Catherine Brooks's picture
Catherine Brooks
Director, Center for Digital Society and Data Studies

Catherine Brooks (PhD, University of California) is the Director of the Center for Digital Society and Data Studies (CDSDS), is an Associate Professor and the Associate Director of Arizona's iSchool.

Catherine’s primary research interest focuses on day-to-day language use in social contexts. She is most interested in the instructional or social uses of communication technologies, the varied opportunities for the co-construction of knowledge, relationships, and identities, as well as new possibilities for science communication. Her research works across disciplinary boundaries and draws on a variety of academic traditions and methodologies. She teaches courses that focus on social media, information policy issues, and human encounters with new technologies. She is currently working with international partners (18 total universities and organizations around the globe) on a large ESRC project, "Ways of being in a digital age: A systematic review" led by Liverpool's Institute of Cultural Capital. Alongside her scholarly work, she has published in outlets such as Scientific American and Wired.

If you have questions about CDSDS, please contact the Director:

Postdoctoral Research Associates

  • Volodymyr Lysenko, Ph.D. University of Washington, has published research in peer-reviewed journals on the use of ICT for socio-political transformations, particularly in the former USSR countries. He conducted research as a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford (UK) and Columbia University (USA). Previously he served as an Expert for the Directorate General on Education and Culture of the European Commission and was a Member of the Council of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE). Currently his research focus is on information access, media freedom, disinformation campaigns, information war, and related disruptions to democratic processes around the globe.
  • Mark Verstraete, J.D. Harvard, focuses on how technology and law distribute power across networks (government, civil society, etc.) and the implications of those distributions. Postdoc Verstraete is writing a white paper that maps the fake news landscape and identifies possible roadblocks to effective solutions. He is also working on two law review articles: one about automatic execution of private agreements and another about algorithmic decision making by administrative agencies. 
  • Betsy Williams, PhD, Stanford University, focuses on using causal inference methodologies and randomized experiments to build social scientific knowledge. Her work focuses on issues of privacy, bias, and human surveillance. She is currently writing a paper about algorithms and discrimination for a workshop at the upcoming International Communication Association meeting.

Student Research Fellows

  • David Sidi, doctoral student in the School of Information, studies privacy and manages a wiki on privacy issues:

  • Angelia Giannone, doctoral student in the School of Information, focuses on video games, game play, and emerging digital cultures in her work. Angelia is also the director of the Usability and Play Testing Lab on the University of Arizona campus. 

Faculty Advisory Board/Affiliated Faculty

  • Derek Bambauer is a Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, where he studies Internet law and intellectual property. His research treats Internet censorship, cybersecurity, and intellectual property. Bambauer spent two years as a Research Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. His recent post about the Apple/FBI tension is here:
  • Jane Bambauer is a professor of law in the James E. Rogers College of Law. Her research assesses the social costs and benefits of data, and questions the wisdom of many popular privacy laws.
  • David Cuillier is the Director of the School of Journalism at the University. He researches access to government information, including its intersection with new technologies and privacy, and teaches data analysis and visualization.
  • Vincent J. Del Casino is a Professor of Geography and Development currently writing and presenting on robotics and algorithmic futures. He has also produced scholarly work on students' digital experiences in the academy. He currently serves as UA's Vice Provost for Digital Learning and Student Engagement, as well as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
  • Jennifer Earl is a Professor of Sociology. Her research focuses on social movements and the sociology of law, with research emphases on the Internet and social movements, social movement repression, and legal change. She is Director Emerita of the Center for Information Technology and Society and Director Emerita of the Technology and Society PhD Emphasis, both at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • Samara Klar, Assistant Professor of Political Science, studies how individuals' personal identities and social surroundings influence their political attitudes and behaviors.
  • Stephanie Carroll Rainie (Ahtna Athabascan) is manager of the Tribal Health Program and senior researcher at the Native Nations Institute (NNI), Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, The University of Arizona.  Rainie's research program, ongoing for over a decade, explores the links between governance, health care, and community wellness. Her research and outreach work with NNI includes the topics of Indigenous data sovereignty and Indigenous data governance.
  • Stephen Rains, Associate Professor of Communication, also holds appointments in the Department of Psychology and the Arizona Cancer Center. His research is situated in the general areas of communication, technology, and social influence, with much of his research examining the implications of new communication technologies for health communication.
  • Jeannine E. Relly, Associate Professor of Journalism, studies global influences on news media systems, government information policy, press-state relations, and democratic institutions, including freedom of expression and access to public information in countries that often are in conflict or in political or economic transition. 
  • Yotam Shmargad, Assistant Professor of Information, analyzes large sets of online user and behavior data. His training in business management and marketing led him to focus on issues of online privacy, political networks, and information diffusion.  
  • Suzanne Weisband, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, researches distributed groups, remote or at-a-distance leadership, health information technologies, and telemedicine. She also has an extensive background in infromation ethics, privacy, software development, and media literacy.