Jean Anne Fitzpatrick


Master's program

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.

Spring 2002

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).

Fall 2001

Database Management (IS257)

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.

     NewsHound Database:
      Project report, including relations diagram and data dictionary
      (PDF format)
      Sample PHP reports and queries

Quantitative Methods for Information Management (IS271)

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
      (PDF format)

Metaphor (LIN106)

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
      (PDF format)

Human-Centered Computing Seminar (IS290 S2)

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.

Spring 2001

User Interface Design and Development (IS213)

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

Computer-Based Communications Systems and Networks (IS250)

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.

      Kerberos Overview


Analysis of Information Organizations and Systems (IS208)

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.

Human-Centered Computing Seminar (IS290 S2)

(See description above.)

Fall 2000

Distributed Computing Applications and Infrastructure (IS206)

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.

      CalFusion Project

Information Organization and Retrieval (IS202)

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.

Information Users and Society (IS204)

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.

Self-Paced Java for Programmers (CG9G)

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.

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