Welcome to CS for Social Change! This studio course gives students the opportunity to iteratively design, build, and test technical projects in partnership with different social change organizations.

Course Information

CS1951I is taught by Professor Ugur Cetintemel. Class is held every Monday and Wednesday from 3:00 to 4:20 pm (Location TBD).

The course is intended primarily for computer science students and computer engineers, though it is open to anyone with adequate preparation interested in learning the topics covered in the course announcement below.

In order to take CS 1951I, you should have taken CS 32, CS 33 or CS 132. You also need to complete and submit the course application by January 15th.

Students in the 2017-18 course are currently working on one of three projects. Students assigned to work with Uplift are working on building a chrome extension that can help classify and report harrassment for online content creators and their fanbases. Separately, other students in the class are working with Baker Ripley to build a web application that can consolidate all the resources the organization has available for caretakers, while students working with YGA are building an iOS application to help teach STEM principles to Syrian refugee kids.

"Students will work in a studio environment to iteratively design, build, and test technical projects in partnership with different social change organizations. Students will be placed in small teams to collaboratively work on projects that will range from, for example, developing a chatbot to aid community engagement to conducting geospatial data analytics. Through the course, we will also reflect on our positionality and ethics in engaging in social impact work and what it practically means to leverage technology to create social change on an everyday basis."
– Course Announcement

Guides & Documents

Check out the following useful documents for questions you have about course organization, tools we use, and other helpful resources.



All reading responses are due at 6 pm. Submit your reading responses here.

1 Community Technology Handbook (pg. 1-16)
(Re)building Technology Zine (pg. 11-21)
2The Little Book of Design Research Ethics
Principles of Digital Development (Ch. 2)
3 US Digital Services Playbook
4Postcolonial Computing
M-Pesa Case Study
5No readingsN/A
6No readings (Midpoint Presentations)N/A
7Microsoft Inclusivity Manual3/16
8No readings N/A
9Feminist Tech Tools
Feminist Tech
10Tech and Distraction
How Technology Hijacks Minds
11Sidewalk Labs Blog
MIT Civic Media Lab



Ugur Cetintemel

HTA (cs1951Iheadtas@lists.brown.edu)

Nikita Ramoji

UTAs (cs1951Itas@lists.brown.edu)

Elaine Jiang

Yuta Arai