database design principles (normalization), and database implementation using MS Access, Oracle, and MySQL. The course centered on a group project, for which my group designed and implemented a MySQL database with PHP data entry forms and reports.
Project report, including relations diagram and data dictionary
Sample PHP reports and queries
This course focused on the application of quantitative methods to research in human-centered computing. The methods of experimental design were emphasized, with the associated statistical techniques presented in the context of their actual application. The coursework centered on practical exercises, including two group projects.
The Digital Intensity Survey
Where's the news?
Examining geographic references in on-line news sources
This linguistics course provides an indepth analysis of the role of metaphor in human cognition. The coursework involved a substantial research paper, in which I investigated the role of metaphor in web design conventions.
Go! buttons and arrow icons:
How metaphors motivate conventions in web design
This ongoing seminar is comprised of guest speakers from both industry and academia, presenting cutting-edge research and best practices in the field of human-centered computing.
This course provided a theoretical framework and practical experience in design and testing of a web-based user interface. The course centered on a group project, for which my group designed and implemented an on-line discussion forum using HTML, ColdFusion, and an Access database. Individual work in the class included heuristic evaluation of an existing system.
Simians Discussion Forum Project
Heuristic Evaluation of Bear Facts System
This course covers the current technological basis of the Internet, from Local Area Networks and "the last mile" through telephone system switching, Wide Area Networks, the Internet backbone, and satellite links. While centered on TCP/IP, the course also covered alternative networking protocols and emerging technologies. This course included both a research project and a socket programming project. For the research project, my team investigated the LAN security protocol Kerberos. For the programming project, my team designed and implemented a Java utility to check a web site for bad links.
This survey course covered the fundamentals of systems analysis and project management. The primary focus of the course was a systems analysis project, in which I assisted a small organization (Chardon Press) in selecting between several alternatives for upgrading their existing computer system.
(See description above.)
This survey course covered a broad range of topics in distributed computing, including an overview of object-oriented programming, client/server and peer-to-peer architectures, and internet security and cryptography. The course included a group project to design and implement a new form of email browser. My group designed an email-based shared calendar utility with a web interface, implemented using Perl CGI scripts.
This survey course included a broad range of topics in information organization and retrieval including design and measurement of search programs, effective use of metadata, XML and SGML, and database design.
This course focused on the social and legal ramifications of new technology, including issues related to introduction of new technology in the workplace and the changing definition of intellectual property in the Internet age.
This self-paced Java class is offered by the Computer Science department. The course covered programming both applets and stand-alone applications, including threading and exception handling.