See the calendar on the right for upcoming meeting times and topics. (Click on dates in bold to see what's happening.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Video Games' punch can last for a day

The study conducted by Brad Bushman of The Ohio State University and Bryan Gibson of Central Michigan University, shows that at least for men, ruminating about the game can increase the potency of the game’s tendency to lead to aggression long after the game has been turned off.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reflections on life as an OSU grad student

Kristen Landerville, an assistant professor at U of Wyoming and a recent OSU graduate, has posted a brief essay reflecting on her experiences here. It's short and light-hearted, but still manages to present a compelling picture of the graduate school experience. Enjoy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dr. Kelly Garrett is Recipient of 2009 McQuail Award

Our CATS research group member Kelly Garrett is the recipient of the ASCoR Denis McQuail Award 2009 and has been named a 2010-2011 ASCoR Honorary Fellow by the Amsterdam School of Communication Research.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ohio State's School of Communication #1 in Research Production and #3 Overall in Field

The National Research Council’s (NRC) doctoral program assessments are out, and the results place The Ohio State University's School of Communication among the best in the nation. Among the 83 doctoral communication programs reviewed, our faculty was ranked #1 in absolute research activity. A composite ranking, based on 20 different criteria, placed the school at #3 in the field, alongside other top-ranked programs including Stanford University's Department of Communication, the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Journalism & Mass Communication, and the Speech Communication program at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign (now the Department of Communication).

For more information, see:

You can download the data here:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dr. Jesse Fox's research covered in Stanford Magazine

Please find information about the study "Sexualized Avatars" by using the following link.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rand to conduct NetLogo workshop May 26

The Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems Innovation Group is organizing a one-day workshop on agent-based modeling using NetLogo, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday (5/26). Bill Rand, University of Maryland will lead the workshop in the Mathematical Biosciences Institute, Jennings Hall, third floor. The workshop is open to all. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Bring your own laptop. RSVP and address questions to: Read more >

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CFP - DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media

Call for papers/presentations: due May 20, 2010

Plenary speakers include: Anne Balsalmo, Suzanne de Castell, Ron Deibert, Paul Dourish, Henry Jenkins, Jennifer Jenson, Natalie Jeremijenko, Steve Mann, Trebor Scholz.

Conference Organizers: Prof. Megan Boler, Associate Chair, Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto; Prof. Matthew Ratto Assistant Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto; Director, Critical Making Lab, University of Toronto

A renewed emphasis on participatory forms of digitally-mediated production is transforming our social landscape. ‘Making’ has become the dominant metaphor for a variety of digital and digitally-mediated practices. The web is exploding with independently produced digital ‘content’ such as video diaries, conversations, stories, software, music, video games—all of which are further transformed and morphed by “modders,” “hackers,” artists and activists who redeploy and repurpose corporately-produced content. Equally, communities of self-organized crafters, hackers, and enthusiasts are increasingly to be found online exchanging sewing and knitting patterns, technical guides, circuit layouts, detailed electronics tutorials and other forms of instruction and support. Many of these individuals and collaborators understand their work to be socially interventionist. Through practices of design, development, and exchange they challenge traditional divides between production and consumption and to redress the power differentials built into technologically-mediated societies.

“DIY Citizenship” invokes the participatory nature of these diverse “do-it-yourself” modes of engagement, community, networks, and tools—all of which arguably replace traditional with remediated notions of citizenship. The term “critical making” refers to the increasing role ‘making’ plays in critical forms of social reflection and engagement.

For the full conference call, see:

DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media
Centre for the Study of the United States, Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
Nov 12-14, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Library of Congress to host full Twitter archive

According to the Library of Congress's blog, the library will be hosting a complete archive of Twitter posts dating back to the start of the service. Quoting from the post:
That’s right. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That’s a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions.
That's a lot of research data...

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google has simultaneously announced that it will be providing a search-based interface to the data.

