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.
Format: Tutorial. Evaluation will be based on tutorial discussions, presentations, problem sets and labs, a midterm exam, and a final project or paper.
Prerequisites: Preference given to first-year students and sophomores who have not previously taken a computer science course.
Course webpage: http://dept.cs.williams.edu/~
Taught by: Albrecht
102-T1 (TUT) TBD
102-T2 (LAB) R 1:00-2:25