COM240 Survey of 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 will 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 to 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.

COM681 Computational Communication Research: Big Data Text Analysis


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 a rapidly increasing amount of “footprints” in the online sands that are the Internet. As argued by Lazer and his colleagues (2009), these actions 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”. It is the goal of this course to teach you how to collect, understand, analyze, and publish big data in communication contexts, with a strong focus on textual data.

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