Social Computing technologies have become very prominent in our society and have changed many aspects of our lives, the way we interact, we read news, socialize, or play games. This course is designed to provide you with understanding of social computing technologies, including design of such systems, and how we can study them to understand how the systems are used, how they impact their users and communities, and the society at a large. Social Computing is an interdisciplinary course, drawing from the fields of Computer Science, Information Science, Psychology, and Economics. Throughout the course, we will cover key theories and technologies of social computing. Broadly, social computing can be understood as (1) computer systems supporting social behavior and (2) socially intelligent computing carried out by groups of individuals. As student in this class, you will have a chance to explore social computing systems, get experience with social data analyses and focus on design, and evaluation of a social software as their final project for the course.


This course is designed following the flipped classroom model; i.e. short lecture recordings (around 15 min) are going to be available online for you to watch before the class. During the class time, we will spend time for discussion of concepts in the lectures and interaction around activities, assignments, and the course project. You are expected to watch the video recordings before the class. The recordings will be about 60 minutes for each week.


(INFSCI 0410 or INFSCI 1044) and (INFSCI 0510 or INFSCI 0419 or INFSCI 0019) and (INFSCI 0610 or INFSCI 1070). Also since this is an upper-level course and a rather research-based course, it involves critical thinking, desire to learn and being challenged with new topics, and hard work.


We will be reading excerpts from a large number of books and articles. Links to electronic copies are provided.



Email or online meetings by appointment:


12020-09-01Introduction and overviewCourse logistics and requirements
Overview of what social computing is about and what you will learn in this course
Introduction activity
Discussion of the movie Social Dilemma
22020-09-08Social softwareWhat is social software?
What are examples of social software?
What should we know about social software
Connecting people through technology
Building blocks of social software
Social programming
Building a blogging software
Discussion: What makes Twitter successful
32020-09-15Distributed collaboration softwareComputer supported collaboration tools
Content sharing
Open source software development
Project observation notes
Survival task experiment
Introducing Wikipedia assignment
Create Wikipedia account and user page
42020-09-22Virtual WorldsMUDs
Cases studies in using virtual worlds to understand real world phenomena
Virtual worlds during the Covid-19 pandemic
Project interview questions
Virtual Ethnography
52020-09-29Design challengesParticipation online
Attention economy in social media
Attracting new members
Retention of established members
Wikipedia assignment: Evaluate Wikipedia
designing a social media campaign
62020-10-06Project Presentation of proposals
Initial project proposal