The core program of Computer Supported Collaboration Lab (CSC Lab) is to research how scientists collaborate in order to inform the design and development of scientific information infrastructures, sometimes referred to as virtual organizations called “cyberinfrastructures”. These virtual organizations are complex aggregations of individuals, organizations, hardware, software, data, and material. CSC Lab investigates how scientists draw upon these varied resources and knit them together, within severe constraints, to make outstanding contributions to scientific method, theory, and knowledge. To this end, we collect rich qualitative data on everyday practice in order to generate empirically grounded theory. The aim of these theories, or conceptual frameworks, is to create a basis for a principled approach to the design of collaborative systems, organizations, and ultimately, the endeavor of collaboration itself. While the examination of science itself is our “petri dish” our work has ramifications for all areas of human endeavor that require collaboration as a means for achieving an innovative outcome.

The CSC Lab is part of the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.

From left: Ying-Yu Chen, Anne Olsesen (visiting PhD student from Denmark), Ilana Diamant, Drew Paine, Charlotte Lee, Katie Derthick, Erin Sy, Dave Randall, Justin Woodum. Photo credit: Leah Pistorius.