Syllabus

Objective

This workshop is designed to introduce students to different perspectives on politics and the state of the world through new visualization techniques and approaches to interactive political gaming (and selective 'edutainment.') Specifically, we shall explore applications of interactive tools (such as video and web-based games, blogs or simulations) to examine critical challenges in international politics of the 21C century focusing specifically on general insights and specific understandings generated by operational uses of core concepts in political science.

Day 1: Global Gaming and Global Agenda

Focus

Introduction and in-depth look at the new challenges of the global system through immersion in a cyber-narrative and on designing a computer game of crisis and decision in International Relations.

Day 2: Visualization and International Relations

Focus

Introduction to different visualization tools in the social sciences, with special emphasis on the contributions of visualization to the logic of scientific inquiry. Particular focus on relevant scholarship and research via a survey of recent projects and advances in scientific visualization. Students will also be introduced to Geographic Information Systems as a specific tool for managing geographically referenced data. (During Day 3 students will also participate in a hands-on ArcGIS tutorial, including how to retrieve data, create simple map representations, and interpret the results from visual renditions produced.)

Day 3: Enhancing Global Agenda and Visualization Strategies: Exploring Problems in International Relations

Focus

Illustrate the interactions of, or convergence between, insights obtained via interactive gaming and visualization techniques. Reflect on the representation and learning process. Review concepts and implications for international relations. Review implications of assignments and hands-on efforts so far.

Grading

Grading for the homework assignments and final project for this course are weighted equally.