Organizational Informatics

Full Syllabus with readings and exam dates

Grading Guidelines

I will have a poll in class to determine office hours.
The participation grade will be based on class performance. There will be periodic quizzes on the material to determine if you have read the material. You must read the material to do well in the course.
Each student will be assigned to at least one debate team. You must participate in this element of the course. Some people may do more than one, as if you fail to appear for one debate then you will be assigned two. If you fail to appear for two you will be assigned three. If you fail to attend all three of these, you will fail the class. You must present your argument clearly, be factually informed at least to mastery of the details of the readings provided for the course on the topic, and be professional in appearance as well as demeanor. These will occur in Friday discussion.
The three tests will correspond to the three major themes of the course.
There are three labs which will occur at corresponding times during the course. These labs are on single sign-on, Tor, and setting up an ACL.
15% participation every course day and every Friday
15% in-class and OnCourse quizzes on the material due as scheduled
10% three labs Tor, single sign-on, and ACL labs will occur during discussion sections.
60% three examinations on the three elements of the course As seen on the syllabus, three at 20%



The course has three intellectual pillars. The first pillar of the course is the material provided in the readings, and the lectures on the reading. The second is your class participation. If you are shy about speaking up in class you can participate in OnCourse. The third is the discussion sections. You cannot participate if you do not attend.

Course Themes

The first major theme is the nature of organizations. An organizations can be perceived as single monolithic rational entity; as a collection of competing groups of stakeholders; as a collection of individuals each acting upon their own aims; as a machine irrationally following process; or a anthropological cultural entity. Each of these views of organizations has implications for the use of data and of information technology. The understanding of how organizations alter the nature of IT is part of what differentiates Informatics from CS.


The second major theme is information economics. The economics section includes a cursory introduction to some major concepts in economics: discounted cash flow, rationality, productivity, and uncertainty. This includes a discussion of digital networked goods violate fundamental assumptions of economics.


The final theme is a topical discussion of information economics combines with organizations. Under this section we will consider security, privacy, DRM and copyright as economic rather than policy or technical questions.