Information, Society & Culture

Interdisciplinary Themes

Bass Connections projects, courses and summer programs are aligned with the following themes:

Led by the Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke

Access to unprecedented amounts of information is creating new opportunities for Duke students and faculty, working together in multidisciplinary teams, to actively engage with and change the world around them. At the same time, the availability of personal data published by smartphones, web browsers, social media and surveillance technologies is exposing society to new risks.

Bass Connections in Information, Society & Culture combines coursework, co-curricular experiences and integrated project teams to explore the history and evolution of society and culture through the lens of information, using the latest computational methods to understand society’s most pressing problems in new and creative ways.

Data+ is a ten-week summer research experience for undergraduates and graduate student mentors interested in exploring new data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges.

Information, Society & Culture Project Teams

View of a coastal plain.

The major goals of this project are to amplify the voices of rural community members currently facing saltwater intrusion and sea level rise (SWISLR)  and synthesize currently available research on SWISLR impacts.  Read more about Assessing Climate Change Risk of Rural Coastal Plain Communities (2023-2024) »


Exterior view of a temple under reconstruction in Kathmandu with signs in Nepalese.

This project team will work to place a smart seismic sensing network in Kathmandu and continue to build in-country capacity for seismic hazard analysis and mitigation. Read more about Earthquake Early Warning in Kathmandu (2023-2024) »


Section of old map showing medieval trade routes around Portugal.

Building on the work of previous teams, this project team will explore early discourses around consumerism and language pertaining to culture, trade and ethics. Read more about Ethical Consumption Before Capitalism (2023-2024) »


Woman wearing virtual reality headset next to a computer showing a view of an archeological site.

This project aims to explore the mental reconstructions and embodied aesthetic experiences engendered by real and virtual interactions with archeological ruins and virtual representations of places, spaces and cultural artifacts associated with an ancient city.  Read more about Neurocities and Ruinscapes: Reconstructing Ancient Cities and Ruins Using Virtual Reality (2023-2024) »


Logos of the BIG IDEAS Lab and the Digital Biomarker Discovery Pipeline

This project team will explore and address the barriers to participating in digital biomarker discovery by exploring ways to create an evolving open-source ecosystem that can support and promote collaborative, translational research.  Read more about Outsourcing the Digital Biomarker Discovery Pipeline (2023-2024) »


Logo of Duke iGEM team

This project team will develop a genetically engineered machine motivated by current research in synthetic biology and support the greater research community by providing open-source access to all materials. Read more about Synthetic Biology and Genetic Engineering for Human Health and Society (2023-2024) »


Information, Society & Culture Courses

Gateway Courses

ISS 110: Information, Society & Culture

Fall 2022
Instructor: Astrid Giugni

This course will delve into information, society and culture across disciplines. It will explore all aspects of information theory and practice, including computational and mathematical, and investigate how information in the context of the social sciences and humanities is transforming research. Read more about Information, Society & Culture »


Other Undergraduate Courses

ARTHIST 231: History of Art Markets

Fall 2022
Instructor: Hans Van Miegroet

This course is an analytical survey of the emergence of art markets, interactions between market behavior(s) and visual/media culture(s). Read more about History of Art Markets »


ARTHIST 231: History of Art Markets

Spring 2023
Instructor: Hans Van Miegroet

This course is an analytical survey of the emergence of art markets, interactions between market behavior(s) and visual/media culture(s). Read more about History of Art Markets »


ARTHIST 305L: Virtual Museums: Theories and Methods of 21st-century Museums

Spring 2023
Instructor: Maurizio Forte

This course focuses on how the“Internet of Things,” augmented reality technologies and new data analyses of artifacts will transform the missions, roles and goals of museums and collections. Read more about Virtual Museums: Theories and Methods of 21st-century Museums »


BIOLOGY 325: Current Technologies in Genomics and Precision Medicine

Fall 2022
Instructor: Greg Wray, Susanne Haga

This course aims to provide a comprehensive overview of genome science technologies, clinical applications and policy and ethical issues related to the conduct of genome sciences research and clinical implementation. Read more about Current Technologies in Genomics and Precision Medicine »


ISS 240L: Fundamentals of Web-based Multimedia Communications

Fall 2022
Instructor: Richard Lucic, Mark Olson or Victoria Szabo

This course explores multimedia information systems, including presentation media, hypermedia, graphics, animation, sound, video and integrated authoring techniques as well as the underlying technologies that make them possible. Read more about Fundamentals of Web-based Multimedia Communications »


ISS 380: Visualizing Cities: Representing Urban Landscapes, Cultures and Environments

Spring 2023
Instructor: Victoria Szabo, Edward Triplett

This course explores the visualization of cities in theory and practice, including the digital and visual representation of landscapes, structures, environments, history, culture, architecture, events and populations. Students will explore change over time, cultural heritage, possible futures and... Read more about Visualizing Cities: Representing Urban Landscapes, Cultures and Environments »


ISS 495S: Research Capstone

Spring 2023
Instructor: Victoria Szabo

ISS certificate students plan, research and create new technology projects designed to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborative research, synthesizing their coursework in the program. Read more about Research Capstone »


SOCIOL 347: Managing Networks

Spring 2023
Instructor: Liann Sasha Tucker

Networks are pervasive in the social, economic, political and natural worlds. Network data and methods – and concurrently our ability to conceptualize and analyze networks – have expanded dramatically in recent years, and Duke is a central location in which this research is being conducted. This... Read more about Managing Networks »


STA 313L: Advanced Data Visualization

Spring 2023
Instructor: Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel

This course is all about the art and science of visualizing data. Students will learn about the what (types of visualizations, tools to produce them), the how (start with a design, pre-process the data, map it to graphical attributes, make strategic decisions about visual encoding, post-process for... Read more about Advanced Data Visualization »


Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

ISS 315-01: Mapping History with Geographic Information Systems

Fall 2022
Instructor: Ed Triplett

This is a beginner/intermediate Geographic Information System (GIS) course designed to help students learn how to investigate history spatially. The course will emphasize perspectives, procedures and tools that are relevant to applications of GIS in Art History and Humanistic disciplines. Read more about Mapping History with Geographic Information Systems »