MDST 490

Big Data and the Connected Citizen

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective December 15, 2015 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

As consumers of media, citizens should be prepared to assess the messages they receive from sources such as social networks, broadcast, and other media. However, in contemporary society, consumers are also communicating information about themselves, most of which is harvested without their knowledge or understanding. This course prepares students to consider their position as communicators in an interconnected world, where the information they provide about themselves is stored, retrieved, analyzed and used to sell, promote, control, or otherwise influence citizen and consumer behavior.

Special information

Prerequisites: General Education Requirement 4 (Mathematical/Logical Reasoning) requirement completed and junior standing (or higher), or instructor's permission.

Learning outcomes


  • Elucidate a clear and useful description of Big Data and its role in their virtual and physical lives;
  • Describe the impact and influence of Big Data on individuals and society, public policy, and private entities;
  • Make decisions that can effectively alter the ways in which information about their online presence and interactions can be collected and used;
  • Describe some of the procedures for collecting data and conducting analysis, and;
  • Describe the historical and present uses of Big Data by government and corporations to understand citizen and consumer behavior.