Donal Heidenblad


Donal Heidenblad is an instructor and technologist with a focus on data.

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A Focus on Learning

I am a Lecturer at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland. I teach courses on data cleaning, programming, and information systems. I believe in weaving an emphasis on ethics and social justice throughout the material to emphasize the social impacts of technology and encourage intentional, critical design.

Highlighted Courses

I teach a variety of courses because of my professional experience and research interests. Here are a few that I’ve chosen to highlight.

INST346 Technologies, Infrastructure and Architecture

This is a required course within the major. It has a very confusing name because it is an attempt to create a common technical foundation that students can rely on in future courses. The course explores computer hardware, software, networks, and modern information systems emerge from those components.

INST447 Data Sources and Manipulation

Statistics, analytics, and data science courses often focus on the “fun” part of analysis where we answer questions from the data. This course focuses on the preparation and exploration of data before analysis can start. It specifically prepares students to identify and address problems in the data, combine datasets to be able to answer more interesting questions, and how to document and manage these datasets so that they can be evaluated and reused for other purposes.

INFM700 Information Architectures

Information Architecture often focuses only on the user-facing aspects of information, like navigation and page structure. This course seeks to integrate IA within the entire data management process of an enterprise. It also seeks to address the challenges of cross-channel architectures and voice user interfaces.

Additional Courses

I have tought these courses in the past, but now they are taught by my fantastic colleagues. I particular enjoy teaching the introduction to programming because there are so many opportunities for students to have “aha” moments.