Morgan G. Ames Publications Research Teaching Contact CV (pdf)
"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire."
                                                      - William Butler Yeats

I have experience teaching large lecture classes and small graduate seminars in both in-person and online environments, as well as experience designing new courses, mentoring graduate students, and teaching a wide variety of topics (from astronomy to coding to dance) across many community settings over some 20 years. I also coordinate the Designated Emphasis in Science and Technology Studies at U.C. Berkeley, providing mentorship for doctoral students looking to deepen their engagement in STS.

School of Information, University of California at Berkeley

Social Issues of Information (spring 2021-present): This course is designed to be an introduction to the topics and issues associated with the study of information and information technology, from a social scientific perspective. As a result, this course will introduce students to a broad range of applied and practical problems, theoretical issues, as well as methods for answering different types of questions. The following three questions will guide the material throughout the course:
  • Why do social scientists study information and information technology?
  • What are some of the key topics and issues that they study?
  • How do they study these issues?
    As we work our way through many different topics and problems in information, we will focus on various levels of analysis from the micro (i.e., interpersonal relationships and information in small groups) to the macro (i.e., organizational and institutional problems of information). By the end of the course, students will be familiar with social scientific approaches to information and information technology, as well as many of the key issues and the methods used to gain insight into these issues through empirical research. This knowledge is essential to having a well-rounded understanding of information issues in professional environments.

    Behind the Data: Humans and Values (fall 2017-present): This course provides an introduction to the legal, policy, and ethical implications of data. We examine how these issues arise throughout the full data lifecycle, from collection, to storage, processing, analysis and use, with a focus on real-world implications and case studies. Topics include privacy, classification, surveillance, fairness, discrimination, decisional autonomy, and duties to warn or act. Case studies include criminal justice, national security, personal and public health, marketing, civic surveillance, politics, education, employment, and more. We discuss technical, legal, and market approaches to mitigating and managing discrete and compound sets of concerns, and explore the strengths and benefits of competing and complementary approaches. (This course, MIDS W231, is an elective in the Masters in Data Science program and a requirement for the 5th Year MIDS program.)

    Science and Technology Studies Research Seminar (spring 2018, spring 2019): This interdisciplinary seminar is aimed at graduate students in fields related to science and technology studies who are undertaking significant writing projects, such as dissertation chapters, journal articles, or conference papers. This seminar will serve two functions. First, it will act as a writing lab in which students will share their projects for discussion and critique from the perspective of science and technology studies. Second, it will help develop students’ professional skills, particularly the ability to speak across academic disciplines about one’s areas of expertise. Above all, the seminar will be grounded in a collaborative learning community where students will share their knowledge and ideas with each other in a highly interdisciplinary, constructive environment. STS 250 is one of the two required courses for the Ph.D. designated emphasis (D.E.) in STS. (Cross-listed as STS C250, ANTHRO C273, ESPM C273, and HISTORY C251)

    Department of Communication, Stanford University

    Media, Culture, and Society (winter 2009, winter 2010, winter 2011): More than at any other time in American history, we live immersed in media. This introductory course aims to map that immersion and to equip students with the analytical tools to inhabit it critically. We examine the structure and regulation of the media industries, the roles of producers and consumers in the American media system, and the impact of new technologies and globalization on the mass media. By the end of the course, students have a solid command of core theories in contemporary media studies and a sharp analytical scalpel with which to dissect the claims of contemporary media makers. (description adapted from syllabus)

    Media Psychology (spring 2011): This upper-division and graduate course reviews current discussions about and evidence for the psychological significance of media. We cover traditional media (e.g., television, radio, newspapers, and film), as well as a variety of content genres (e.g., entertainment, news, and advertising). Much of the course focuses on new media (e.g., interactive games, virtual reality, online social networks). Among the psychological processes whose relevance to media use we will consider are perception, attention, memory, comprehension, emotional response, arousal, and unconscious processing. (description adapted from syllabus)

    Research Methods in Communication (fall 2009): Conceptual and practical concerns underlying commonly used quantitative approaches, including experimental, survey, content analysis, and field research in Communication. (description from course catalog)

    Digital Media in Society (spring 2009): This upper-division and graduate course surveys contemporary theories of the impact of digital media on the individual, the community and the state. We explore the dynamics of digital media and the ways those dynamics shape – and have been shaped by – ongoing processes of social change. By the end of the course, students have a sense of just what is and isn’t "new" about new media. They will be able to critique and synthesize the ways others have characterized the social impact of digital media. (description adapted from syllabus)

    Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley (Grader)

    Efficient Algorithms and Intractable Problems (2003)

    Computer Graphics (2003)

    Community Teaching and Outreach

    While I've done a variety of service, these represent more sustained community-oriented teaching activities.

