KAIST Fall 2020

CS473: Introduction to Social Computing

Human-computer interaction no longer only concerns a single user in front of their computer. An increasing number of modern systems are inherently social, involving a large group of users to collaborate, discuss, ideate, solve problems, and make decisions together via social interaction. This course focuses on crowdsourcing and social computing, two of the most important concepts in the era of interaction at scale. This course will cover major design issues and computational techniques in building crowdsourcing and social computing systems.

This is a highly interactive class: You’ll be expected to actively participate in activities, projects, assignments, and discussions. There will be no lectures or exams. Major course activities include:

  • Reading Response: You'll read and discuss important papers and articles in the field. Each week, there will be 1-2 reading assignments, for which you'll write a short response to.
  • Topic Presentation: Once a semester, you'll lead the class by summarizing the readings and peer students' critiques, and spurring the in-class discussion. You’ll also get a chance to design your own activity that best captures the topic of a class.
  • Design Project: In a semester-long team project, you'll design, build, and test your own crowdsourcing / social computing system. If you have an ongoing research project that might benefit from having a crowdsourcing / social computing component, connecting to your research is encouraged.
  • In-class Activities: Each class will feature activities that will help you experience and practice the core concepts introduced in the course.

Course Staff

Instructor: Prof. Juho Kim
    Office Hours: by appointment

TAs: Hyunwoo Kim
Seoyoung Kim
Tae Soo Kim
Yoonjoo Lee

    Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 7pm (by appointment)

Staff Mailing List: cs473@kixlab.org

Time & Location

When: 2:30-3:45pm Tue/Thu
Where: Zoom live sessions (As active participation in in-class activity, discussion, and presentation is expected, attending live sessions is required.)


Course Website: https://kixlab.org/courses/cs473-fall-2020/
Submission & Grading: KLMS
Discussion and Q&A: CampusWire
Previous Years: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016



