Announcement: Announcing the Winners of the “Social Computing in 2020” Competition

The Transliteracies Project and the UCSB Social Computing Group are pleased to announce the winners of the Bluesky Innovation Competition on “Social Computing in 2020.”

The worldwide contest was designed to engage undergraduate and graduate students in the newly emerging, interdisciplinary field of “social computing.” Participants were encouraged to imagine how society and technology will interact 10 to 20 years from now – far enough in the future to stretch our imagination of technology, yet near enough to be plausible.

Contest entries consisted of a description of the envisioned technology as well as an imaginative realization, embodiment, or illustration of the idea. The entries were judged on the basis of creativity, understanding of technology and society, explanatory clarity and organization of the description, and the quality of the imaginative realization, embodiment, or illustration. (See the original contest announcement.)

The Winners:

First Prize ($3,000): “SENSe” by Karen Tanenbaum and Joshua Tanenbaum
, graduate students, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University

Second Prize ($1,000): “Experiential Skin Diving” by Daniel Luis Kamakura, undergraduate, English major, Duke University

Third Prize ($500): “Anatomical Analytics” by Chris Castiglione, graduate student, New Media Programme, University of Amsterdam

Honorable Mentions:

The contest committee would like to also recognize these outstanding Honorable Mentions:

Please see the full Winners Announcement for more information.


Update 5/1/09: We are pleased to announce that the winners of The Bluesky Innovation Competition on “Social Computing in 2020” have been determined.  Please stay tuned – an announcement with the winners and project details will be posted soon.

The University of California Transliteracies Project and UC Santa Barbara Social Computing Group announce the “Social Computing in 2020” Bluesky Innovation Competition. What will social computing technologies and practices be like in the year 2020?

  • Eligible: Undergraduate or graduate students anywhere in the world.
  • Awards: 1st prize, $3000 USD; 2nd prize, $1000, 3rd prize, $500.
  • Submission Format: Description of an idea + Imaginative realization, embodiment, or illustration of the idea in a variety of possible formats (e.g., an essay, story, script, application sketch, fictional business plan, etc.).
  • Deadline: January 30, 2009.
  • Full Competition Announcement: Guidelines & Submission Details

Students from any discipline–humanities, arts, social sciences, computer science, engineering, etc.–are encouraged to apply. The competition emphasizes visionary, thoughtful, or critical concepts rather than technical knowledge as such.

For more information, see the full competition announcement.
Inquiries may be directed by email to socialcomputing(at)

Proposed Social Computing IGERT Curriculum

Social Computing IGERT Curriculum

[Also see sample syllabus and bibliography for SC 2.a – Social Computing Advanced Research Core Course]

Tech & Society PH.D Emphasis Social Computing IGERT Courses
(on top of Tech & Society Ph.D. Emphasis Curriculum)
Year 1
1.a – Gateway Seminar for UCSB Technology & Society Ph.D. Emphasis.

Rationale: This course introduces students to a broad range of methods and topics in the study of information technology and society.  It also links up students with wide selection of faculty and other students and teaches them how to collaborate across disciplines.

SC 1.a – Social Computing Research Skills and Methods Course

Rationale: This course provides hands-on introductions and training in the research and technological skills needed to collaborate across disciplines on topics related to social computing.  The course ensures that students are cross-trained in other disciplines at a level adequate to facilitate later collaboration.  Major units of the course will include: introduction to social-science research methods and social-networking theory and tools; introduction to networking technology, database theory, datamining, and visualization [I need some help here!]; introduction to cultural and ethnical analysis, including contemporary approaches to human identity.

1.b – Two of the four courses required for the Tech & Society Ph.D. Emphasis (1 in T&S Area 1: Culture and History; 1 in T&S Area 2: Society and Behavior)

Rationale: These courses expose students to the breadth of the topic of technology and society.

Example courses from approved T&S list:

Area 1: “Historicizing New Media,” “Digital Media Theory & Practices,” “Race & Gender in Cyberculture,” “Technology in U.S. History,” “Network Protocols in a Social Context”

Area 2: “Mass Communication and the Individual,” “Global Organizational Communication,” “Technology & Organization,” “Literacy in the Information Age,” “Geographic Information Systems,” “Internet & Social Movements,” “Information Technology & Politics”

SC 1.b

At least one additional core course in a student’s home department relevant to, or preparatory for, work on social computing.

Rationale: These courses anchor the new student in their home program and ensure a sound basis for future work integrating their dissertation research with their social computing IGERT research.

Example courses:

Sociology: Soc 224: “Social Movements”; Soc 294: “The Internet and Social Movements”; Soc 294: “Methods of Internet Research”

Communication: Comm 594: “Social Media and Communication”

Media Arts & Technology/Humanities: “Technology and the New Sociology of Culture”

Computer Science: [We need something here]

Year 2

The last two of four courses required for the Tech & Society Ph.D. Emphasis (1 in T&S Area 1: Culture and History; 1 in T&S Area 2: Society and Behavior)

Rationale & Example Courses: (See under 1.b above)

SC 2.a – Social Computing Advanced Research Core Course

Rationale: this course includes advanced readings and discussions of with units on the application of social computing (including collective action); information, communication, and media studies (including information credibility); and the development and measurement of social-computing technology.  [Detailed syllabus and bibliography]

SC 2.b – Project Design Course

Rationale: This is a team-based project-design course in which students design and prototype a project for the purpose of exploring next-generation social, cultural, and technological issues in social computing.  Students will be supervised by a faculty member experienced in project-design and -management (who will also mentor students in such professionalization topics as grant-writing, project-administration, project-budgeting, and human-studies ethics rules); and each student will also consult with an individual advisor in his or her home department to ensure that there is synergy between IGERT research and dissertation research.

