We're an interdisciplinary group at Northwestern University and the University of Washington. Faculty, postdocs, graduate students, affiliates, and alumni are listed below (in alphabetical order within each section) except when we've failed at alphabetizing.
You can see pictures of all together over at our group photos page. Picture of us individually are here.
We are a friendly group, and we welcome new affiliates! If you have been associating with us in any context, perhaps it's time to add yourself to this page as an affiliate. Feel free to add yourself (use the Edit tab), and please include a sentence on HOW you are related to the group (and a fun picture of yourself!).
- 1 Faculty
- 2 Graduate Students
- 2.1 Kaylea Champion (University of Washington)
- 2.2 Jeremy Foote (Northwestern)
- 2.3 Emilia Gan (University of Washington)
- 2.4 Wm Salt Hale (University of Washington)
- 2.5 Jim Maddock (Northwestern)
- 2.6 Nathan TeBlunthuis (University of Washington)
- 2.7 Charles Kiene (University of Washington)
- 2.8 Sejal Khatri (University of Washington)
- 3 Affiliate Researchers
- 4 Friends and Community Members
- 5 Alumni
Benjamin Mako Hill (University of Washington)
After contributing peer production communities in various ways since I was a teenager, I began to realize (the hard way) that peer production rarely works and that getting it to work remained much more art than science. After being talked into the idea that academia was the right place to fix this by Eric von Hippel, I've devoted the last decade of my life to trying to contribute to an emerging science of Internet-based collaborative production. Since starting as an academic, I have published tens of thousand of articles—nearly all of them are the.
In the more boring accounting (which I've copied and pasted from elsewhere): I am an Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Communication and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering. At UW, I am also Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences, the eScience Institute, and the "Design Use Build" (DUB) group that supports research on on human computer interaction. I am also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and an affiliate of the Institute of Quantitative Social Science at Harvard.
Aaron Shaw (Northwestern University)
Hello! I'm Aaron. I grew up around New York and went to school for a good long while in northern California. Along the way, I got involved in participatory movements and projects of various kinds. At first, these were more traditional movements promoting egalitarian social agendas and open organization. Over time, I got excited about and involved in peer production projects, online communities, and other sorts of online collaboration.
These days, I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern where I currently direct the Media, Technology & Society (MTS) Program. At Northwestern, I am also part of the Technology & Social Behavior Program, courtesy appointed in the Northwestern sociology department, a faculty associate of the Institute for Policy Research, the Buffett Institute, and the SONIC lab. Elsewhere, I am a faculty associate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. A good place to find more information is my website. If you'd like to get in touch, please send me an email (and don't be shy about re-sending if I don't reply).
Sayamindu Dasgupta (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
I grew up in the city of Kolkata, India. At some point in school I wanted to study Physics, but then soon after, I came across computers, which messed up my plans considerably. Roughly 9 years after I had my first encounter with a computer, I read Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas, and a year after that, I found myself at the MIT Media Lab, as a graduate student in a research group that, among other things, continue the work Seymour and his colleagues had started many years ago.
After getting a PhD from MIT, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington's eScience Institute and was hosted by the Department of Communication. Currently, I am an assistant professor at the School of Information and Library Science, UNC Chapel Hill, where I study, design, and build pathways that engage young people in learning with data. I also do a considerable amount of learning with data myself, where I use (mostly) quantitative methods to study how children and youth learn in large-scale informal online communities.
You can find more about my work on my homepage.
Sneha Narayan (Carleton College)
I'm faculty in the Computer Science department at Carleton College, Minnesota. Before that, I was a PhD candidate in the Technology and Social Behavior program at Northwestern University, advised by Aaron Shaw. I grew up in Bangalore, India, studied mathematics at Oberlin College, and received a masters degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology from Central European University, Budapest.
I've spent many years living in housing co-ops, and volunteering on the boards of co-operative organizations. My involvement in the co-op movement led to my interest in learning more (and producing knowledge) about participatory, volunteer-run endeavors such as peer production projects and online collaboration communities. My research focuses on understanding how newcomers join and become embedded in volunteer-run organizations, and what kinds of technological interventions might affect their continued participation in these communities.
Kaylea Champion (University of Washington)
(Entering PhD student, Autumn 2017)
I am investigating how society creates (or fails to create) humane online environments -- those which enable connection, exploration, and collaboration.
After growing up in Oregon, I spent two decades in Chicago, primarily at the University of Chicago as an academic technology director and consultant. I have a BA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and an MS in Computer Science, both from the University of Chicago. I also hold an MA in Critical & Creative Thinking from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
My husband, three kids, and I live in Shoreline, WA, which seems to be Seattle's version of Evanston. I'm particularly fond of visiting museums, tromping in the woods, cooking for crowds, smashing goblins, and scribbling fiction.
