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CS 397B Topic: Social Choice and Computer Science

Course Description: The theory of social choice and voting has had a long history in the social sciences, dating back to the 18th century. Some modern issues facing the theory of social choice relate heavily to computer science. Often we need to determine preferences for an individual or group, while maintaining accuracy, fairness, and security, sometimes with only limited information and/or computational power. This course will consider computer science and social science issues in insuring the best choices given limited information and computation. It will build on early work on the computational complexity of computing the winner of an election. Moreover, voting/social choice issues are beginning to arise in strictly computer science applications such as database and information retrieval, Internet search and meta-search, and collaborative filtering. This course will also consider such applications and present an introduction to the concepts and models of individual preference or utility as well as social choice theory and introduce students to a variety of modern computational issues and computer science applications.


2 credits