Social Computing is a field concerned with the intersection of technology and social interactions and social exchanges. This course focuses on how social groups are supported and augmented with technological systems as well as the mutual impact of technology on society and vice versa. The course is interdisciplinary, drawing from the fields of computer science, information science, and social psychology. 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 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. lectures are going to be recorded and available online for you to watch. Every week we will meet for about 90 minutes during the class time for discussion of concepts in the lectures and interaction around activities, assignments, and the project. The recorded lectures will be broken down into smaller topics to reduce the size of the recording to about 15 minutes. Lecture recordings will include activities that we will discuss during the class time. Lecture recordings will be posted by Sunday night before the Wednesday class, and you are expected to watch the lecture before the class on Wednesday


This course does not assume any prerequisites. However, this is a graduate course which assumes critical thinking, desire to learn and being challenged with new topics, and hard work.


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



Email or online meetings by appointment:



12023-01-11Introduction and overviewCourse logistics and requirements
Overview of what social computing is about and what you will learn in this course
22023-01-18Social softwareWhat is social software?
Connecting people through technology
Challenges of building social technology
32023-01-25Virtual WorldsDesigning virtual worlds
Virtual identity
Reading presentation 1: in-class presentation
42023-02-01Distributed collaborationComputer supported collaboration tools
Content sharing
Open source software development
Project ideas due
52023-02-08Project topic and team formation Instructor will provide feedback for each team on the general idea, methods, and plan of their project
62023-02-15Social Networks and Social Network AnalysisNetworks: definition, metrics
Social networks: Design, Technology, Features, and Impacts
Social networks analysis: Why and How
72023-02-22Social data analysisVisualization and sense-making of social data
Social and collaborative exploration of data
Quiz 1: Distributed collaboration and Social network analysis
82023-03-01Analysis of social dataCollecting social traces: How and Why
Social media APIs
92023-03-08No classSpring break
102023-03-15Social computing theoriesTheories of personal behavior
Theories of social behavior
Mass communication theories
112023-03-22Project progress reportIn-class presentation of developed project idea, progress report, and feedback on your projects
122023-03-29Social capitalDefinitions and measures
Social capital and social networks
Role of online communities on social capital
132023-04-05Socially intelligent computingCollective intelligence
Content based recommender systems
Collaborative filtering recommender systems
Quiz 2: Social Computing Theories
142023-04-12Social information processingSocial navigation
Social search
Social bots
Social data analysis assignment due
152023-04-19Social computing: ethics and societal impactImpact on physical and psychological well-being
Interplay of online and offline world
Social media ethics
Reading presentation 2: in-class presentation
162023-04-26Final projectFinal project presentations and report


Academic Integrity: You are expected to be fully aware of your responsibility to maintain a high quality of integrity in all your work. All work must be your own, unless collaboration is specifically and explicitly permitted as in the course group project. Any unauthorized collaboration or copying will at minimum result in no credit for the affected assignment and may be subject to further action under the University Guidelines for Academic Integrity. You are expected to have read and understood these Guidelines. A document discussing these guidelines was included in your orientation materials.

Attendance: Class attendance, while not mandatory, is required if you want to succeed in this course, especially since the course does not have any course book and involves a lot of in-class discussions. If you have missed the lecture, make sure that you have a copy of the slides. All the lecture materials will be uploaded online. The in-class activities are designed to help you learn the course materials better.

Late Submissions: Every student has a total of 3 days late-submission quota to use on your assignments; i.e. you can submit one assignment 3 days late and you will be ok, or you can submit 3 assignment each 1 day late and you will be ok. Late submission cannot be accepted for assignments that require in-class presentation.

Grades: Once grades for every assignment are posted, you have 5 days to review your grades and contact the instructor for any issues with you grade. This applies to your final grade as well. Complains past this period will not be considered.

Concerning Students with Disabilities: If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and Disability Resources and Services, 216 William Pitt Union, (412) 648-7890/(412) 383-7355 (TTY), as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.

An important note on plagiarism: Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive no credit for the assignment on which the cheating occurred. Additional actions -- including assigning the student a failing grade in the class or referring the case for disciplinary action -- may be taken at the discretion of the instructors. You may incorporate excerpts from publications by other authors, but they must be clearly marked as quotations and properly attributed. You may obtain copy editing assistance, and you may discuss your ideas with others, but all substantive writing and ideas must be your own or else be explicitly attributed to another, using a citation sufficiently detailed for someone else to easily locate your source.