Donald J. Patterson

Identity, Surveillance, Deception – Senior Seminar

by Sterling by Sterling by Kitchin and Dodge
by Brunton and Nissembaum by Toyama by Knuth
by Johnson

Senior Seminar

For Spring semester 2016 I am teaching a senior seminar roughly focussed on Identity, Surveillance, and Deception at Westmont College.  It’s the first time I’ve taught a senior seminar and so far it’s feeling a lot like a graduate school reading group. I’ve got a very engaged group of students and we’re having great discussions so far. Provocative, challenging, shaping. The class has three foci: a Senior Project, Professional Preparation and Ethics.

Senior Project

The senior project is different for each student and is self determined. It doesn’t have to pertain to the theme, but it does have to be motivating to the student involved. We have one student creating a fringe festival scheduling system, one is making an adaptive virtual world, one is playing with computational photography and one creating an Android media app for an external client. They are varied, open-ended and risky!

Professional Preparation

This part of the course is helping the seniors to be ready to enter the next stage of their life. We are going to work on resumes, online portfolios, and interview skills. Fortunately we have a great Career Development and Calling office that I’m leaning on to help us out.

Ethics of Identity, Surveillance, and Deception

Finally, the ethics portion of the course is focussed on Identity, Surveillance, and Deception. I would like to explore the idea of capture surveillance, what it means to create your identity through databases and when is it okay, morally, to lie to databases. I hope this is a stimulating discussion in light of recent calls to register Muslims in a national registry and if all goes well, may result in a book sometime in the future.

Our full list of readings is listed at the top and the course webpage can be found here:

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