The Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation(emCOMP) Laboratory, directed by Assistant Professor Kate Starbird, investigates the dynamics of massive participation and interaction enabled by new and social media. Focusing on specific events and issues that bring people together on a large scale, researchers both examine the flow of interactions and explore possibilities for applying online participation to problem-solving on a massive or even global scale. Situated within Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), as well as the emerging fields of collective intelligence, crowdsourcing, and human computation, the lab’s research integrates qualitative, quantitative, and computational analysis of social media interactions and seeks to identify and pursue design opportunities to support and harness mass participation within relevant contexts.

Current Research

Mass Convergence within Disaster and Humanitarian Response

Identifying ways to support and leverage digital volunteerism during crises.

Tracking the Spread of Misinformation on Twitter after Crisis Events

Understanding how and why misinformation spreads online after disaster events  and informing solutions for automatically detecting misinformation.

Crowdsourcery: When Emergent Collaborations Work

Understanding how and why emergent collaborations work.

Designing a Tool for Collaborative Crisis Curation

Improving collaborations through research-informed design.