CompSci595N/Soc591/Engl593: The Technology and Society Seminar Series

Spring 2007: Social and Computer Networks II
Seminar Overview

Winter 2005

Fall 2005

Spring 2006

Fall 2006

Spring 2007

This seminar is a follow-on to the Spring 2006 offering in this series on "Social and Computer Networks". The scope of this seminar, therefore, is a continuation of the previous instance of the seminar. New and previous attendees are equally encouraged to attend.

Briefly, computer science, sociology, and industry are all increasingly interested in social web site (e.g., MySpace, Friendster, and FaceBook), referral applications (e.g., Amazon and Netflix), and now even networks accessed through cell phones.

Scholars across a broad range of disciplines are applying network-based theories and methods to online networks. These networks range from literal computer networks, to networks of websites, to networks of users, and beyond.

  • How are social networks affected by technology use (e.g., How do applications that facilitate networking affect social networks? More generally, does technology use expand networks? Expand certain kinds of networks? Atrophy other kinds of networks?)
  • Do different kinds of technologies affect networks differently (e.g., do wireless devices like cell phones have different impacts on networks than Internet use, etc.)
  • How connected are objects on the web and are there important patterns in those connections?
  • How can computer scientists, engineers, and other technologists build software that helps to collect and analyze social network- based data?
  • How can computer scientists, engineers, and other technologists improve new technologies based on network-based analyses? For instance, could ad-hoc networking benefit from data on enduring patterns in social networking? Could the relationships between software programs be used to build better software for privacy protection (e.g., better detection of root kits, key loggers, and other malicious code)?
These questions, and others that lie at the intersection of social network analysis and computer science, will be examined in this seminar.

A final goal is to use this instance of the seminar to identify some of the potential projects and participants for a future National Science Foundation (NSF) proposal submission on social computing to the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT) [].


The seminar will be held in the Digital Classroom, also known as the Collaborative Technologies Lab, also known as Trailer 932. The Digital Classroom is just East of the UCSB Library. The time is from 2:00pm to 3:30pm on Tuesdays. The first seminar will be April 3rd and the last will be May 29th.

Course Signup Information

The course will be cross-listed in at least the above three departments. However, it may be offered in other departments as well. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering signing up for this course. First, this quarter, if you wish to attend you must sign up. Second, it does not really matter under which course number you register. The reason we are cross-listing it is to advertise and to make it more acccesible for those who do not normally look in other departments for interesting courses. And finally, seminars of this type often are added to the registration system late. If you are having problems finding the course in the registration system, come to class on the first day, and we will help.


The format of the seminar is weekly presentations and free-form discussion. Assignments for those students who do not present are to gather, synthesize, and write an overview of work relevant to the seminar topic and related to their own discipline(s).
    April 3: Overview, Introductions, and Discussion