Social Computer Mediated Communication
Office Hours: W4-5 in SC 3110

Course Syllabus

Supplemental Readings

Note:  Reading critiques should be sent to me the night before the day listed in the syllabus.


Week 1 F   August 27

What is Social Computer Mediated Communication? [slides]
Doug Engelbart: 1968 Demo   (particularly note clips 3,8,12,13,23,25, and 32)
Have assignments read before class and supply a one page critique of each reading.

"Some computer science issues in ubiquitous computing"  by Mark Weiser
"Media spaces:  bringing people together in a video, audio, and computing environment" by Bly,S., Harrison,S., and Irwin,S.
"Tangible Interfaces for Remote Collaboration and Communication"  by Brave,S., Ishii,H., and Dahley,A.

Student Critiques


Week 2 W  September 1

Social Spaces [slides]
Telecommunications Art - Hole-in-Space, Visiphone,
Raphael Lozano-Hemmer [

Collection of works by Galloway and Rabinowitz,
Myron Krueger, Artificial Reality [Chap 2,3]  [Chap 11]
Examples of Krueger's 'VideoPlace' [

Student Critiques



"Mirror" Rendering: Painterly Rendering, Wooden Mirror, Falling Rain
Project 1 - Communication using Audio and Video
Present Design Exercises

In Situ Speech Visualization in Real-Time Interactive Installation and Performance by Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman 
What Video Can and Can't do for Collaboration: A Case Study by Isaacs, E. and Tang, J.
Trust breaks down in electronic contexts but can be repaired by some initial face-to-face contact by Elena Rocco

Student Critiques

Project 1

Week 3 W  September 8

Online Spaces [slides]
A history:email, usenet, chatrooms - IRC, MUD's, weblogs, wiki's

Electropolis by Elizabeth Reid
The book Connections (
Chap 4) by Sproull and Kiesler
Communication Systems: a comparisson across a set of major axes by K. Karahalios

Student Critiques


F   September 10

Project 2 - Text-based Communication
Present Design Exercises

Project 2

Week 4 W  September 15

Graphical Online Spaces
Online Gaming: Everquest, Asheron's Call, Ultima Online, Avaterra
Faces - Animation 
Visual Explanations by Edward R. Tufte

The Palace [
Chat Circles by Viegas and Donath
Hannes  Vilhjalmsson - Gestural Avatars [
The Illusion of Life, (
Chap 3) by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston
Principles of Traditional Animation Applied to 3D Computer Animation by John Lasseter

Student Critiques


F   September 17

Graphical Online Spaces (continued)

Talking in Circles by Rodenstein Donath
Project Massive: A Study of Online Gaming Communities by Seay, Jerome, Lee, and Kraut
The Psychology of Avatars and Graphical Space in Multimedia Chat Communities by John Suler

Student Critiques


Week 5 W  September 22

Cues and Signals in Interaction

The dynamics of mass interaction by Whittaker, Terveen, Hill, and Cherny
The Ethnography of Communication: an introduction by Muriel Saville-Troike
Medium Effects: Turn-Taking and Back Channels by Lynn Cherney

Student Critiques


F   September 24

Guest Lecturer
Steven Drucker, Microsoft Research

What are the Uniquely Human Components of the Language Faculty? by Marc Hauser and Tecumseh Fitch
The Faculty of Language: What Is It, Who Has It, and How Did It Evolve?  by Hauser, Chomsky,and Fitch
The Network Community: An Introduction by Barry Wellman

 Student Critiques

Week 6 W  September 29 Interactive Furniture  [slides]
Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte  (in Library)
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
by Edward R. Tufte (in Library)

Toshio Iwai [site] [site2] [site3] [site4]
Placebo Furniture by Tony Dunne/Fiona Raby [site]
Sensetable:A Wireless Object Tracking Platform for Tangible User Interfaces by Patten, Ishii, Hines, and Pangaro
The Drift Table [site] [site2]
ID feature [site]

