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Class of Possible Interest: CS 6724 Investigative Technologies in Society

Our HCD colleague, Kurt Luther, is offering a special topics class of possible interest:
CS 6724: Advanced Topics in HCI
Investigative Technologies in Society
You may have heard that amateur sleuths working online have sought, with mixed success, to identify white nationalist marchers in Charlottesville, and uncover corruption in the White House, among other topics. What ethical issues do these crowdsourced investigations raise, what factors influence their success, and how is and should technology be designed in light of these activities?
How is the world being changed by an explosion of big data collected and published about human lives, coupled with increasingly powerful tools that anyone with an internet connection can use to draw conclusions from this data? Online communities of sleuths have made dramatic impacts on society, both positive and negative, from catching criminals and finding missing persons, to digital vigilantism and doxxing. This interdisciplinary course, open to graduate students in any field, will examine the design and use of new technologies for investigation and their impacts on society. Examples will be drawn from diverse domains including history, journalism, human rights, and national security. Potential topics include: crowdsourced investigations, open source intelligence, citizen journalism, social media verification, digital forensics, and legal and ethical perspectives.
This is an interdisciplinary course open to grad students in any field, and will meet in the Learning Studio of the Moss Arts Center. No programming experience or technology background necessary. The course will take a seminar format with extensive reading and student-led discussions and tech demos. The primary grades are participation and a semester-long project to create or study the use of an investigative technology.

Please contact Kurt Luther <kluther@vt.edu> directly, as enrollment is by instructor permission only.


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