Projects

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Center for Knowledge Infrastructures (CKI). At the CKI, we conduct research on scientific data practices and policy, scholarly communication, and socio-technical systems. The Center is directed by Christine L. Borgman, Distinguished Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at UCLA. Our largest current project, titled If Data Sharing is the Answer, What is the Question?, is funded by the Digital Information Technology Program of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation #2015‐14001. This three-year project is studying data practices, policy, and infrastructure of four distributed scientific collaborations, exploring methods of data collection and management, innovations in scaling and workflows, and multidisciplinary approaches to complex problems. In my research, I investigate how scientists reuse data and software for collaborative purposes in multidisciplinary contexts. I am especially interested in unveiling the role that technological innovations, such as online tools for data search, discovery and analysis, play in enabling this process.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-2-43-35-pmPartLab @The UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics. PIs: Christopher Kelty, Aaron Panofsky. Postdoctoral Fellow: Joan Donovan. Participation, as a concept and as a practice, has been studied empirically in a surprising number of domains. PartLab is born from the latest wave of participatory enthusiasm–from Free Software and crowdsourcing to Occupy and the Arab spring–but it takes a grander view, and aims at a more ambitious understanding of the concept and its manifestations. The most recent project investigates how white supremacists participate in an online forum to define “racial” identities in lights of DNA testing technologies. We conducted an empirical analysis of hundreds of threads and posts in order to capture the ways in which white supremacists understand and use genetic testing to support or discredit “white” identities. The project has been presented in several venues and will be distributed in the form of an academic publication.

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-12-42-32-pm POI-H Database Project. From fall 2014 to fall 2016, I had the opportunity to join a team of talented young researchers (Brittany Paris, Morgan Currie and Jennifer Pierre) in studying how information and data about police officer involved (POI) homicides are organized, shared and interpreted by institutions and communities in the area of Los Angeles County. We analyzed public online databases and found several discrepancies and gaps in how the information about these homicides was reported. We then co-organized a hackathon event at UCLA with local communities. With the support of local activists and community members, we used community-curated databases and social media content to fill gaps in existing government and local databases pertaining to POI homicides. We presented this work at several conferences and co-wrote a paper on the project’s methods, outcomes and implications, published in Big Data + Society.