Member Meg Drouhard works to put sidewalks on the map

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on October 14, 2016

The Open Sidewalks Team: Nick Bolten, Kaicheng Tan, Jess Hamilton, Meg Drouhard, Tom Disley, Anat Caspi, Vaughn Iverson, and Bryna Hazelton

Lab member Meg Drouhard worked as a fellow for the Data Science for Social Good program at UW’s eScience Institute over the summer.  Meg’s “Open Sidewalks” team–four fellows, two data scientists, and two project leads–worked to improve standards and make more pedestrian data openly available.  In particular, they focused on expanding access to data that could help people with limited mobility better navigate cities.  The project was featured on the White House Fact Sheet (, and two team members presented at the Data Science for Social Good Conference in Chicago.  More information about the project can be found at

HDS Lab members mark milestones

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on June 07, 2016
Katie's Model

The Cycle of Deliberate Change developed in Katie Kuksenok’s dissertation.

HDS Lab member Katerena Kuksenok successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on the interaction between programming and scientific practices in oceanography.  As projects involve more people, longer time spans, and more ambitious collaboration between disciplines, understanding how coding practices influence scientific inquiry is increasingly important. The discussion of “best practices” in open science encourages the sharing of negative results and disappointing data as a top priority. This call for reflection on failure must be extended to include code work. With data as well as with code sharing, repeated “best practices” are not sufficient to inspire change, even for those scientists who openly feel they “should” do it.  The conceptual framework Katie proposes creates optimistic vocabulary for reflecting upon deliberate change.

Also, HDS Lab member and communication graduate student, Anissa Tanweer, completed her general exams this quarter and advanced to PhD candidacy. Her dissertation work will focus on the drive to use big data in the pursuit of social change and policy formation, and the cross-sector collaborations that support that movement.

Dr. Fiore-Gartland speaks at the Convening on Urban Data Science

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on May 04, 2016

At the recent Convening on Urban Data Science, held at the University of Chicago on April 27-29, HDS Lab member Brittany Fiore-Gartland presented a talk titled, “Data Science Studies: Toward a sociotechnical and ethical urban data science.” Dr. Fiore-Gartland made the argument that in the context of urban data science, in which there is an influx of computational scientists working on problems of social good and social science, there is a pressing need to integrate sociotechnical and ethical perspectives into practice. There is still an open question around what are the most successful structures for integrating ethnographic research and translating a sociological perspective on science and technology into something valuable for urban data science collaborations. She articulated one model of integration, discussed several modes of translation, and proposed future directions for the integration of social research into urban data science.

HDS Lab member Nan-Chen Chen presents at CSCW

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on March 04, 2016


At the recent Computer Supported Cooperative Work Conference in San Francisco, Nan-Chen Chen presented the paper, “Considering Time in Designing Large-Scale Systems for Scientific Computing”. In this ethnographic study, Nan-Chen and her co-authors, Sarah Poon, Lavanya Ramakrishnan, and Cecilia Aragon, make the case that temporal rhythms and collective time should be more carefully considered in the design of high performance computing systems. The full paper can be accessed here. DOI: 10.1145/2818048.2819988