COURSES DEVELOPED AND CURRENTLY
OFFERED AT THE UNIVRSITY OF BUFFALO
COM240 Introduction to Mass Communication
Today, more than ever before, we live in an all-around, 24/7, media-saturated world. Mass Communication refers to the various means by which individuals, organizations, and groups exchange information with large segments of the population via mediated channels, such as radio, TV, websites, mobile phones, etc. In COM240 we learn about (1) the history (2) audience, (3) production, and (4) effects of mass communication. A special emphasis will be put throughout the course on applying theories of and perspectives on mass communication to real-world media, social problems, and examples. Looking towards the past, present, and the future, we will try to understand the role of mass media in the lives of individuals, groups, and society at large, at how it threaten us, and how it makes us better.
COM468/681 Misinformation & Society
Undergraduate & Graduate Level
Our individual and collective behaviors online—be it a tweet about your new journal publication (congrats!), Yelp review of the ICA conference’s hotel (WiFi was terrible, wasn’t it?), or the lyrics from your favorite Spotify playlist-- leave “digital traces that can be compiled into comprehensive pictures of both individual and group behavior, with potential to transform our understand of our lives, organizations, and societies” (Lazer et al., 2009). It is the goal of this course to teach students how to collect, understand, analyze, and publish big data in communication contexts, with a strong focus on textual data.
The good news for researchers hoping to unravel the mysteries lying in big data corpora is that in tandem to increases in data, we are witnessing the emergence of a new subfield in social sciences and communication research, known as Computational Communication Research (part of the broader Computational Social Science). This course familiarizes students with state-of-the-art programming skills and methods that could enrich their research abilities, especially when analyzing text, but also when conducting other statistical models (from simple multiple regressions to complicated moderated mediated effects—i.e., who needs SPSS anyway?). -->