Readings are subject to change. Please always check the online reading schedule.

CS 6474: Social Computing

Instructor: Eric Gilbert
Email: gilbert at cc
Office: TSRB 339
Office Hours: After class, or email for an appointment.
TA: Eshwar Chandrasekharan
Email: ceshwar1992 at that most popular of email domains
Office: TSRB 339
Office Hours: After class, or email for an appointment.
Location: CoC 101
Time: Monday & Wednesday 4:35 – 5:55pm
Schedule: Class and reading schedule

Learning Objectives

From Twitter to Facebook and all the way back to email, social computing is one of the biggest forces on the internet. In this class, we will explore how and why social computing works. What's the right way to design social computing systems? What sense can you make out of all the data people leave behind? What's still out there to build?

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:


I will provide all the daily readings as linked pdfs or as electronic reserve from the library website. However, I highly recommend the following books for you to keep throughout graduate school. They will also help you in this class.

Writing for Social Scientists by Howard Becker
The Elements of Style by Strunk & White

Assignments and Grading

Your work will be graded on a list of criteria (specified on the assignment) such as quality of writing, completeness, insight into design issues, insight into social issues, etc. For each criterion, you will receive either a check plus, check, or check minus. Most criterion will receive a check. A plus means "you impressed me." A minus means the assignment is incomplete, incorrect, or sloppy in some fashion with respect to that criterion. Pluses and minues are combined to give your grade for the assignment. For most assignments, you start out half way between a B+ and A-. One plus makes it an A-; one minus makes it a B+. These are general guidelines to let you know what to expect. Grading on specific assignments may differ.

Late Policy

Assignments are due at the start of class on the day they are due. Late assignments will be penalized at a rate of one grade step (e.g., A becomes A-) per day. Assignments more than one week late will not be accepted. Presentations may not be late. Responses to readings may not be late either; they serve to energize class discussion.

English as a Second Language

If Engish is not your first language, you may request to not be graded on your writing for a particular individual assignment. This means you won't be penalized for bad writing, but you also won't get credit for good writing. To take advantage of this option, you must mark "ESL" (English as a Second Language) on the first page of your assignment/paper. This option is not available for group assignments. We still of course expect you to try to write in correct English, and will do our best to offer useful feedback on your writing.

Honor Code

This class abides by the Georgia Tech Honor Code. All assigned work is expected to be individual, except where explicitly written otherwise. You are encouraged to discuss the assignments with your classmates; however, what you hand in should be your own work.

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