Our formal public launch took place on June 26, 2012, at the annual Research @ Intel event in Santa Clara, where Intel CTO Justin Rattner introduced the center in his keynote speech. You can watch his keynote online (the Center launch begins at about 17:00), including his conversation with academic PI Paul Dourish and Intel Fellow and executive sponsor Genevieve Bell.
The Intel Science and Technology Center (ISTC) for Social Computing was launched in June 2012 to conduct foundational research into the relationship between information technology and society. Centered at UCI, it brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers from leading universities across the United States, including experts in social media, digital culture, user interfaces, cultural computing, and participatory design.
Social Computing is the study of information technologies and digital media as social and cultural phenomena.
Since its earliest days, computing has always been a social phenomenon, from people gathered around a screen to play Spacewar to the emergence of email as ARPANET’s “killer app.” As technologies have evolved, so too have the social and cultural issues with which they are entwined. The 21st century Internet is one of social media, social networking, community engagement and cultural connection. The technical challenges of advanced IT development are matched by challenges in understanding the social contexts, cultural practices, and policy questions of technology and digital media, but the predominant research frameworks with which we typically address them are those that emphasize individual experience in interaction.
The Intel Science and Technology Center (ISTC) for Social Computing will establish a new paradigm for computing, moving from the personal to the social. Its hub is at UC Irvine, and its partner (“spoke”) institutions are NYU, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, and Indiana University. In collaboration with researchers from Intel, the Center undertakes research that will identify and develop theories, frameworks, and methods that will drive new scholarly research, new technology prototypes, new policy interventions, and new areas of innovation. The Center will facilitate research and collaboration at the vanguard of the emerging era of massively networked, mobile and cloud computing, while providing tools to understand and build on the history of earlier systems of social and technological interaction.
The ISTC for Social Computing is part of a network of Science and Technology Centers established by Intel in support of advanced research in information technology, including sister centers in Visual Computing, Pervasive Computing, Cloud Computing, Secure Computing, Embedded Computing, and Big Data.