Week Date Topic Reading (response indicates a reading response is required for the material.) Due
1 9/1 Introduction & Course Overview
1 9/3 Social Computing Overview (1) Jonathan Grudin. "Why CSCW applications fail: problems in the design and evaluation of organizational interfaces." CSCW 1988.
(2) Mark Ackerman. "The Intellectual Challenge of CSCW: The Gap Between Social Requirements and Technical Feasibility". Human-computer interaction 15.2 (2000): 179-203.
2 9/8 Communication Tools
(1) response Jim Hollan & Scott Stornetta. "Beyond Being There." CHI 1992.
(2) Gina Venolia, John C. Tang, & Kori Inkpen. "SeeSaw: I See You Saw My Video Message." MobileHCI 2015.
RR by all
2 9/10 Collaboration Tools (1) response Aniket Kittur & Robert Kraut. "Harnessing the wisdom of crowds in wikipedia: quality through coordination." CSCW 2008.
(2) Rajan Vaish et al. "Crowd Research: Open and Scalable University Laboratories." UIST 2017.
RR by A
Assignment 1: Social Computing HOFS
3 9/15 Peer Production (1) response Michael Nielsen. "Open Science Now!" TEDxWaterloo video, 2011 (16 mins). + Tim Gowers, "Is massively collaborative mathematics possible?" 2009.
(2) Yochai Benkler and Helen Nissenbaum. "Commons‐based peer production and virtue." Journal of political philosophy 14.4 (2006): 394-419. (read pages 394-409)
RR by B
3 9/17 Discussion and Q&A (1) response Lena Mamykina et al. "Design Lessons from the Fastest Q&A Site in the West." CHI 2011.
(2) Amy Zhang et al. "Wikum: Bridging Discussion Forums and Wikis Using Recursive Summarization." CSCW 2017.
RR by C
Project 0: Team Formation
4 9/22 Collective Action & Civic Participation (1) response Wael Ghonim. "Inside the Egyption Revolution". TED video, 2011 (10 mins) + Wael Ghonim. "Let's Design Social Media that Drives Real Change". TEDGlobal>Geneva video, 2015 (13 mins).
(2) Kate Starbird and Leysia Palen. "Voluntweeters: Self-organizing by digital volunteers in times of crisis." CHI 2011.
RR by A
4 9/24 Social Networks 1 (1) response Motahhare Eslami et al. "I always assumed that I wasn't really that close to [her]: Reasoning about Invisible Algorithms in News Feeds." CHI 2015.
(2) Eric Gilbert and Karrie Karahalios. "Predicting tie strength with social media." CHI 2009.
RR by B
5 9/29 Social Networks 2 (1) response Farhad Manjoo. "How Twitter Is Being Gamed to Feed Misinformation." The New York Times, 2017.05.31.
(2) Adam Marcus et al. "TwitInfo: Aggregating and Visualizing Microblogs for Event Exploration." CHI 2011.
RR by C
Project 1: Ideation
5 10/1 No class (Chuseok)
6 10/6 Project Feedback Meetings
6 10/8 Project Feedback Meetings
7 10/13 Project Pitches
7 10/15 Project Pitches Project 2: Pitch
8 10/20 No class (Midterms week)
8 10/22 No class (Midterms week)
9 10/27 Crowdsourcing & Human Computation (1) response Luis Von Ahn and Laura Dabbish. "Labeling images with a computer game." CHI 2004.
(2) Anhai Doan et al. "Crowdsourcing systems on the World-Wide Web." Communications of the ACM, April 2011.
RR by all
9 10/29 Platforms & Workers (1) response Lilly C. Irani and M. Silberman. "Turkopticon: interrupting worker invisibility in amazon mechanical turk." CHI 2013.
(2) Panagiotis Ipeirotis. "Analyzing the amazon mechanical turk marketplace." XRDS: Crossroads 17.2 (2010): 16-21.
(3) Jeffrey P. Bigham. "My MTurk (half) Workday."
RR by A
10 11/3 Crowd Programming & Workflows (1) response Michael S. Bernstein et al. "Soylent: a word processor with a crowd inside." UIST 2010.
(2) Jeffrey P. Bigham et al. "VizWiz: nearly real-time answers to visual questions." UIST 2010.
Assignment 2: Be a Crowd Worker
RR by B
10 11/5 Quality Control 1 (1) response Rion Snow et al. "Cheap and fast---but is it good?: evaluating non-expert annotations for natural language tasks." EMNLP 2008.
(2) Panos Ipeirotis. "Worker Evaluation in Crowdsourcing: Gold Data or Multiple Workers?" 2010.
Project 3: Low-fi Prototype
RR by C
11 11/10 Quality Control 2 (1) response Harris, Mark. "How a lone hacker shredded the myth of crowdsourcing." Wired, 2015.
(2) Harper. "Crowdsourcing isn't broken." Wired, 2015.
RR by A
11 11/12 Antisocial Behavior & Moderation (1) response Justin Cheng et al. "Anyone Can Become a Troll: Causes of Trolling Behavior in Online Discussions." CSCW 2017.
(2) Shagun Jhaver et al. "Does Transparency in Moderation Really Matter?: User Behavior After Content Removal Explanations on Reddit." CSCW 2019.
RR by B
12 11/17 Incentives & Gamification (1) response Gerard Beenan et al. "Using social psychology to motivate contributions to online communities." CSCW 2004.
(2) Chris Lintott. "How to discover a planet from your sofa." TEDxCERN Video, 2013 (12 mins).
(3) Thorin Klosowski, "The Psychology of Gamification: Can Apps Keep You Motivated?" LifeHacker, February 2014.
RR by C
12 11/19 Experimentation (1) response Reinecke, Katharina, and Krzysztof Z. Gajos. "LabintheWild: Conducting Large-Scale Online Experiments With Uncompensated Samples." CSCW 2015.
(2) Kohavi, Ron, et al. "Online controlled experiments at large scale." KDD 2013.
RR by A
13 11/24 Project Feedback Meetings Project 4: High-fi Prototype
13 11/26 Project Feedback Meetings
14 12/1 Human-AI Interaction (1) response Marti Hearst, James Allen, Curry I. Guinn, and Eric Horvitz. Mixed-initiative interaction. IEEE Intelligent Systems and their Applications 14.5 (1999): 14-23.
(2) Shyam Sankar. The Rise of Human Computer Cooperation. TED Talk Video, 2012 (12 mins).
RR by B
14 12/3 Ethics & FAT (Fairness, Accountability, & Transparency) (1) Cathy O'Neil. response "The era of blind faith in big data must end." TED Video, 2017 (13 mins).
(2) Carole Cadwalladr and Emma Graham-Harrison. "How Cambridge Analytica turned Facebook ‘likes’ into a lucrative political tool." The Guardian, Mar. 2018.
(3) Nicholas Diakopoulos et al. "Principles for Accountable Algorithms and a Social Impact Statement for Algorithms."
RR by C
15 12/8 Final Presentations Project 5: Final Presentations
15 12/10 No class (Undergraduate Admission Interviews Day)
16 12/15 No class (Finals week)
16 12/17 No class (Finals week) Project 6: Final Report

Topics (tentative)

Major topics include:
  • Crowdsourcing and human computation
  • Social computing platforms
  • Social networks and online communities
  • Computer supported collaborative work
  • Privacy and ethics
  • Incentives and gamification
  • Online experimentation and analysis
  • Programming paradigms
  • Quality control and fighting malicious behaviors


  • Design project: 40%
  • Topic Presentation: 20%
  • Reading responses: 20%
  • Assignments: 10%
  • Class participation: 10%
Late policy: Three lowest reading response grades will be removed. No late submissions are allowed for the reading responses. For assignments and project milestones, you'll lose 10% for each late day. Submissions will be accepted until three days after the deadline.


There are no official course prerequisites. But assignments and the final project will require building features of a crowdsourcing / social computing system, so programming skills are needed. Knowledge or research experience in HCI (CS374 or equivalent) or social computing is useful, but not required.