Read more here:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at the UM School of Information

Postdoctoral Associate

University of Michigan School of Information

Salary: $50,500 per year, plus a complete and highly competitive benefits package

Term: One year renewable pending funding

Frequent travel: Up to 4-5 weeks per year in total will be required

Position Description

The postdoctoral associate will assist a 3.5-year research project entitled "Scaling Up: Introducing Commodity Governance into Community Earth Science Models." The goal of the project is to understand and promote well-functioning sociotechnical infrastructure for governance of community Earth system models (climate models). The project team includes a mix of social scientists, software developers, and Earth system scientists from the University of Michigan, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Princeton), and the University of Colorado at Boulder. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Working with School of Information professors Paul Edwards and Mark Ackerman as well as independently, the postdoctoral associate will first conduct a sociotechnical analysis of existing governance practices within the target modeling projects. This includes (but is not limited to) interviews with and surveys of project members regarding governance structures; observation of project activities, including on-site visits; review of historical documents and events; and analysis of modeling work in theoretical context. Methods and theories will be drawn, as appropriate, from computer-supported cooperative work; human-computer interaction; organizational studies; science and technology studies; the history of infrastructure; and ethnography. In the second and third years of the project, as the software developers and climate modelers begin to build and implement prototype governance software, the postdoctoral associate will assist with implementation and evaluation.

The postdoc will be an equal member of the research team. S/he will be expected not only to assist with the research but to lead in recruiting participants, conducting interviews, coding interviews and field notes, and communicating with the rest of the project team. The postdoc will be expected to contribute substantially to publications resulting from the project, including acting as first author on some and as a secondary author on others.

The position will start June 1, 2010, or as soon thereafter as feasible by mutual agreement.


A Ph.D. degree in a relevant field, completed before the agreed start date.

The ideal candidate will be trained in some combination of ethnographic methods, science & technology studies, computer-supported collaborative work, and/or human-computer interaction. Some background in an Earth system science (climatology, oceanography, meteorology, etc.) or another physical science would be helpful, but is not required. Likewise, experience with NVivo or other qualitative data analysis software would be helpful, but is not required.

Professors Edwards and Ackerman will facilitate the postdoc's acquisition of any missing skills through coursework, independent reading, workshops, or individual tutorials.

How to apply

Candidates should submit the following materials electronically to Prof. Paul N. Edwards.

1) A statement of interest describing your relevant background and skills

2) A current curriculum vitae

3) Two publications or other writing samples

Email Prof. Edwards ( a single PDF file containing these documents.

In addition, please request that two reference letters be emailed to Professor Edwards. One of these letters should be from your doctoral advisor. These can also be submitted with the application materials.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

E-Democracy Panel on Thursday

Some research group members may be interested an e-democracy panel held this Thursday on the Thompson Library (11th floor).
Scholars from different disciplines will discuss what it means to be a citizen in a digitized and globally connected community. What is a citizen? How do citizens participate? What are the boundaries of the community? How does technology help citizens be more engaged? What are the challenges to healthy, functioning democracy and community in a digital and globalized era?
The discussion will include audience participation. Panelists: Peter Shane, OSU Moritz College of Law; Jennifer Evans Cowley, OSU Department of City and Regional Planning; Philip Armstrong, OSU Department of Comparative Studies; and Patrick Losinski, Executive Director, Columbus Metropolitan Library.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Profile: Jesse Fox's work

The Stanford News Service has posted an interesting profile of Asst. Professor Jesse Fox's research, titled "Can avatars change the way we think and act?" on its web site. If you're interested in the topic, or just want to know more about our new faculty member, please check it out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Digital Media in a Social World -- Feb 19-20

The DMSW conference, sponsored by the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing (CSTW), takes place on Friday and Saturday. There are a half dozen sessions each day, with a number of program choices in each session. The program is online here:

Monday, February 15, 2010

TODAY: Talk addressing agent-based modeling

If you are interested in agent-based modeling, or just want to know what it is, you might want to attend a talk this afternoon sponsored by the Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems group. Here's the full announcement:

Julie Field, Mark Moritz, and Rick Yerkes (Department of Anthropology) will discuss how anthropologists and archaeologists have integrated complexity, complex systems, complex adaptive systems and agent-based modeling in their research. The seminar will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. today (2/15) in 525 Scott Laboratory. Contact: Mark Moritz at Read more:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Clinton's Internet Freedom address

I had the opportunity to attend Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s policy address on Internet freedom yesterday, and wanted to share a few of my notes. In her talk she identified several basic rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of worship, and freedom to connect with others (a digital update of assembly), that should be afforded to all people, and observed that fostering and sustaining free, secure, and reliable networks around the world is a priority for this administration.

