Introduction to Communication: Quantifying Communication & Media (CM203T)
In this course, we explore the world of mass media – focusing on the history of media institutions, media effects and audience impact, the rise of advertising and public relations, and the technological changes currently shaping the worlds of news and entertainment. We also spend time analyzing and differentiating between media formats (e.g., documentary, print journalism, social media), considering how the medium itself helps us communicate content. In this particular Messina section of Introduction to Communication, we focus on quantitative communication as an organizing narrative. We look at how statistics and data are discussed and framed in the news, across public discourse and social media, and through documentary film, focusing on key social justice issues like food insecurity, education, and income inequality as case studies. Overall, we will look at how the quantitative data we feature in our stories contributes to the overall narrative and message. We will focus on how we can make quantitative communication both more accessible and informative for a general population audience.
Dr. Amy B. Becker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. In addition to Introduction to Communication, she teaches an upper-level undergraduate diversity course entitled, Media, Culture, & Society (CM342D), and a course on the social, political, economic, and cultural implications of the Internet in the M.A. in Emerging Media program. Her research focuses on public opinion toward controversial political issues, the impact of exposure to political comedy and entertainment on civic engagement, and new media. She is a former political pollster and marketing research consultant. Becker currently lives in Columbia, MD with her husband and two young children.
Special Topics in Modern Math: Mathematics and Networks (MA107T)
In this course, we explore mathematical ideas and models that help in understanding networks – patterns of interconnections among things. Understanding the imagery, technology, and economics of networks is becoming rapidly important as we embed more networked layers in our shared human society. Both the social connections we make and the information we consume can be more deeply understood through the study of these networks. As a class, we will use mathematics to model the structure of networks using the objects and methods of graph theory. Subsequently, we will use the language of functions, game theory, probability, and statistics to describe how networks can change over time. In this particular Messina section, we also focus on quantitative communication as an organizing narrative, and aim to quantify the reliability of statistics and data communicated by media sources and those in our own analysis. In this way, we search for ways to mathematically inform and enlighten the stories we tell.
Dr. Timothy B. P. Clark is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He teaches courses along the entire undergraduate spectrum, and particularly enjoys teaching future teachers, Calculus, Combinatorics, and Abstract Algebra. He conducts research in the field of Commutative Algebra, where he studies geometric and combinatorial objects that encode the solutions to systems of algebraic equations. Clark lives in Baltimore, MD with his wife, two young children, and their rescued dog.
Elise received her B.A. in Religious Studies from Marywood University and her M.S. in Education from the University of Scranton. A native of Pennsylvania, Elise served as the International Service Program Coordinator and Campus Minister at the University of Scranton where she facilitated global immersion experiences, coordinated peer faith discussion groups, and directed diverse retreats and programs. Elise is passionate about issues of social justice, interfaith dialogue, and the intersections of faith and sexuality. In her personal and professional life, Elise is drawn to the Jesuit ideals and Ignatian spirituality. She is excited to engage students in exploring their unique identities and experiences, and to accompany each person on their own unique journey. In her free time, you’ll find Elise kayaking, traveling, reading a good book, and spending time with family and friends.