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Unlike several of Barnard’s other gen ed requirements (such as Arts/Humanities), there isn’t a super long list of classes that will fulfill Thinking Technologically and Digitally. However, it’s pretty hard to get around this requirement, so you might as well bite the bullet and get it over with. If you’re still struggling to fulfill the more techy side of the Foundations curriculum, here are some classes you should consider taking.

Computing in Context (COMS W1002)

Most computer science-based classes won’t inherently be a walk in the park, but if you’re concerned about this req and are looking for a relatively straightforward class, Computing in Context might be the way to go. The professor, Adam Cannon, is pretty lenient with late assignments (he usually gives a 170-hour grace period for the semester, meaning you can turn in assignments late without getting marked down), and the TAs (though some of them change each semester) are pretty good about helping students with assignments.

In this class, you’ll cover elementary computing concepts and Python. This class will be structured with “track themes,” meaning that you’ll focus on using computing for other disciplines (such as for the social sciences, for economics and finance, etc.). Of course, previous computing experience will help you out, but it’s definitely not necessary.

  • Professor: Adam Cannon
  • Time: Tuesday, Thursday 2:40 - 3:55 p.m.
  • Credits: Four
  • Lab? No

Intro to Computer Science and Programming in Java (COMS W1004)

Whereas Computing in Context is better suited for people not intending to major in any STEM field, Programming in Java is what you should take if you’re considering a computer science or engineering major/minor. Don’t let this put you off though—if you’d rather learn Java over Python, you’re still more than welcome to register (even if you aren’t a CS major), and the class is still taught assuming that every student has no prior experience with programming.

  • Professor: Adam Cannon
  • Time: Tuesday, Thursday 4:10 - 5:25 p.m.
  • Credits: Three
  • Lab? No

Environmental Measurements (EESC BC3016)

If you wouldn’t touch any computer science class with a 10-foot pole, don’t worry, there are other ways to check off your Thinking Technologically and Digitally requirement. Environmental Measurements doesn’t require you to learn anything about programing—instead, you’ll focus on collecting and analyzing samples from the (you guessed it) environment.

But a forewarning: Even though this isn’t a CS class, it’s still not a walk in the park. You’ll have to go on a number of field trips throughout the semester (the first one is a day-long excursion on the Hudson River), and then write numerous lab reports, which will vary in length. (In the beginning of the semester, you’ll have weekly reports that are a bit shorter. Later in the semester, you’ll have reports less frequently but they will be quite substantial.) On the bright side, this class can also double count for either your Science, Thinking Locally or Thinking Quantitatively and Empirically requirement.

  • Professor: Brian Mailloux
  • Time: Monday, Wednesday 2:10 - 4 p.m. (with occasional field trips outside of class)
  • Credits: Three
  • Lab? No. Note: This class is a lecture, but you’ll be doing several lab-like things (analyzing data, writing reports, etc.). However, there’s no additional lab section to sign up for.

Introduction to GIS Methods (URBS V2200)

In case you didn’t know (I didn’t, tbh), GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. In this course, you’ll focus on creating maps and analyzing data to solve “spatial analysis problems.” It’s another option for people who don’t want to take a CS class, but you will have to get familiar with software such as ArcGIS.

One thing though: This class is capped at 48 people (24 people per section), and is usually intended for people majoring in urban studies (that does not mean, though, that preference is given to these students). If you would rather take a class for non-majors, the department says that it will be offering one for the fall of 2017, but that class 1) is not on the course directory yet, and 2) is not listed as a course that fulfills the Thinking Technologically and Digitally requirement.

If you’re not an urban studies major, you might want to try to register for this class now, and then once info for the non-major class becomes available over the summer, switch into that class and petition for it to count toward this requirement. (It just might not be listed now because it’s not actually on the course directory. For more information about filing that petition, read this.)

  • Professor: Thomas Waters
  • Time: Monday, Wednesday 6:10 - 8 p.m. or Tuesday, Thursday 6:10 - 8 p.m.
  • Credits: Three
  • Lab? No

For the arts and humanities inclined, the Thinking Technologically and Digitally requirement can seem intimidating, especially because there aren’t a ton of classes that count toward this req. However, browse through the entire list of classes and cross-check them with the course directory and CULPA. Also ask around in your friend groups—there’s bound to be at least one person out there who can give a positive review for one of these classes.

Know any other good classes that will fulfill the Thinking Technologically and Digitally requirement? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Veronica Grace Taleon is Spectrum’s editor and a Barnard sophomore. She was one year shy of being a Foundations-er, so she hasn’t been subjected to this requirement. Still seems cool though. Reach her at

courses planning course directory fall 2017 course registration registration barnard bc
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