Research and Projects

Research Projects

SocioTechnical capital, employment and economic mobility
Tawanna Dillahunt
Understanding the prospects for adapting technologies, such as online labor markets, to build and exploit both personal and impersonal SocioTechnical Capital (e.g., particularly among those with limited social and human capital) requires an understanding of the barriers that will need to be overcome to make such tools beneficial. This project aims to investigate these barriers and seek for ways for technology to mitigate them. This project also investigates existing tools that may be useful to these communities, and we design and implement customized tools to mitigate these barriers as well.

Technology to Support Newcomer Adaptation
Tawanna Dillahunt
People who relocate to new communities experience challenges such as social-network reconstruction and insufficient information for daily needs. When these challenges are not well addressed, newcomers face additional difficulties, such as mental health issues and limited employment resources. The research goal is to investigate how newcomers utilize information and communciation technologies (ICTs) to address challenges of relocation. This project also aims to identify barriers to their ICT use and propose technical solutions to address the barriers.

solarsouthafrica Generative Justice 
Ron Eglash
This research explores alternatives to value extraction. The extraction of ecological value creates environmental destruction; extracting labor value creates deskilling and exploitation; extracting expressive value commodifies our social networks and identities. The alternative is circulating value in unalienated forms: in nature through means such as agroecology; in labor through worker-owned production; in expressive value through user-owned platforms. ICT4G includes innovations such as heritage algorithms, artisanal cyborgs, and more.
Entrepreneurship and the Socio-Technical Chasm in a Lean Economy
Tawanna Dillahunt, Vaishnav Kameswaran, Desiree McLain, Joyojeet Pal, and Kentaro Toyama
Online technologies are increasingly hailed as enablers of entrepreneurship and income generation. Recent evidence suggests, however, that even the best such tools disproportionately favor those with pre-existing entrepreneurial advantages. Our research explores the use of these tools among those with limited prior entrepreneurial advantages.
 people Innovation and technology entrepreneurship cultures between Ghana, Southern China, and Silicon Valley
Silvia Lindtner and Seyram Avle
This research investigates the contemporary social and technological processes that bring together and motivate specific kinds of leaders shaping transnational networks of design and innovation in computing and communication technologies.
 Political Social Media in the Global South Political Social Media in the Global South
Joyojeet Pal, A’Ndre Gonawela, Tanya Madhani, Udit Thawani, Priyank Chandra, Vaishnav Kameswaran, Aakanksha Parameshwar
This research looks at the role of social media in electoral politics around various parts of the Global South, including how politicians self-represent, the framing of political issues, and the timing of messaging around major political events.
Young Engineers Intangible Gains Through the International Exposure of Young IT Engineers
Tsuyoshi Kano, Kiyoko Eguchi, Hisashi Kawano, and Kentaro Toyama
This research focuses on 1) what kind of mindset change occurs through the international exposure, 2) how can the mindset change be replicated by training in the home country, and 3) what are the challenges of Japan to be the place of brain circulation. The research is targeted at Bangladeshi and Rwandan IT engineers who are working or studying in Japan. The long-term goal of the research project is to make a policy recommendation on the development of IT human resource and IT industry in the global society.
Ride-hailing Services “We can go anywhere”: Understanding `Independence’ through a case study of ride-hailing use by people with Visual Impairments in metropolitan India
Vaishnav Kameswaran, Jatin Gupta, Joyojeet Pal, Sile O’Modhrain, Tiffany C. Veinot, Robin N. Brewer, Aakanksha Parameshwar, Vidhya Y, Jacki O’Neill
Ride-hailing services have received attention as part of the growing work around the sharing economy, but the focus of these studies have largely been on drivers. We examine how ride-hailing is transforming the transportation practices of one group of passengers, people with visual impairments in metropolitan India.

Practitioner Projects

image The Data 4 Good Center
Edward Happ
The Data 4 Good Center is a platform that is used to gain important insights by combining all of the “small” data accumulated by NGO reports into “big data.” The insights gained from this largely untapped data will be used to obtain new insights that can be shared with NGOs and the communities they serve. The Data 4 Good Center is an instrumental tool for helping cities improve their local NGO’s and building a strong, healthy, and prosperous community.