Introducing the 2016-2017 class of Data & Society fellows and residents

Data & Society is pleased to announce its third (!) class of fellows and practitioners-in-residence [and postdocs][and Ford-Mozilla Open Web fellow]. This diverse group joins us in September. They will pursue individual projects, support one another’s explorations, build on the activities of our first two classes, and contribute to the work of our research staff and the development of our initiatives. We’re excited to introduce them — and impatient to welcome them to NYC and our growing community. Without further ado (or regard for alphabetizing):

Mark Ackerman (fellow) investigates the lived experience of data, so as to help people gain control of and better use the information that is being generated about them. He is the George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and a Professor in the School of Information, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the Science Technology and Society program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His major research area is Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), primarily in social computing and in health. Mark is a member of the CHI Academy (HCI Fellow) and an ACM Fellow. Mark has degrees from the University of Chicago, Ohio State, and MIT. [website]

Tega Brain (fellow) is an artist, environmental engineer, and researcher whose work intersects art, ecology, and engineering. She makes dysfunctional devices, eccentric infrastructures, and experimental information systems and is an Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase. She will be researching the energy costs and environmental effects of online activity and data, developing a series of projects that address the public perception of these issues. What happens when we are encouraged to never delete anything, in a system not perceived to have boundaries? [website]

Zara Rahman (fellow) is a feminist and information activist who has worked in over twenty countries in the field of information accessibility and data use among civil society. She is Research Lead at the engine room, a non-profit organisation supporting the use of technology and data in advocacy. Her research will look at the role of people who bridge gaps between activists and technologists and facilitate more responsible and effective use of data and technology in activism. [website]

Daniel Grushkin (fellow) is the Director of Cultural Programming and cofounder of Genspace, a nonprofit community laboratory dedicated to promoting citizen science and access to biotechnology. He is founder and director of the Biodesign Challenge, a university competition devoted to creating new visions for the future of biotech. From 2013 to 2014, he was fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where he researched the field of synthetic biology, and an Emerging Leader in Biosecurity at the UPMC Center of Health Security. As a journalist, he has reported on the intersection of biotechnology, culture, and business for publications including Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, Scientific American and Popular Science. [website]

Ingrid Burrington (artist-in-residence) is an artist who writes, makes maps, and tells jokes about places, politics, and the weird feelings people have about both. For the past two years her work has focused primarily on the geography and politics of network infrastructure and internet history. She’s previously written for The Atlantic, the Nation, and San Francisco Art Quarterly, among other publications. Her work has been exhibited internationally and been written about in Wired, Motherboard, Slate, and elsewhere. A revised edition of Networks of New York, her field guide to urban internet infrastructure, will be published by Melville House in August. [website]

Anne L. Washington (fellow) is a computer scientist and a librarian who specializes in public sector technology management and informatics. She is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. As a digital government scholar, her research focuses on the production, meaning, and retrieval of public sector information. She developed her expertise on government data working at the Congressional Research Service within the Library of Congress. She also served as an invited expert to the W3C E-Government Interest Group and the W3C Government Linked Data Working Group. She completed a PhD from The George Washington University School of Business. She holds a degree in computer science from Brown University and a Master’s in Library Information Science from Rutgers University. Before completing her PhD, she had extensive work experience in the private sector including the Claris Software division of Apple Computers and Barclays Global Investors. [website]

Mark Van Hollebeke (privacy practitioner-in-residence) is a privacy professional at Microsoft. A former philosophy professor specializing in ethics, pragmatism, and social and political philosophy, his recent work at Microsoft centers on articulating the norms and ethical guidance required to design data-driven services in a principled manner. At Data & Society, he will work to broaden existing IT industry privacy practices to include moral inquiry about the nature of data use, as well as finding practical ways to interject ethical reflection into the data-analytics design process.

Alice E. Marwick (fellow) is Director of the McGannon Communication Research Center and Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. Her work examines the legal, political, and social implications of popular social media technologies. She is the author of Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity and Branding in the Social Media Age which examines how people seek online status through attention and visibility. She has written for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Wired, and The Guardian, as well as many academic publications. Alice has a PhD from the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. [website]

Ravi Shroff (fellow) is a Research Scientist at New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), where he specializes in computational social science. His work involves using statistical and machine learning techniques to understand the criminal justice system, child welfare, and related urban issues. At Data & Society, Ravi will examine how simple computational models can be designed and implemented in city government. He studied mathematics at UC San Diego (PhD) and applied urban science and informatics at CUSP (MS). [website]

Rebecca Wexler (resident) helps criminal defendants access data that is material to their defense. She is a documentary filmmaker and member of the Yale Law School class of 2016. Rebecca will work with The Legal Aid Society to advocate for more lenient criminal discovery laws; draft legal motions to compel disclosure of data and source code for forensic technologies; and build partnerships with technology companies to facilitate a reasoned approach to defendants’ requests for user information. Rebecca holds an MPhil from Cambridge University, and a BA from Harvard College.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg (artist-in-residence) is a Chicago-based transdisciplinary artist and educator who is interested in art as research and critical practice. She has shown work internationally at events and venues including the World Economic Forum, Shenzhen Urbanism and Architecture Bienniale, the New Museum, and PS1 MOMA. Her work has been widely discussed in the media, from the New York Times and the BBC to TED and Wired. She is an Assistant Professor of Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a 2016 Creative Capital award grantee in the area of Emerging Fields. [website]

The 2016-2017 class will be rounded out by our incoming postdoctoral scholars and Ford-Mozilla Open Web fellow, who will be announced in due time. Stay tuned!