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

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.

Instructor Bio

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:


Field trip information and Food for Thought dining details will be discussed in class.

This seminar is part of the following programs

Food for Thought