    Volunteer teacher, AI-4-All summer institute, U.C. Berkeley (2018)
    Co-organizer and teacher, Richmond City Minecraft Summer Camp (2015-2018)
    Co-organizer and teacher, Girls Code After-School Workshop, ITA/Kennedy High School, Richmond, CA (2016)
    Volunteer teacher, Sunday Kids Code Club at Redwood City Library (2014-2016)
    Co-organizer and teacher, Mad Hot DanceSport, East Palo Alto Charter School (2006-2009)
    Teacher, Saturday Night Stargazing docent, and curriculum developer, Holt Planetarium, Lawrence Hall of Science (2000-2002)
    Teaching assistant (math, science), Willard Middle School, Berkeley, CA (1999-2000)
    Partner dancing teacher (ballroom, swing, Latin, blues/fusion) (sporadically, 2001-present)

    What about my own training? Classes only tell part of the story, but here are the ones I've taken as part of my higher education:

    Classes taken as a Stanford graduate student

    2012-2013 school year

    Humanities Dissertation Workshop
    STS & Postcolonialism

    2011-2012 school year

    Humanities Dissertation Workshop

    2010-2011 school year

    COM231: Media Ethics & Responsibility
    On leave - fieldwork in Paraguay

    Spring 2010

    Spanish 13C
    EDUC298: Learning in a Networked World
    SOC346: Ethnography workshop

    Winter 2010

    Spanish 12C
    Spanish 60B
    SOC346: Ethnography workshop

    Fall 2009

    Spanish 11C
    SOC346: Ethnography workshop
    Seminar on Liberation Technologies

    Spring 2009

    ANTH306: Anthropological Research Methods
    Accelerated Spanish 1B
    Conversational Spanish 10

    Winter 2009

    ANTH311: Writing Ethnographies
    Accelerated Spanish 1A

    Fall 2008

    On leave - Nokia Research

    Spring 2008

    ANTH231: Anthropology of Globalization
    SOC346: Ethnography Workshop
    COM301: Curriculum Development & Pedagogy

    Winter 2008

    STAT209: Statistical Models & Social Science
    COM379: History & Evolution of Communication

    Fall 2007

    ANTH301: History of Anthropological Theory
    ANTH280: Ethnographies of Africa
    SOC320: Social Psychology
    SOC346: Ethnography Workshop

    Spring 2007

    COM220: Digital Media in Society
    COM320: Media & Cultural History
    COM314: Qualitative Methods in Communication
    COM319: Multivariate Regression
    ANTH232: Science, Technology, & Gender

    Winter 2007

    CS378: Phenomenology
    COM269: Computers & Interfaces
    COM368: Advanced Experimental Research in User Interfaces
    MAPSS colloquium

    Fall 2006

    ANTH255: Virtual Communities
    COM208: Media Processes & Effects
    COM311: Communication Theory
    SOC380: Qualitative Methods in Sociology
    MAPSS colloquium

    Classes taken as a Berkeley graduate student

    Spring 2006

    Ethnographic Practice
    Quantitative Research Methods
    Research Methods in New Media
    Research Colloquium in New Media

    Fall 2005

    Information Visualization (project)
    Social Psychology
    Participatory Media
    Identity & Storytelling

    Spring 2005

    Information Law & Policy
    Analysis of Information Systems
    Information in Society
    Political & Economic Development in the Third World

    Fall 2004

    Information Organization & Retrieval (project)
    Social & Organizational Issues of Information
    Qualitative Research Methods
    The Quality of Information (blog)

    Classes taken as a Berkeley undergraduate

    Spring 2004

    CS186: Databases
    CS294-7: Art of Animation
    Introduction to Drawing
    Art of Photography
    Research, TaSED

    Fall 2003

    CS164: Compilers & Languages
    CS172: Computability & Complexity
    CS294-12: ICT for Developing Regions
    Political & Economic Development in the Third World
    CS198: Programming Problems
    Research, TaSED

    Spring 2003

    CS170: Algorithms
    CS162: Operating Systems
    Social Implications of Computing Technology
    Scripting in Perl
    Beautiful Code in Python
    Research, TaSED, Talks

    Fall 2002

    CS184: Computer Graphics (projects)
    CS174: Combinatorics & Discrete Probability
    Planning for Sustainability
    Human-Centered Computing seminar
    Research, Coffeetalk, TaSED, Talks

    Spring 2002

    CS160: User Interface Design (project)
    CS294-7: Tangible Interfaces (project)
    Female Sexuality
    Math 53: Multivariable Calculus
    Mind, Brain, & Behavior
    Research, Talks

    Fall 2001

    CS61C: Machine Structures
    History of Science
    Women in Science & Engineering
    Research, Coffeetalk, Talks

    Spring 2001

    CS61B: Data Structures
    CS70: Discrete Mathematics
    EE42: Intro to Electrical Engineering

    Fall 2000

    Physics 7C: Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, & Modern Physics
    CS61A: Structure & Interp. of Comp. Programs
    Astronomy 10

    Spring 2000

    Physics 7B: Electromagnetism & Thermodynamics
    Math 54: Linear Algebra & Differential Equations
    Comparative Literature 60AC

    Fall 1999

    Physics 7A: Classical Mechanics
    Spanish 2
    Cognitive Science 108 (Lakoff)
    Physics 24: Big Bang & Early Universe
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