Course Syllabus

DES INV 190-1/CS 194-131 Designing Technology to Counter Violent Extremism

Spring 2017, UC Berkeley
Thursdays 2-5pm in 220 Jacobs Hall
3 units
Instructors: Björn Hartmann and Zvika Krieger

Students in this class will design and prototype innovative interventions to tackle the drivers of extremism. The world is facing increasing threats from violent extremists -- those who support or commit ideologically-motivated violence to further political objectives. Their narratives are no longer confined by borders. The Internet -- from viral videos to hijacked hashtags to bot networks -- has emerged as a key arena in which violent extremists engage with the public. They seek to build support for their messages and recruit or inspire others to either travel abroad to fight or commit violent acts at home. But technology is also a key tool in the fight against extremism. Working directly with the U.S. Department of State and other key government agencies, you will design and prototype ways to counter extremism, including promoting alternative narratives, enhancing social inclusion and civic engagement, identifying early signs of radicalization, countering discrimination, reintegrating former extremists, improving relationships with law enforcement, and building resilient communities.

This course involves both a rapid design process to identify new opportunities with stakeholders, as well as a technology component where you will show how interventions would be implemented through working software prototypes. This course is especially appropriate for EECS/CS students with prior experience in user interface design, software engineering, social computing or social network analysis; as well as students from other disciplines with prior experience in Design Innovation courses, or specific expertise in countering extremism.

Enrollment will be by instructor permission. To apply, please complete the course entry survey at by Sunday, December 11th.

Course Summary:

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