With this goal in mind, she announced several initiatives that the State Department is spearheading. First, Clinton said that the US will be funding the development and deployment of tools for circumventing censorship. There were some comments during the post-address panel suggesting that this strategy may already be in play, but it certainly appears to be a more public endorsement than has been previously offered. Second, the State Department plans to begin funding partners in industry and academia to design and build software that can be used to empower citizen. She gave the example of a mobile phone application that would allow citizens to rate ministries in terms of responsiveness and corruption. Third, she announced an innovation competition that seeks to identify technologies that effectively connect people to services that they need. Winners will be awarded grants to facilitate building these technologies on a large scale. Fourth, she urged US companies to take an active role in challenging censorship requests from other states. Google’s recent decision to either remove restrictions on the results produce by its China-based search engine or to pull out of China, announced just a few days prior, is an obvious example. (And Yahoo’s decision to hand over emails and other information about Chinese dissidents back in 2005 is an obvious example of what the US would like to avoid.) Clinton also alluded to the recent cyber-attacks originating in China against Google and other technology firms, and said that the US wants the Chinese government to pursue a full and transparent investigation into the sources of these attacks.

One interesting omission, in my view, was any discussion of how the US will respond should it become evident that attacks on US-owned network infrastructure located abroad were actually state sponsored. Presumably this is because such action could constitute cyber-warfare, and the State Department does not want this particular hypothetical to distract from the broader emphasis on global Internet freedom.

Given the specific funding opportunities identified during the speech, CATS members may want to discuss whether we could play any role in these types of projects. We would certainly need to collaborate with people in other fields, e.g., computer science, but I expect that our expertise could be valuable.

Obviously, this is only a partial summary of the speech. More information is available online.

A transcript is available courtesy of Foreign Policy magazine:

A video of the speech is available on YouTube.

The Chinese government has already responded critically to Clinton’s address.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Winter '10 schedule

1-29 Computational Social Science: Accessing and analyzing real-world data from the Internet (reading will be circulated in advance of meeting)

2-12 Law School Youth and Social Media Symposium (

2-26 Jon D'Angelo, Erin Schumaker, John Valez, Title TBA

3-12 Sarah Brookes, "Playing the Story: Transportation as a Moderator of Involvement in Narratively-Based Video Games"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

February 12, 2010: Youth and Social Media Symposium

I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society is hosting a free February 12, 2010 symposium on the value of social media for the lives of young people and the challenges and opportunities that social media present. Everyone is invited to the conference, which will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saxbe Auditorium of the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Co-sponsors include the Moritz College of Law, the Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies, and Literacy Studies @ OSU.

The symposium will bring together nationally and internationally recognized experts on law, media, technology, public health, and communication to discuss the implications of social media for young people’s safety, privacy, free expression, cultural engagement, sense of identity, and civic role. Keynote speaker Dr. danah boyd is a researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a Fellow at the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She is widely followed for her writings on the role social network sites like MySpace and Facebook play in everyday teen interactions and social relations.

For more information, please visit A flyer for the symposium is attached. Feel free both to forward this notice widely and to print out and post the flyer wherever appropriate.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Facebook Fellowship

Facebook has announced its '10-'11 grad student fellowships. Social computing, including social media, social search, and collaborative environments, is listed among the topics the company is interested in supporting. The application deadline is February 15, and decisions will be announced on March 29. The application is short -- just a couple pages explaining the research and how it relates to Facebook -- and the Fellowships are generous.