Jeremy Foote (Northwestern)
I'm Jeremy - I grew up in Nevada, did my undergrad (in English!) at BYU in Utah, and then worked as a practitioner of online collaboration. I worked as the product manager for a collaborative translation company in Utah, but decided that I really wanted to study how online collaboration worked. I did a Master's degree at Purdue, studying with Seungyoon Lee, and I'm now a PhD candidate at Northwestern, working with Aaron.
Most of my current research is focused around new online peer production communities - why people start new communities, what impact project founders have, and what early collaboration and communication structures are associated with productive communities. More broadly, I am interested in the social construction of understanding, knowledge, and opinion, and especially how automated systems (algorithms, bots, etc.) influence the way social cognition happens. More about my research stuff is at my academic homepage.
Most of my spare time is spent with my family or with my church community - my wife and I have four young kids, and so my hobbies include sweeping up cheerios, picking up Legos, and playing Chutes and Ladders.
Emilia Gan (University of Washington)
I'm a first-year PhD student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington (Seattle). Currently, I am working on gender differences in the way kids use the Scratch Online Community. My main research interests are Computer Science Education and Educational Technology. I am especially interested in how people learn programming.
Before starting graduate school in CS, I earned an MS (Pathobiology) from UW. I initially started learning how to program with the thought of using these skills for analyzing large biological data sets, but I eventually realized everything I was doing was pointing me away from biology and towards computer science.
Before starting graduate school at UW, I homeschooled with my kids for over a decade, and before that I earned an MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT.
Wm Salt Hale (University of Washington)
Growing up in Seattle during the early 90s offered many technological opportunities, most of which I took advantage of. As an avid GNU/Linux user for over 20 years, I have been exposed to numerous technology orientated communities on various levels.
During high school I entered the Running Start program, completing an Associate's degree in Computer Science from South Seattle College. After which I transfered to the University of Washington, pursuing the same major. It was not a fit, instead I developed a number of businesses, traveled, and spoke at various conferences, conventions, events, faires, and festivals.
Upon returning to the University of Washington to complete my Batchelor's degree in Communication, I connected with Mako and was shown a world of academia previously unimagined. After another year of traveling, I have decided to return to the UW Department of Comm yet again and am just beginning to delve deeper into the intersection of Technology and Society in the MA/PhD program.
I am extremely interested in: Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) and Culture; Hackers, Makers, and Breakers; and Computer-Mediated Communication using real-time synchronous systems. Along with numerous hobbies including: urban hiking (walking), dancing (folk, east coast swing, lindy, blues), windsports (windsurfing, kiteboarding, sailing), bicycling, boffering, cooking, driving, event planning, gaming, programming, public speaking, reading, robotics, skiing, and travel.
Up to date information and links to various profiles around the web can be found on my IndieWeb presence, The Alt World of Salt.
Jim Maddock (Northwestern)
I first became interested in HCI during my undergraduate degree at the University of Washington. I earned a degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering, where I worked with Professor Kate Starbird to understand rumoring behavior in crisis situations. I also studied Medieval European history.
I am a second year PhD Student in the Computer Science and Communications departments at Northwestern University. I currently work with Darren Gergle and Aaron Shaw, studying collaboration and coordination dynamics within social computing systems, such as Wikipedia and Zooniverse.
When I'm not working on research, I'm probably riding my bike or planning a backpacking trip. You can find more about my research at my website.
Nathan TeBlunthuis (University of Washington)
I'm Nate! I grew up in Eastern Washington, where I worked in a glass Laboratory at PNNL where I contributed to a number of material science papers. I went to college at Whitworth University where I received a double-B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science in 2012. As an undergrad I was part of a humble bioinformatics research group and contributed to research in structured search engines. After this I worked at Microsoft for a couple of years where I did a number of small things mainly related to search suggestions for Bing multimedia. After this I worked as a data science consultant in medical informatics. I've been a Linux user for 10 years. I contribute to free software projects when I can.
These days I am an MA/PhD student at the University of Washington primarily interested in online communities and politics. I'm particularly interested in how organizational norms, practices, and forms emerge (constructed and adopted) or are disrupted (replaced by new forms). I hope that understanding this will help expand and improve management of the commons. I'm also interested in how online communities self--organize and interface with social movements and political organizations. I draw on my computer science background to operationalize interesting concepts from digital trace data.
My most developed project (with Mako and Aaron) is titled "Density dependence without resource partitioning on a Digital Mobilization Platform: Population ecology of collective actions on Change.org." This uses topic models to study competition between online petitions. I presented this research at the Internet Policy and Politics Conference at Oxford in 2016 and will present at ICA in 2017. Preprints of the full version may be available soon.
My main hobbies are skiing, rock climbing, guitar playing, listening to music, and cooking. I'm married to Amanda, a community organizer and student at UW medical school.
Charles Kiene (University of Washington)
I am a MA/PhD student in the Communication Department at the University of Washington. I currently employ qualitative methods like in-depth interviewing and participant observation in my research, but I am leaning into more quantitative techniques over the course of my PhD program.
