Social Computing & Computational Journalism

Irfan Essa

Computing is fundamentally a social activity. Networks link individuals for research, education, business and entertainment. Today, a computer without a network connection seems almost broken—what can we do with it?  Connections among people pervade most computing activity.

Online social networks are complex, cognitive-cultural systems comprising people and technology. How do we design them?  In what ways do social networks make fundamentally new kinds of activities possible? Social Computing research at Georgia Tech focuses on:

Health Applications.  Can community-based conversations encourage healthy lifestyles and compliance with medical regimes? How can we understand existing culture and leverage that knowledge to reshape individual and shared beliefs and social practices to promote healthy choices?

Computational Journalism. How do computer networks change the fundamental nature of news as well as how (and by whom) it is created and consumed?

Peer Production of Content. What kinds of creative projects can people accomplish online, and how do they do it?  How can we help people make interesting things and share them with others? What can be learned in the process?  How does massive collaboration make new kinds of resources possible (like, for example, Wikipedia)?

Social Implications.  How do social networks affect issues of personal privacy and boundaries between public and private life?

Visualization.  Social networks create complex webs of people and data. Can visualization of the networks help us to understand and analyze them? What types of representations are most helpful?

Coordinator: Amy Bruckman