2013 Digital Societies and Social Technologies (DSST) Summer Institute

July 28 – August 1, 2013
University of Maryland — College Park, Maryland USA

MOOCs, Education and learning; personal health and well-being; open innovation, eScience, and citizen science; co-production, open source, and new forms of work; cultural heritage and information access; energy management and climate change; civic hacking, engagement and government; disaster response; cybersecurity and privacy – these are just a few problem domains where effective design and robust understanding of complex sociotechnical systems is critical.  To meet these challenges a trans-disciplinary community of scholars has come together from fields as wide ranging as CSCW, HCI, social computing, organization studies, information visualization, social informatics, sociology, information systems, medical informatics, computer science, ICT for development, education, learning science, journalism, and political science.

Through summer institutes (CSST), extended workshops (Social Webshop), preconference workshops at a wide variety of venues, and other activities (Digital Societies and Technology Research Coordination Network) this community of researchers from academia and industry has developed a strong focus on problems and opportunities arising from the interplay of social and technological systems which span individuals, groups, organizations, and societies.

The 2013 Summer Institute builds on this tradition to strengthen and expand this diverse community by bringing together graduate students, post doctoral students, faculty, and other researchers in four groups at the University of Maryland, College Park on July 28-August 1:

Doctoral students, post doctoral students, and pre-tenure faculty, and early career researchers – Through mentoring, peer networking, and skill-building tutorials, doctoral students, post doctoral students, pre-tenure faculty, and early career researchers will identify substantive ways that the theories, approaches, and tools within the larger community can advance their work with the design and study of sociotechnical systems.

Established researchers – Prior summer institute/workshop participants and established researchers will network with other researchers (senior and junior), explore ideas and new directions, shape emerging research agendas, articulate critical challenges, and share knowledge about practices, tools, and approaches which have the potential to advance the design and study of sociotechnical systems.

Emerging multi-disciplinary research teams – Nascent groups of researchers seeking to develop cross-disciplinary collaborations will work with peers and mentors to refine problem statements and research goals; connect with collaborators with complementary skills and interests; and create actionable research agendas and funding proposals.  Preference will be given to groups interested in designing and studying sociotechnical systems that address societal grand challenges such as (but not limited to) healthcare; energy management and climate change; cybersecurity and privacy; education and learning; disaster response; technology development and innovation; economic development and work; and civic engagement and participation.

Research infrastructure development teams – Groups of researchers interested in creating computational or analytic tools, data resources, training materials or other infrastructure to support the design and study of sociotechnical systems will work with one another, other Summer institute participants, and local developers.  These infrastructure “hackathon” sessions will result in the creation of use cases, prototypes, draft materials, and when possible deployable systems and resources. 

Applying for DSST 2013

Applications are encouraged from all academic, industry, NGO, and public sector organizations worldwide.  To apply for the 2013 Summer Institute, select the group that best fits your needs and situation and send the appropriate materials to the Summer Institute co-coordinator (Brian Butler) at bsbutler@umd.edu by April 5th, 2013:

Doctoral students, post doctoral students, pre-tenure faculty should send their CV and a short (~ 1 page) response to: “How does/will your work advance our ability to design and understand critical sociotechnical systems?”  Several core references should be included to situate your work within the larger research community.  Doctoral students should also provide a letter of recommendation from their advisor/department chair indicating their expected graduation date.

Established researchers should send their CV and a short (~ 1 page) response to:  “What are the most interesting challenges and opportunities related to the design and study of critical sociotechnical systems?  What activity (30 minutes to 4 hours long) could you run that would help the Summer Institute participants better engage these challenges and opportunities?”  Proposed activities can be for any (or all) Summer Institute participants and might include, but are not limited to: focused presentations; brainstorming sessions; in-depth problem descriptions; method, tool, or data tutorials; or research agenda setting exercises.

