Social Informatics Program

FACULTY COORDINATING COMMITTEE Nikolopoulos (Computer Science and Information Systems); Kasch (Communication).

The departments of communication, computer science and information systems, and sociology offer an interdisciplinary minor in social informatics. This minor introduces students to the use of the Internet and the World Wide Web as a tool of research. It systematically analyzes the social aspects of computerization, including the roles of information technology in social and organizational change, the uses of information technologies in social contexts, and the ways that the social organization of information technologies is influenced by social forces and social practices.

The social informatics minor is designed with the following objectives:

  1. to provide students with the conceptual tools and strategies to critically analyze the new technologies and the impact of computerization on society, human interaction, and the human psyche;
  2. to teach students how to utilize the new technologies for academic study and research as well as how to format new ideas and research projects electronically in a textual, hypertextual, and multimedia format;
  3. to involve students individually or on a team in creative projects that use the World Wide Web.


Students electing to minor in social informatics will take 18 hours of coursework in the departments of computer science and information systems, communication, and sociology, as follows:

Core courses 9 hrs.

(choose three)

  • COM 399 Communication in Computer-mediated Environments
  • CIS 300 Computers and Society
  • SOC 421 Culture, Identity, and Cyberspace
  • SOC 325 Science, Technology and Modernity

Electives 3 hrs.

(choose one)

  • IM 213 Basic Multimedia Authoring
  • CS 330 Net-Centric Computing
  • CS 531 Web Development Technologies

Individual Projects 6 hrs.

(6 hours)
All students electing to minor in social informatics are required to participate in individual projects or collaborative team projects by enrolling in two directed study or independent study courses (three hours each) offered by the three departments and approved by members of the coordinating committee.