Year 3

[Outside the IGERT, students in this year focus on their dissertation prospectuses and final qualifying exams in their home departments]

SC 3.a – Social Collaboratory Project Course

Rationale: This course brings the results of our IGERT students’ training to bear on one of the great user-bases of social computing: K-12 and undergraduates.  The purpose is to help educate younger students in the nature, potential, and risks of social media and also to encourage them to pursue educational tracks that will help produce tomorrow’s social-computing designers, engineers, content-managers, scholars, critics, and others.   IGERT students in this collaboratory are required to build a team-based project that interacts with K-12 and/or undergraduate students.  The project will be evaluated on the basis of two criteria: ability to make society aware of the broad social, cultural, and technological implications of social media; and ability to make younger students aware of the specific training they would need to have a career in social computing in the future (i.e., a sense of the professional “fields” involved, the programs they may want to find out about, etc.).

Ongoing Professionalization Training
Besides the mentoring specified under 2.b above, students will be required to undergo a structured series of activities intended to provide them with professionalization training.  Due to space limitations, these are omitted from this preproposal, but will be included in a full proposal.  These activities include: attendance at a lecture series, an annual research review, a formal mentoring arrangement, an ethics and human-subjects workshop, a public research talk, and a management/entrepreneurship workshop.  The IGERT, of course, also includes the requirement that students undergo a critique of their Ph.D. prospectus and a dissertation defense (in conjunction with the requirements of a student’s disciplinary department ).

Social Computing Advanced Research Core Course

SC 2.a – Syllabus

The following is an example syllabus for the second-year core course in a social computing IGERT. The references suggest example readings. Read More »

Social Computing in 2020 Honorable Mention: “Mexican Laser Light Extravaganza” by Justin Andrew Gutierrez

About the Author:
Justin Andrew Gutierrez is an undergraduate in the Interdisciplinary Computing in the Arts / Music program at UC San Diego. Gutierrez expects to receive his degree in 2009. Read More »

Social Computing in 2020 Honorable Mention: “Continuous Media Mobilities” by Jordan Kraemer

About the Author:
Jordan Kraemer is pursuing a PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation project deals with new media and spatial scalemaking in Berlin. Prior to graduate study, Kraemer worked as a graphic designer and web producer. Read More »

Social Computing in 2020 Honorable Mention: “Virtual Health Centers” by Mariano Mora-McGinity

About the Author:
Mariano Mora McGinity was born in Newcastle‐upon‐Tyne (UK) and raised in the UK and Spain. McGinity holds degrees in Composition (Musikhochschule Düsseldorf), Guitar (Real Conservatorio Superior de Madrid), Philosophy (UNED University Madrid) and Journalism (Universidad Complutense, Madrid). McGinity is currently studying a PhD in the Media Arts and Technology department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Read More »

Social Computing in 2020 Third Prize Winner: “Anatomical Analytics by Chris Castiglione

About the Author: Chris Castiglione is a New Media student in the graduate program at the University of Amsterdam. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University. Over the past few years he has lived in Amsterdam, Washington DC, New York City, Osaka and London, studying and working in the field of New Media. Since 2000 he has been involved in various music projects including his latest work, Dance At The Postoffice, and the ‘free music’ blog musicNeutral. Recently, he has been writing and researching issues concerning the influence of non-commercial content and piracy on the creative industries. Read More »

Social Computing in 2020 Second Prize Winner: Experiential Skin Diving by Daniel Luis Kamakura

About the Author: Daniel Kamakura is a rising undergraduate senior at Duke University, with aspirations of going to medical school and becoming a published science fiction writer. Having been an amateur writer since 5th grade, the Bluesky “Social Computing in 2020” Competition is his first submission to a mainstream creative competition. He is currently studying for his MCATs in August, working on the manuscript of his first, full-length science fiction novel, as well as searching for an artist to assist in a possible graphic novel tie-in. He hopes to complete both projects—including matriculation to medical school—some time before the year 2020, and eagerly looks forward to his first “Skin Diving” experience. Read More »

Social Computing in 2020 First Prize Winner: “SENSe” by Karen Tanenbaum & Joshua Tanenbaum

About the Authors:Karen & Joshua Tanenbaum are both PhD students at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts & Technology. Joshua is currently investigating interactive storytelling and games in the SFU SIAT EMIIE Lab under the supervision of Magy Seif El-Nasr and Jim Bizzocchi. His primary research is an investigation of narrative meaning in games and interactive media, however he also writes on embodiment in game interfaces, virtual worlds, and agency and performance in games. Karen is exploring user modeling and ambient intelligence for ubiquitous computing spaces under the supervision of Marek Hatala in the Laboratory for Ontological Research. Her research projects include work on sustainable design, tangible and tabletop computing systems, and expert recommender systems. They are currently collaborating on a research project called TUNE: Tangible Ubiquitous Narrative Environment, a physical storytelling space that responds to the actions and preferences of the reader. Read More »