The University of Michigan’s School of Information is launching the United States’ first Masters Degree in Social Computing through the Master of Science in Information. “Developing a formal understanding of the underlying dynamics at play and the critical technology choices has required a patchwork of academic courses at a select few institutions,” says the University of Michigan School of Information.
The University of Michigan’s School of Information’s faculty have been leaders in inventing and analyzing many of the underlying techniques that have powered the rise of social computing, including recommender systems, reputation systems, prediction markets, social network analysis, online communities, and computer-supported cooperative work. It could be the case that Masters degree programs focusing on Social Computing will pop up at universities around the world as the Internet continues to trend and develop.
The specialization is one of nine the offered by the school: six of which are newly launched that prepare students for careers in long-established and newly emerging fields.
In addition to Social Computing, the School offers specializations in:
Teaches the art of designing systems or institutions to align individual incentives with overall organizational goals. It draws deeply from economics, psychology, and sociology, with computer science as a unifying thread.
Prepares students for positions as public interest information professionals and technical leaders for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, community development agencies, and entrepreneurial social ventures.
Information Analysis and Retrieval
Teaches how information is stored in computer systems, how it is searched and analyzed, and how humans access it.
Preservation of Information
Identifies preservation challenges and standards-based preservation practices and responds to the urgent need for expertise in preservation, digital curation, and Web archiving.
Prepares students to analyze and design information policy at both the organizational and general public policy level.
Library and Information Services
Prepares students for all aspects of librarianship. Students may also choose a track for careers in K-12 school media.
Archives and Records Management
Teaches concepts and techniques to manage historical materials as well as methods that can be applied in information systems design to support integrity, authenticity, access, and long-term preservation of records.
Educates the professional who designs and develops technologies that fit the organization and work practices, the work to be done, and the capabilities of the user.
The multidisciplinary School of Information has a rich history of innovative teaching and path-breaking research. The School also offers dual master’s degrees in business, law, medicine, nursing, public policy, and social work, and a Ph.D. in information.
IEMP Specialization Expanded
The School has grown its specialization in information economics, management and policy into several distinct areas. Information policy will be its own specialization, and information economics will be a primary focus of the incentive-centered design specialization. Information management is an area the School has deemed so central to the skill set of an information professional that it has incorporated it as a core component of the entire MSI program. Students currently specializing in IEMP will have the choice of continuing to specialize in the full range of areas or focusing on one or two of the newer specializations.
The new specialization in social computing also develops from this focus on communities and information, while the preservation of information specialization grows from the School’s unique strengths in archives and records management.
Details about the School are available here or by calling (734) 763-2285.