Please join the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) in Autumn Quarter for a 10-week seminar on current topics in the field by HCDE faculty. Each 40-minute talk will be followed by a Q&A session. Members of the UW community and the public are welcome. More information about the series is available online at hcde.uw.edu/521.
Title: Crowds, Crisis and Convergence: Unpacking “Crowdsourcing” in the Context of Disaster
Date: October 31, 2012
Speaker: Kate Starbird, HCDE Assistant Professor
When: Wednesdays, 5:00-5:50 PM
Where: Mary Gates Hall, Room 241, UW Seattle campus
The potential of connected crowds to solve complex problems (that neither individuals nor computers can solve alone) has been the focus of considerable research in recent years across disciplines and certainly within the HCDE field. Though there are several perspectives for approaching crowd work, “crowdsourcing” has become a popular, umbrella term for the phenomenon. In this talk, I’ll work unpack the crowdsourcing term within the context of disaster. In our hyper-connected world, large-scale disaster events are acting as catalysts for mass “convergence” online, which functions both to generate massive volumes of information and to organize that information. Pulling from multiple studies of crowd work during crisis events, I’ll describe how the crowd attempts to solve complex problems and address gaps in response efforts through digital volunteerism and other productive crowd work. I’ll then use these empirical findings to demonstrate the diversity of crowd work and to expose what a focus on “crowdsourcing” obscures.
Instructor: Professor Jan Spyridakis
1 Credit (Credit/Non-credit)
Registration for UW students is available by entry code; contact the HCDE advisor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Speaker
Kate Starbird is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE) and Director of the Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation (emCOMP) Laboratory. The emCOMP Lab examines the dynamics of and applications for massive interaction facilitated by social media and other online platforms. The lab also considers how connected, collective intelligence manifests and can be supported within contexts of emergency and humanitarian response, political disruption, and other events of large-scale interest (e.g. major news, sporting, and entertainment events).
Dr. Starbird received her PhD in Technology, Media and Society from the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado in 2012, where she examined both large-scale and small group online interaction during crisis events, studying how digital volunteers and other members of the connected crowd work to filter and shape the information space. As part of that research, she co-created and developed the infrastructure to support the “Tweak the Tweet” project, an innovation for using Twitter more effectively as a channel for reporting actionable information during crisis. She was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her PhD studies.