At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Distinguish web science from other areas of study and list the major of research themes that concern web science
- Explain the role of network science in studying the world wide web, and describe the key terms, concepts, and findings of network science
- Provide examples of how web-based technologies influence human behavior both at the individual and collective level
Students are evaluated through a final written exam.
Please mind: this course replaces Language in the Digital Age 840086.
Web science is the interdisciplinary study of the World Wide Web and its impact on society. Specifically, web science examines how networks of interconnected systems and people give rise to new phenomena, pose new scientific questions, and demand novel methodologies. This course will consider both existing and emerging technologies, and examine what impact they have on society. For example, search engine technology is increasingly influential tool used by people to inform important decisions, such as who to vote for and which news providers to trust. Are search engines neutral, can we trust them, and can we tell? Social contagion is another phenomenon regulated by the World Wide Web, where human behaviors and opinions change as they spread through social networks. Similarly, can social computing, which considers the ability of networks of individuals to address and solve new problems, be a positive force in society? In this course, students will gain a familiarity with web science with a particular focus on the foundations of network science and impact on the study of human behavior.
- A selection of recent articles and book chapters announced on Blackboard prior to the course.
- Watts, D. J. (2003). Six degrees: The science of a connected age. WW Norton Company.
- Fowler, J. H. (2011). Connected: The surprising power of our social networks and how they shape our lives. Back Bay Books