Computers and the Open Society - 2012 


CS 47N (Freshman Seminar, Stanford University)
MW 3:15-4:30, Thornton 210

Terry Winograd, Computer Science 
Gates 388,
office hours Wed 10-12

CA Sam King, CS Masters student

Computers and the networks that connect them have a tremendous impact on all aspects of society. They are changing the way we collectively understand what is going on in our world, how we debate what to do about it, and how we take action in the social and political realm. This course will examine the nature of technologies, what changes they have produced, and the potentials for new design.  The course will emphasize critical analyses of current trends (blogging, social networks, instant mobile communication,…) and examples of what happens when people communicate in new ways. Readings will include case studies, discussions of basic principles and current press coverage. They will be balanced between explorations of the beneficial advances and examination of potential problems and concerns.  Guest speakers who have participated in the development of computers and the net will share their experiences and enter into debates on controversial issues. Students will work individually and in small groups to research issues, develop the capacity for critical thinking, and participate in discussions both in class and on-line


Outside the classroom

Augmenting the regular M/W class sessions we will have outside activities, some during class time, and others in the evening. Attendance at events outside of class time is not required, but it's worth making effort not to miss them. Here's a heads up on the dates. More details will be forthcoming.

Assignments and Grading