Our mission is to study and create new information technologies and to analyze their impact on art, culture, science, commerce, society, policy, and the environment.

 ISS helps students fill the gap between current academic training and the increasing demand in all professions for a broad understanding of the legal, social, philosophical, computational, and aesthetic issues concerning information technology and other related innovations. This interdisciplinary program is especially relevant to students interested in digital and public humanities, library and information studies, computational media arts, and critical approaches to digital culture and computation. 

The Information Science + Studies Research Center at Duke began in 2001 under the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies as part of a University effort to consider the ways in which the digital revolution is transforming teaching and learning and society at large. The Undergraduate Certificate was inaugurated in 2002 and the Graduate Certificate in 2005. In 2007, ISS moved to the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences to partner with the Mellon-supported Visual Studies Initiative (VSI). The interdisciplinary and collaborative VSI project ultimately led to the expansion of the Visual Studies major in Art, Art History & Visual Studies to Visual and Media Studies, the creation of the MA in Historical and Cultural Visualization (now Digital Art History/Computational Media), the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, and the PhD in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures. As of Fall 2021, ISS also helped launch the new interdepartmental major and minor in Computational Media between Computer Science and Visual and Media Studies.

Today the ISS Research Center and Lab continues to support the ISS Undergraduate and Graduate Certificates and the curricular programs we helped create. ISS is also an integral partner in the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures community in Smith Warehouse, incubating and supporting courses, projects, and events. We collaborate closely with the Wired Lab for Digital Art History & Visual Culture on research and teaching, and manage the shared XR Studio. ISS also coordinates with the Digital Humanities Initiative at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, and with Duke Libraries, on special courses, projects, workshops, and events. As part of a partnership with the Rhodes Information Initiative,  ISS also hosts courses related to the Bass Connections Information, Society & Culture Theme, and offers students the opportunity to customize the ISS Undergraduate Certificate around Bass projects and experiences through the Certificate 2.0 option. We are also a partner in the Duke Game Lab, and are co-leads on the Virtual Realities, Fictional Worlds, and Games Focus Cluster for first-year students.

Areas of special interest to members of the ISS Community include:

  • Digital Humanities, Data Visualization and Network Analysis
  • Digital Mapping and Historical GIS
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality and Mobile Applications
  • Digital Archives, Exhibitions, and Publishing
  • Information Fluency and Ethics 
  • Interactive Media and Information Experience Design 
  • Physical Computing Applications
  • Serious Games, Virtual Worlds, and Simulations
  • Digital and Computational Media Art, Installation, and Performance
  • Critical and Creative Code Studies
  • STEAM-related Initiatives, such as the STEAM Challenge competitions
  • Technology-Enriched Pedagogy and Social Practice
  • Transdisciplinary Media Arts and Cultures

For more information, check out our course listings and events, and follow us on Twitter.