Thursday, January 12, 2012
And now for some news:
After some wonderful extended visits there, this summer I will be joining Microsoft Research New England, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as a Principal Researcher. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to be part of a dream team in a location that’s a hotbed of the things that fascinate me. I’m thrilled.
I’ll be part of a lab led by the inspiring Jennifer Chayes. The lab brings together social scientists who study social media with scholars of machine learning, computational biology, theoretical computer science, and economics. For three years, danah boyd has anchored social media research there and she’s done an amazing job. I’ll be one of three new social media hires, the other two are Kate Crawford and Mary Gray. This represents a huge and inspired investment in social scientific approaches to social media. It is going to be phenomenally stimulating and also incredibly fun. danah, Kate and Mary are not just three of my favorite scholars, they’re dear friends. Our Social Media Collective will continue to include Postdocs, Ph.D. student interns, and a rotating cast of visitors. It’s kind of like utopia.
Here’s a nice short video introducing the lab:
(If that embed doesn’t work. Here’s a direct link.)
You can read Jennifer’s announcement of all this awesomeness here.
I will continue the kind of research I’ve been doing all along, although we all hope that a cluster of social science social media researchers hanging out with people thinking about computing from very different perspectives will lead to groundbreaking areas we have yet to imagine. As Jennifer explains in her announcement:
there’s a much broader range of research questions we need to address beyond technology itself, including how we use that technology, why we want to use that technology, and how different cultural norms within the United States and other countries affect how we approach future technology development.
In the short term I’ll be working mostly on writing up the musician interview project I launched at MSR in 2010. I’ll be publishing in the same kinds of venues and I’ll be going to the same kinds of conferences. I’ll still be me doing what I do. But better.
Leaving the University of Kansas is bittersweet – I’ve loved my 13 years here, I love my colleagues, and I feel like I’m leaving family. I’ve been given freedom and support and I’ve built a wonderful career here. I’m grateful to everyone at KU for helping me get to where I am and for being so gracious and supportive as I move on.
A lot of people have had questions as I’ve been telling them about this move. The one everyone seems to ask first is “are you bringing your family?” YES! OF COURSE!
If you have questions, ask away.