Today Intel officially made public a new research center for Social Computing. It is a fantastic project with several universities involved and the overlord is Paul Dourish at UC Irvine. Jeff Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell and I consitute the Indiana University part of the center. It is a 5 year project and a lot of funding! This will be a major part of my research in the next years. It is very exciting. The people on the project are exceptional and the overall design of the project is quite grand.
Here is how the project is described:
"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 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."