 Student Critiques

F   October 1

Project 3 - Graphical Communication

Project 3


Week 7 W  October 6

Designing Communication Objects
Contemporary Communication Objects - Cell Phones

Casablanca: designing social communication devices for the home by Hindus et al.
America Calling (Chap 1) (Chap 2) by Claude S. Fischer
Tufte Books in the Library:
    The Visual DIsplay of Quantitative Information
    Envisioning Information
    Visual Explanations

Student Critiques


F   October 8

Maps / Visualizations of Online Interaction [slides]

An Atlas of Cyberspaces (web site), by Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin
Internet Maps/Demographics
The Image of the City (Chap 1, 2) (Chap 4) by Kevin Lynch  

Student Critiques


Week 8 W  October 13

Archival - Persistence in Interaction [slides]

What Time is this Place
(Chap 7) by Kevin Lynch
Artifacts of the Presence Era by Viegas, Perry, and DonathVisualization for Interaction
Bridging The Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs by Herring et al

Student Critiques


F   October 15

Guest Speaker: Kevin Hamilton

Discuss Project Proposals


Week 9 W  October 20

Present First Project



F   October 22

Present First Project



Week 10 W  October 27

Crowd Interaction  

The Individual in a Social World  [Chap 2 - 6]  by Stanley Milgram
The Familiar Stranger:  Anxiety, Comfort, and Play in Public Places by Eric Paulos
Smart Mobs: the next social revolution [Chap 5] [Chap 7] by Howard Rheingold

Student Critiques


F   October 29

Social Networks

Friendster - log on use the system and write a critique
Managing the Virtual Commons: Cooperation and Conflict in Computer Communities by Peter Kollock and Marc Smith
The Strength of Weak Ties by Mark. S. Granovetter

Student Critiques


Week 11 W  November 3

Social Networks (continued)

Visualizing Social Networks by Linton C. Freeman
Social capital and economic development: Toward a theoretical synthesis and policy framework by Michael Woolcock
How to Search a Social Network by Lada Adamic and Eytan Adar, HP Labs

Student Critiques


F   November 5

Project 4 - Communication Objects

Present Design Exercises


Week 12 W  November 10

Privacy and Ethics
MSN, Passport

Guest Lecturer
Professor  Michael Loui

On Being A Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research
Minding your Practices: Exposure and Anonymity in Social Network Data by Caroline Haythornthwaite
Privacy and Security from Internet Ethics, ed. Duncan Langford

Student Critiques


F   November 12

Identity Online
Submit 1 Page proposals for your final project

Digital Identity by L. Jean Camp

Student Critiques


Week 13 W  November 17

Qualitative Evaluation
 Quantitative Evaluation

Protecting Participants and Facilitating Social and Behavioral Sciences Research 
Discuss Final Project Papers [chi paper format]

The Problem of Informant Accuracy: The Validity of Retrospective Data by Bernard, Killworth, Kronenfeld, and Sailer
The Future of Polling: Relational Inference and the Development of Internet Survey Instruments by Witte and Howard (from Navigating Public Opinion: Polls, Policy and the Future of American Democracy)
Language Efficiency and Visual Technology: Minimizing Collaborative Effort with Visual Information by Gergle, Kraut, and Fussel

Student Critiques


F   November 19

Project 5 - Social Visualization


Week 14 W  November 24

(Thanksgiving Vacation - no class)


F   November 26

(Thanksgiving Vacation - no class)


Week 15 W  December 1

Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, William H. Whyte book and video

The Small World Problem by Milgram
Causation and Research Design
Making it Count: The Improvement of Social Research and Theory  by Stanley Lieberson
(skim the last article - it is long)

Student Critiques


F   December 3

Guest Speaker
Fernanda Viegas

Submit 1 Page evaluation proposals for your final project

Week 16 W  December 8 Final Project Presentations
F   December 10 Final Project Presentations