Course Description

Tu & Th 9:00-10:30, South Hall 210

Professor Robert J. Glushko

“Organizing” is a fundamental activity in many disciplines, most notably library and information science, computer science, informatics, information architecture, law, economics, and business, but these disciplines don’t agree very much in how they approach and describe problems of organizing and in what they seek at their solutions. In addition, information is just one type of resource to organize: we organize things, we organize information, we organize information about things, and we organize information about information. This course takes an abstract and trans-disciplinary approach that unifies these diverse perspectives and contexts of organizing with the concept of an Organizing System, an intentionally arranged collection of resources and the interactions they support. When we think about organizing in this more abstract way, we see common activities of selecting, describing, organizing, and maintaining resources, and we can integrate the design issues often treated separately as “organization” and “retrieval” ones.

Required Textbooks

Glushko, Robert J. (Editor). THE DISCIPLINE OF ORGANIZING. MIT Press, 2013.
The textbook comes in print format, as well as epub and Kindle ebook formats.


Kent, Wiliam. DATA AND REALITY (3rd Edition), 2012.
ISBN-10: 1935504215.

Recommended Textbooks

  • Hearst, Marti. SEARCH USER INTERFACES, 2009. ISBN-10: 0521113792
  • Manning, Christopher et al. INTRODUCTION TO INFORMATION RETRIEVAL, 2008. ISBN-10: 0521865719


Professor Robert J. Glushko (
313 South Hall – Office Hours Tu 12-1 and by appt

Teaching Assistants

  • Ryan Baker – ryanfbaker@ischool (Tuesday 12:30-1:30)
  • Fred Chasen – fchasen@ischool (Tuesday 11-12)
  • Sandra Helsley – syh@ischool (Wednesday 9:30-10:30)
  • Lisa Jervis – lj@ischool(Wednesday 2:00-3:00)
  • Colin MacArthur – colin@ischool (Tuesday 2:00-3:00)