Social Computing


Stanford School of Engineering

Social Computing


Today we interact with our friends and enemies, our team partners and romantic partners, and our organizations and societies, all through computational systems. How do we design these social computing systems to be effective? This course covers design patterns for social computing and crowdsourcing systems, and the foundational ideas that underpin them. Students will engage in the creation of new computationally-mediated social environments.

What you will learn

  • How to create content to go viral
  • How to design for different groups
  • How to implement effective crowdsourcing


A basic familiarity with Computer Science (i.e. CS 106A) is helpful.

Topics include

  • Creating Bustling Spaces Rather than Ghost Towns
  • Prototyping and the Cold Start Problem
  • Crowd Production, Peer Production
  • Antisocial computing
  • Collective Governance
  • Free speech, Ethics, and Content Moderation


Course Availability

The course schedule is displayed for planning purposes – courses can be modified, changed, or cancelled. Course availability will be considered finalized on the first day of open enrollment. For quarterly enrollment dates, please refer to our graduate education section.

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