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Eric P. S. Baumer

I study and design interactions with algorithms in social computing systems.

NB: This site is in the process of moving hosts. Apologies for any difficulties this may cause.

This work poses difficult technical and conceptual challenges. We cannot fully understand the societal ramifications of computational and information technologies without examining the technical components of their design. Conversely, we cannot adequately design or implement such technologies without a thorough understanding of their human and social dimensions.

Thus, my research applies a deeply interdisciplinary synthesis across computer science and social science, simultaneously drawing on and contributing to both. I integrate techniques from quantitative, qualitative, technical, and design-oriented research to surface, or even to challenge, technology’s own political commitments and social effects.

This work is motivated by three complementary interests. First, I study everyday beliefs about how we should use, or at times not use, social media. Second, I design and implement computational tools to enable new ways of understanding natural language communication. Third, I explore how computational tools can support people in reflecting on the deeper implications of data.

By studying and designing novel configurations of social and computational systems, my research contributes concepts and tools essential for understanding, and for creating, the future of social technology.

Recent Posts

A Hat Trick at GROUP

I recently had three submissions accepted to the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP). The first was a paper to which I contributed about online policy discussion, specifically in the context of MTurk. Among other things, this paper offers some nice empirical evidence about the importance of considering opinions with finer grained distinctions than agree vs. disagree. Second is a paper analyzing how different types of regretful experiences on Facebook can lead to different types of non-use. The main take away is that it matters less who feels the regret than who takes the action that ends up being regretted. Third is a curated collection of short design fiction pieces written by students in the class I taught this past spring. It demonstrates the efficacy of design fiction for thinking through ethical issues in computing.

  1. Presenting at Algorithms in Culture Leave a reply
  2. Moving to Lehigh Leave a reply
  3. Two Papers at GROUP Leave a reply
  4. Paper in Social Media + Society with Press Coverage Leave a reply
  5. Special Issue on Technology Non-use in First Monday Leave a reply
  6. Paper in Critical Computing Leave a reply
  7. FrameCheck Press Coverage Leave a reply
  8. CHI 2015 Conference Report Leave a reply
  9. interactions Article on Non-use Leave a reply