Computing, Culture, and Society

The Computing, Culture and Society (CCS) research group focuses on the relationship between technological innovation and larger social, political, legal, and economic developments. From social media and artificial intelligence, gaming, domestic and workplace applications, little data and Big Data, to mobile technologies and giant server farms, computing technologies are a constant presence in our lives.

A highly interdisciplinary group, CCS faculty draw on rich, multidisciplinary backgrounds and a correspondingly wide range of methods in their work, including case-based, design, ethnographic, experimental, historical, survey, and visual methods.

Learn more about CCS

Track Guide

Primary Track Faculty

: Track Director

Social aspects of Information and Communication Technology use, Internet multilingualism, online language variation, genre emergence, semantics of tagging, online interaction in forums, games, etc., quantitative and social network approaches to analysis.

History of computing; software labor and gender; environmental impacts of computing; history of artificial intelligence; organizational informatics.

Law, technology, and data; human rights and civil liberties; history of computing; history of technology; computing outside of the U.S. and Europe; science and technology in Latin America; the relationship of technology and politics. (On leave, 2019-2020)

Technology and: cognition, culture, science and knowledge; space and time; home and work; everyday life; symbolic interaction; social psychology; identity; gender; privacy; security; ethnography; design; social structure and animal behavior.

Human-robot interaction, science and technology studies, social robotics, cross-cultural studies of technology, assistive technology, critical methods for designing and evaluating interactive artifacts, social studies of robotics.

Scholarly communication, scientometrics, science policy, public understanding of science, science communication, social media.


A student must successfully complete ninety (90) credit hours of graduate-level course work. The specific track requirements are listed below.

Required Courses

All required courses provided by faculty in the Computing, Culture and Society track, including I609 and I709, are open to and welcome students from other tracks and programs.

  • Informatics Core Requirments (6 cr.)
    • INFO I501 Introduction to Informatics (3 cr.)
    • INFO I502 Human-Centered Research Methods in Informatics (3 cr.)
  • Seminar Requirements (6 cr.)
    • INFO I609 Seminar I in Informatics (3 cr.)
    • INFO I709 Seminar II in Informatics (3 cr.)

NOTE: A student must take I609 and/or I709.

These two courses are offered jointly, once every year. Students in the CCS track must take two of these courses with different topics, one as I609, the other as I709. The majority of the students in these courses are from the CCS track, but students from other tracks and programs frequently take them.

  • Research Rotation Requirement (6 cr.)
    • INFO I790 Informatics Rearch Rotation (3 cr.)

NOTE: A student must complete two rotations of I790. A third rotation will not count for course credit.

  • Theory and Methodology (12 cr.)

NOTE: These courses must be appropriate for a Ph.D. in Informatics.

  • Minor (6-15 cr.)

NOTE: A student must complete an internal or external minor approved by the University Graduate School and the School. If a student selects an individualized minor, prior to taking courses, the University Graduate School must approve the proposed minor course list. There is no typical minor; however, students have pursued minors in Methods of Inquiry, African Studies, Latin American Studies, and Gender Studies.

  • Electives (12-30 cr.)

NOTE: A student must have all electives approved by the student's advisor and the Director of Informatics Graduate Studies prior to enrolling in the course.

  • Thesis Reading and Research (minimum of 21 cr. and a maximum of 30 cr.)
    • INFO I890 Thesis Readings and Research

Optional Courses

  • INFO I505 Social Media Informatics
  • INFO I502 Human-Centered Methods
  • INFO I440 Human-Robot Interaction
  • INFO I590 Information Systems and Organizational Change
  • INFO I590 Enacting Identity
  • INFO I590 Exercises in Ethnography
  • INFO I590 Privacy, Information and Identity
  • Cultural Perspectives on Science and Technology