FSS > Undergraduate Division > Letters & Science > UC Berkeley

Computer Science 24, Section 1
Berkeley Through the Lens (1 unit, P/NP)
Professor Brian Barsky
Friday 12:00-2:00, 606 Soda Hall, Class number: 42405

The class will not meet every week. Professor Barsky will work out exact arrangements directly with the students.

Food for Thought Students in this seminar will actively examine UC Berkeley "through the lens" on a photographic journey emphasizing activism and political engagement on campus, both historically and recently. In addition to exploring photographic technique in general, this seminar will stress awareness of both historical and current events. The objectives of this class include improving skills for both photographic technique and civic engagement. This seminar will study photographs and learn photographic technique. The seminar has photography assignments: students are required to take photographs on a weekly basis. These photographs will be critiqued in class as time permits. A background and experience in photography is recommended. Students must have access to a camera to do the course assignments. Recommended specifications for the camera include manual control of exposure and focus and the capability of changing the focal length (wide-angle and telephoto). To hone photographic skills, aesthetic, semantic, and technical aspects of photography will be discussed. As time permits, possible photography topics may include quality of light, dynamic range, exposure control, depth of field, composition and patterns, perspective, color science, the human visual system, and perception.

The seminar emphasizes civic engagement and is not intended to be primarily a photography course. Political discussion will be an integral part of the seminar. Class participation is essential. The class generally includes visits to campus museums, galleries, and archives.

Attendance at all classes and other course-related activities is required to receive a "pass" grade, except for prior arrangement with the instructor or documented emergencies. "Guidelines Concerning Scheduling Conflicts with Academic Requirements" by the Committee on Educational Policy state, "If unforeseen conflicts arise during the course of the semester students must promptly notify the instructor and arrange to discuss the situation as soon as these conflicts (or the possibility of these conflicts) are known" and "faculty may decline to enroll students in a class who cannot be present at all scheduled activities."

This seminar is not about the subject of computer science even though it is offered through the Computer Science Division. Students from all academic disciplines are welcome and encouraged to enroll.

Field trip information and Food for Thought dining details will be discussed in class. This seminar is part of the Food for Thought Seminar Series.

Brian Barsky received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Computer Science. His research interests include computational photography, contact lens design, computer methods for optometry and ophthalmology, image synthesis, computer aided geometric design and modeling, CAD/CAM/CIM, interactive and realistic three-dimensional computer graphics, visualization in scientific computing, computer aided cornea modeling and visualization, medical imaging, vision correcting displays, and virtual environments for surgical simulation.

Faculty web site: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~barsky

"This class definitely inspired me to become more aware and more involved, in whatever way that may turn out to be. I realize now that every person contributes to an issue, and by standing on the sidelines of an injustice, one perpetuates it." - student in spring 2015 seminar

"This class has not only helped me improve my photography skills and style but also helped me grow as a person. I feel as the semester has progressed I have become a whole lot more present with the society about me. Other things, such as reading more books, have become a big part of me." - student in spring 2015 seminar

"It's not only a photography course; you also examine the FSM (free speech movement) and discuss different issues at UC Berkeley and across the nation." - student in fall 2014 seminar

"It's broadened my perspective on activism and my time here at Berkeley." - student in fall 2014 seminar

"The written assignments are very interesting because it's dealing with real life issues that are currently happening or happened not that long ago. I definitely learned and became more aware of the university." - student in fall 2012 seminar

"I have learned to look at the university in a whole new way and have been opened up to so many new experiences that I would not have had the opportunity to participate in had it not been for this class. Thank you for helping me grow as a photographer and as a student." – student in fall 2011 seminar

"I will definitely cherish the photographs I took, particularly when the recent events inevitably become part of history in the future." – student in fall 2011 seminar

"I have learned a ton about how the university functions as well as the current budget crisis, and how I can get involved. (I also learned a lot about photography.)" – student in fall 2010 seminar

"I can say I am very aware of issues surrounding the university I chose to come to." – student in fall 2010 seminar

"It is important to make oneself heard. Photographs are powerful in doing so." – student in fall 2010 seminar
Freshman and Sophomore Seminars are co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Division
of the College of Letters & Science and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.
For further information about the program,
contact Alix Schwartz (alix@berkeley.edu / 642-8378).

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