Research

The Center will provide  research findings to our stakeholders and public by way of a series of 'white papers' and also published journal articles. The Center exists and will share resources within its network of Centers so as to leverage the power of combined sets of output.

Current Scholarly Foci:

Privacy/Data Management/Survaillance: There exists a growing consensus that the twenty-first century will be defined by increasingly far-reaching surveillance and the need for privacy protections. We explore and engage in scholarly research on the many ways that people alter their behaviors when under surveillance, and we aim to explore the many implications and privacy concerns tied to the many emerging modes of data or movement tracking within and across sectors of business, education, health. We take a special interest in how data are used, how to use data for positive ends while protecting the individual rights of average citizens, and also what data get collected as part of day to day life in this increasingly digitized and data-driven world.  

Media Freedom, Expression, and News Manipulation that can Disrupt Democratic Processes: Leaked data alongside purposeful disinformation campaigns are powerful tools gaining influence in political processes in different parts of the Western world.  Many of these attacks are covert, raising the question of how scholars and citizens can detect these incursions in real time. At the Center, we consider the nature of ‘data’ in an information-warfare environment, analyze Russian global information warfare, and consider the growing role of news manipuation in political processes and in the related attitude change among citizens.  

Digitization of Materials and Stories: Archival work is important across sectors (e.g., arts, humanitites, the sciences) and debates around how to save data, what gets recorded, and whose voices are priveledged in archival processes abound. Some of the worlds most important data are not available to the people who can use those data (e.g., the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental impact statements that Google recently digitized so that we can analyze them computationally). Along with archiving artifacts or digitizing paper-based records, the digitizing of stories is a distinct means for recording experience and raising awareness around the globe. At the Center we promote scholarly activity and broad awareness of the power in contemporary archival work, as well as the profound importance of visual media, sound technologies, and digital storytelling. 

The Digital Divide and Differences in Infrastructure around the Globe: CDSDS maintains a focus on Cuba as an international test case for the study of technology in emerging societies, but around the globe there are ongoing changes and challenges for under-connected populations. While focused on matters of informed citizenry, population behavior, and how Cubans adapt to the introduction of global information systems in a relatively condensed time frame, we are committed to addressing challenges for other communities as well, exploring issues of access, inequality, and information-seeking in the Southwest region, on the U.S./Mexico border, and around the globe. 

Digital Arts, Museums, and Culture: CDSDS engages questions of computational art, contemporary museums, and culture. We embrace and engage art as having profound impact aesthetically and experientially, but also interrogate the artisic and humanistic aspects that are central in the development of things like games, maps, robots, wearable technologies, interactive displays, augmented and virtual reality experiences, and multimedia productions.

 

A Selection of Recent Research:

Catherine Brooks, the Director of CDSDS, has a new publication entitled "Disciplinary Convergence and Interdisciplinary Curricula for Students in an Information Society" in the Journal Innovations In Education & Teaching International (IETI).  It is available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14703297.2016.1155470. She's also published an article with a colleague and students about software needs at scientific research sites, "Working beyond the confines of academic discipline to resolve a real-world problem: A community of scientists discussing long-tail data in the cloud."  http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/6103. Focused on student data privacy, she wrote this proceedings article with CDSDS postdoctoral scholar Betsy Williams and iSchool colleague Diana Daly: https://www.learntechlib.org/p/177422. 

Not to be missed is Vincent Del Casino's (CDSDS Faculty Advisory Board member) recent work with a co-author on robots, labor, and sociotechnical change: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649365.2016.1273380.

Kate Albers (CDSDS Faculty Advisory Board member) continues to build collarative research connections around issues of art, the digital archive, and photographs online. Two of her invited talks indicate her reach in this area: “A Collective Anti-Archive: Photography & Ephemerality” University of North Texas, and “The Ephemeral Photograph: From Salt Prints to Snapchat” for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Advisory board members Jane and Derek Bambauer also have a nice selection of recent work, to include:

Bambauer, Jane: The Relationships Between Speech and Conduct, 49 UC Davis L. Rev. 1941 (2016). Available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2788248

Bambauer, Derek: Secrecy is Dead - Long Live Trade Secrets, 93 Denv. L. Rev. 833 (2016). Available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2845941

Yotam Shmargad, also a member of the CDSDS Faculty Advisory Board, has written with a co-author, "Social Visibility and the Gifting of Digital Goods," a publication that can be found in the Proceedings of the 2015 ACM on Conference on Online Social Networks. Also, he gets a mention here: http://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0068 "Samara Klar and Yotam Shmargad, at the University of Arizona, carried out a controlled, randomized experiment that addresses confounds inherent in large-scale studies of pre-existing social network data and extends this line of research to preference formation."

Craig Smith, Founder of one of our Partner Centers has published in Communication Law Review, Volume 12, Issue 2 (2015), work that can be found at http://www.commlawreview.org/Communication_Law_Review/Latest_Issue.html. Additional white papers and other materials relative to the First Amendment can be found on the Center's web pages:  http://www.firstamendmentstudies.org/