Information Science

The Department of Information Science is home to a new discipline that unites a number of interdisciplinary approaches for understanding and shaping a future characterized by pervasively available digital information and communication technology.

Information Science considers the relationships between people, places and technology—as well as the information or “data” those interactions themselves then yield. The Internet is a broad example of a socio-technical system that is comprised of hardware and software, but in daily life is better understood as a constantly changing social infrastructure upon which complex forms of human-human and human-information interaction rest. Scholars and students of Information Science develop new methods to study these socio-technical phenomena, and translate those findings to the design and development of useful and meaningful technology.

The department takes as a core idea that data sit at the primary point of interaction between social and computational systems. By focusing on the transformation of data across “systems” of people, places, and technology, we can continuously invent what new things society can do with technology, and what technology can do for society. Because of this view, rather than only imagine what today’s technology makes possible, information scientists innovate new ways of supporting new socio-technical connections by considering the enduring fundamentals about how people and technology interact.

Information Science draws on knowledge from social science, humanities, and computer science to support the study and ongoing innovation of socio-technical systems. Cultural, historical and organizational factors are among the many creative tensions that productively drive the discipline. The disciplinary yield is the creation of new technology, ideas and theory—and a workforce that understands the dynamic processes and potentials that underlie socio-technical interaction.

 The department will equip students with the conceptual machinery to succeed in a future characterized by new ways of:

  • working with information and computer technology (ICT) and highly distributed and changing information spaces;
  • coordinating with people, ICT and the information behaviors to which they together give rise;
  • envisioning occupational, personal and civic goals as enabled by new ICT opportunities and the information they mediate.

The Department of Information Science will advance the research of the discipline and deliver an innovative educational program to its students while aligning with the aims and guidelines of the Information School (I-School) Caucus, a 52-member international association with 26 members located in the U.S. As such, the Department of Information Science at CU-Boulder will be home to grant-driven empirical research that matches the ambitions of the national research goals of the discipline.

Click here to download the full Information Science proposal.