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Friday, June 01, 2007

New field: Social computing

It’s a good thing University of Michigan now has a graduate program in social computing. “After years of worrying about how much time freshmen spend on Facebook, schools are incorporating the study of social networking, online communities and user-contributed content into new curricula on social computing,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Programs like this, it adds, tend to draw students with psychology, sociology, and communications degrees as much as from computer science. Another example: a communications professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology receiving a grant last month for “nearly $150,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop a course in social media.” This may spell future help with problems like cyberbullying that are about human sociology and communications, not computer science.


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