From Reddit subcommunities to Discord servers to World of Warcraft guilds, my interests lie in the strategies of management and organization in online communities, especially when they experience massive change, like user influxes, platform shifts, new technologies, mergers, or an exodus of community members. I'm also interested in the technologies online communities use to organize, such as bots for automating redundant aspects of moderation work, communication applications and the role of voice calls, and other forms of end-user programming that allow online groups to govern and defend their digital boundaries.
Details at User:Healspersecond
Sejal Khatri (University of Washington)
I am a first-year masters student in the Information School at the University of Washington, Seattle. I am specializing in User Experience Research and Design in the Information Management program at iSchool. I did my undergrad in Computer Science at SPPU in Pune, India, and then interned for Wikimedia Foundation as a UX Engineer. My current research interests revolve around online communities, peer-production, and open source software. When I'm not working, I participate in design jams and hackathons where I get the opportunity to turn curiosities and concerns into design interventions.
Andrés Monroy-Hernández (Snap Research)
I'm a researcher at Snap Inc. and an affiliate faculty at the University of Washington. My work focuses on the study and design of social computing systems. Some areas I've worked on are crowdsourcing, peer production, remixing, civic tech, urban computing, and online learning.
Some projects I've worked on lately include Calendar.help, a hybrid intelligence scheduling assistant partly powered by crowds; Narcotweets, a research project studying how people use social media during war and political uprisings; and the Scratch Online Community, a website where millions of young people learn to program and remix games and animations.
Jonathan T. Morgan (Wikimedia Foundation)
I'm a design researcher at the Wikimedia Foundation and a lecturer in the UW department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. Most of my research involves understanding the sociotechnical mechanisms through which participants in Wikimedia projects coordinate their work across time and space. My goal is to do everything I can to foster fun & meaningful experiences for the millions of humans across the world who read, write, teach, research, remix, and hack Wikipedia. You can find out more about me and my work here and here.
I am a voracious and omnivorous reader, and a passionately amateurish musician. When I'm away from the keyboard, you can usually find me exploring the beaches and forests of Puget Sound with my wife and my dog, Ozymandias.
Morten Warncke-Wang (Wikimedia Foundation)
I've been participating in online and peer production communities for over 20 years, and recently (December 2016) got a PhD studying them. My research focus has been on content quality in peer production communities like Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap: what is high quality content, how is it created, can we build tools to judge it, and is it produced where there is demand for it? In addition to research publications, this work has also led to a Python library for predicting Wikipedia article quality (articlequality) that is publicly available on Wikipedia through the ORES API. I am also a Research Fellow with the Wikimedia Foundation's Research group.
Another one of my interests is using recommender systems to help contributors find work to do. In Wikipedia this manifests in my maintenance of SuggestBot. The bot can recommend articles to work on based on a user's edit history, or they can supply articles or categories they want to base the suggestions on. SuggestBot is currently available in seven languages.
I've participated as a mentor and instructor in some of the Community Data Science Workshops. Apart from these things, I also like reading (both books and magazines), watching movies, playing squash, and attempting to make music.
I am a longtime Wikipedia contributor (as User:HaeB) and editor of the Wikimedia Research Newsletter, a monthly publication surveying and reviewing recent academic research about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, which I co-founded in 2011 with my then-colleague Dario Taraborelli at the Wikimedia Foundation. I am also one of the two maintainers of the associated @WikiResearch Twitter feed. For the past several years, I have joined Mako, Aaron and others in presenting an annual "State of Wikimedia Research" overview at the Wikimania community conference, where I have also presented on other data and research topics such as the question which parts of a Wikipedia article people actually read.
My work as a data analyst on the Wikimedia Foundation's Product Analytics team included controlled experiments and exploratory data analysis to support the development of new software features for Wikipedia readers and contributors, and the analysis of core readership metrics like pageviews. With the Foundation's web team, I drove the implementation of a new metric designed to better understand reader engagement, based on an instrumentation of time spent on page (dwell time). This became the subject of a research project with Nate TeBlunthuis and my then-colleague Olga Vasileva, with findings e.g. about differences in reading behavior between users in the Global South and the Global North.
My academic background is in pure mathematics, with degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Bonn. I am based in San Francisco and can be reached via Gmail ("HaeBwiki") and as "HaeB" on IRC (Freenode).
Friends and Community Members
I'm a researcher and community member who collaborates and helps the CDSC in various ways. My research work focuses on the study of operating systems kernel where I work mostly in live patch systems. One of my projects is Elivepatch.
I'm the Gentoo Kernel Project Leader, mainly focused in kernel release automatization. You can find me at @aliceinwire or at www.aliceinwire.net. My Gentoo profile is at User:Aliceinwire. I am on IRC (OFTC) as alicef_.
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