The Socio-Techno Web

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Instructor: Prof. Jeannie Albrecht
Phone: x4251
Office: TCL 304
Office hours: Wed 1:00pm-3:00pm, or by appt
Required book: Blown to Bits, by Hal Abelson, Ken Leeden, and Harry Lewis
Weaving the Web, by Tim Berners-Lee
Available online and/or in the bookstore.
Other books: Here Comes Everybody, by Clay Shirky
Networks, Crowds, and Markets, by David Easley and Jon Kleinberg
The Search, by John Battelle
Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies, by Andy Oram
Available online. (We'll only read a few chapters from these books.)

Course Description

This course introduces many fundamental concepts in computer science by examining the social aspects of computing. As more and more people use the technologies and services available via the Internet, online environments like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Twitter, and blogs are flourishing. However, several of the problems related to security, privacy, and trust that exist in the real world transfer and become amplified in the virtual world created by the ubiquity and pervasiveness of the Internet. In this course, we will investigate how the social, technological, and natural worlds are connected, and how the study of networks sheds light on these connections. Topics include the structure of the Social Web and networks in general; issues such as virtual identity, personal and group privacy, trust evaluation and propagation, and online security; and the technology, economics, and politics of Web information and online communities. No background in computer science or programming is required or expected.


Course Syllabus
Department Honor Code and Account Agreement