As a field of research, social computing explores two issues: (A) How can the insights of social, critical, cultural, and media theory be incorporated into and used to critique and evaluate software? and, (B) How can new media be designed to address outstanding social and political issues?
The Social Computing Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz is affiliated with the Digital Arts / New Media Program (a collaboration between the Arts Division and the College of Engineering), the Film and Digital Media Department, and the Computer Science Department.
Our work addresses three questions about the architectures of public discourse: (1) What is a good public space? (2) What is a good public discussion? And, (3) What media technologies could be designed to make a public space or a public discussion better?
Current and past projects include work in news media, Open Source software development, locative media, computer-supported translation, systems for visualizing and facilitating online discussions, and the design and analysis of network-based learning environments.