This is Professor Sean Branagan or if you get to know him well enough, just Sean. If you’re open to it, Sean might change your life. I took Sean’s Trendspotting: Digital Media class in Fall 2016 and since then I have developed a secondary passion for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, Haptic Technology and Ad Technology. These all sound like concepts you’d learn at the iSchool, and if you asked me about any of them a year ago, I would’ve stared at you blankly. Except here’s the thing, these are all technologies profoundly shaping our lives right now, especially AI.
Starting at Newhouse, I had no idea what the different roles in ad agencies were and secondly, with no idea, I thought I would be an account manager. Now I’m applying for strategy roles and keeping my eye on cool tech-oriented roles in start-ups and organizations as diverse as R/GA, Accenture Interactive, Havas Cognitive and even IBM. That’s what COM 600 did for me. It let me see a world I interact with every day and ask: how can I take this further?
If you have an iPhone, when you press an icon on your home screen and a little menu pops up, that’s thanks to haptics. Scientists and technologists have been working on these technologies for decades but now they’re finally making it into the mainstream. In COM600, you’ll learn why this tech is now mainstream and why it seems like every 6 months, your phone is totally obsolete. If you like to ask what if, want to learn more about tech and are comfortable with not having the answers, Sean’s class is the place you’ll find that.
No matter which major you’re enrolled in, critical thinking skills are crucial. Sean’s classes will help you develop and hone these skills by learning about what’s now, new and next. If you have dreams of being a Syracuse alum on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Sean’s class is the place to start. If you don’t believe that, get here and ask him about his students yourself. For the record, I still have no idea how most of this stuff works, but I know I want to be at the cutting edge of it all.
-Neema Amadala is a graduate student studying advertising