This course focuses on how social groups form and evolve, how members of these groups interact with each other, and how these groups are supported and augmented with computer systems. The course is interdisciplinary, drawing from the fields of computer science, psychology, and sociology. It covers key theories and technologies of social computing in terms of (1) computer systems supporting social behavior and (2) socially intelligent computing carried out by groups. Students will have a chance to explore several social computing systems and focus on design, implementation, and evaluation of a social web system as their final project for the course.


This course does not assume any particular prerequisites. However, having programming knowledge, especially web programming is a plus.


Various course notes and papers will be made available.




1Sep 1, 2011Introduction and overviewprogramming quiz
social computing quiz
introduction to course
students' introduction
2Sep 8, 2011Social software[1]Blogging and microblogging: what are blogs? Who blogs? Twitter
Social bookmarking: what is social bookmarking
Content sharing: photos, videos, ...
3Sep 15, 2011Social software[2]Wikis and Wikipedia
Social networking sites, Facebook and beyond
4Sep 22, 2011Social computing technologiesInteractive web: Ajax
APIs: FB API, Wikipedia API,...
5Sep 29, 2011Social information processingTagging
Social navigation
Social search
Collaborative filtering
6Oct 6, 2011CrowdsourcingConcept
Mechanical turk
Purposeful games
New directions of crowdsourcing
7Oct 13, 2011Social capital, online communities, and social rolesBonding and Identity social capital
What are online communities?
Social roles in online communities
8Oct 20, 2011Socialization of newcomersMembership lifecycles
Dealing with newcomers
9Oct 27, 2011Encouraging contributionunder-contribution problem
Encouraging contributions to online communities
Strategies supported by social science theories
10Nov 3, 2011MidtermPresenting final project ideas
11Nov 10, 2011Diversity, conflict, and coordinationDiversity in online communities
Regulating behavior
Conflict and coordination in Wikipedia
Promoting norms and rules
Encouraging cooperation
12Nov 17, 2011Evaluation methodologiesData collection
Data analysis
Usability studies
13Nov 24, 2011No classThanksgiving break
14Dec 1, 2011Visualization and sense makingSocial sense making
Social visualization
Information cascades
15Dec 8, 2011Research ethicsConducting research on the Internet
16Dec 15, 2011Final projectFinal project presentation