I am broadly interested in the ways information systems condition social reality. I study sites and situations where actions are taken because of information and information systems. I employ theoretical, qualitative, and sociotechnical methods in my work.
Certainty and Information
I am interested in sites and situations where actions are taken because of information and information systems. I examine these phenomena empirically, theoretically, and technically. This includes work on:
- Computational timekeeping
- The production of thermophysical facts through scientific forgetting
This project began with my dissertation, which developed a framework for the analysis of certainty production in information systems, and applied that to the global sociotechnical endeavor of computational timekeeping.
As a Co-Lead of the Living and Working With Robots project at UT Austin, I am studying the rollout of robots on the UT Austin campus. Together with 10 other collaborators, I am applying a range of disciplinary perspectives and methods to the process of robotic design and research, the work of deploying and maintaining robots, and the effects these actions have upon the campus community. The project’s goal is to learn how the process of making and deploying technology impacts a community and how to enable technologists and community members to better understand and communicate with each other. Specific project in this research theme include:
- A mixed methods HRI/STS study of how canine visual metaphors impact reception of autonomous quadruped robots
- A study of how notions of the domestic are constructed within the RoboCup@Home service robotics competition
- An ethnography of interbranch materials delivery at the UT Austin Libraries to inform a deployment of autonomous delivery robots
Living and Working with Robots is supported by Good Systems, a UT Grand Challenge.
Collaboration for Convergent Research
The National Science Foundation has identified convergent research as deeply interdisciplinary work that, from the outset, combines methods and perspectives to enable scientific innovation. I’m interested in understanding convergent researchers’ collaboration needs and developing tools to make them more successful. Projects in this theme include:
- Understanding research discussion groups, where convergent researchers share and discuss literature from a range of disciplines, and designing and building information systems to support this activity.
This interest is related to in informed by my other work: my Living and Working with Robots collaboration is convergent in precisely this sense, and as a team we need to overcome these challenges to accomplish our research goals. And, of course, this is a site where action is taken in light of information.