Emerging multi-disciplinary research teams should apply as a group, sending their CVs and a short (~ 1 page) response to:  “What is the research focus/problem domain?  What types of activities/studies are needed to engage that domain?  How will pursuing this agenda help advance our ability to design and understand critical sociotechnical systems?” References potential funding sources can be included, if known, to situate the proposal within the larger research community.  Groups invited to the Summer Institute will have between 4-6 people.  However, only 3 individuals need to be part of an application for it to be considered (assistance will be provided prior to the Summer Institute to help invited teams recruit additional participants as needed).  Preference will be given to cross-institutional teams in which junior/mid-career researchers play significant leadership roles.

Research infrastructure development teams should apply as a group, sending their CVs and a short (~ 1 page) response to:   “What is the problem you are seeking to address?  What will you do to address that problem?  How will creating these technologies, tools, materials or infrastructure improve our ability to design and understand critical sociotechnical systems?” References to examples from other domains can be included to situate your proposal.  Teams invited for the Summer Institute will have between 4-6 people from multiple disciplines and institutions.  However, only 3 individuals need to be part of an application to be considered (assistance will be provided prior to the Summer Institute to help invited teams recruit additional participants as needed).

Lodging, meals, and other onsite costs will be covered for all Summer Institute participants.  Limited travel support is available, if needed, for participants from US and Canadian institutions (with preference given to doctoral and post-doctoral students). Travel support may also be available for other Summer Institute participants. To be considered for all available financial support you should provide the following information when you apply:

  • What college or university do you attend?
  • What is your primary department affiliation?
  • If you are applying from a Canadian university, are you a member of the GRAND network?

Materials should be sent to Summer Institute co-coordinator (Brian Butler) at bsbutler@umd.edu by April 5th, 2013.

Applications will be reviewed by the Summer Institute Advisory Group beginning April 6th, 2013 using the following criteria:

  • Clear articulation of the hoped-for contribution to the theory, practice, or design of sociotechnical systems
  • Likelihood of Summer Institute participation providing significant practical benefit for the individual/team
  • Contribution to a balanced and diverse group of participants

For more information about the Summer Institute, contact the Summer Institute co-coordinators, Brian Butler (bsbutler@umd.edu) and Susan Winter (sjwinter@umd.edu).  For information about the broader community of researchers interested in design and study of sociotechnical systems, see:  CSST (www.sociotech.net), Social Webshop (http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/webshop2012/), the “Researchers of the Socio-Technical” Facebook group, or the CSST listserv (csst@listserv.syr.edu).

DSST 2013 Advisory Group

Diane Bailey (University of Texas, Austin)
John Bertot (University of Maryland, College Park)
Jeremy Birnholtz (Northwestern University)
Amy Bruckman (Georgia Tech)
John Carroll (Penn State University)
Derrick Cogburn (American University)
Nosh Contractor (Northwestern University)
Dan Cosley (Cornell University)
Jonathon Cummings (Duke University)
Laura Dabbish (Carnegie Mellon University)
Leslie DeChurch (Georgia Tech)
Paul Dourish (University of California, Irvine)
Nicole Ellison (University of Michigan)
Susan Fussell (Cornell University)
Matt Germonprez (University of Nebraska at Omaha)
Sean Goggins (Drexel University)
Jen Golbeck (University of Maryland, College Park)
Rebecca Grinter (Georgia Tech)
Anatoliy Gruzd (Dalhousie University)
Caroline Haythornthwaite (University of British Columbia)
Libby Hemphill (Illinois Institute of Technology)
Pamela Hinds (Stanford University)
Erik Johnston (Arizona State University)
Nicolas Jullien (TELECOM Bretagne)
Sara Kiesler (Carnegie Mellon University)
Aniket Kittur (Carnegie Mellon University)
Mark Klein (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Bob Kraut (Carnegie Mellon University)
Karim Lakhani (Harvard University)
Natalia Levina (New York University)
Wayne Lutters (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Kalle Lyytinen (Case Western Reserve)
Gloria Mark (University of California, Irvine)
Anne Massey (Indiana University)
Bonnie Nardi (University of California, Irvine)
Mark Newman (University of Michigan)
Gary Olson (University of California, Irvine)
Felipe Ortega (University Rey Juan Carlos)
Jenny Preece (University of Maryland, College Park)
David Ribes (Georgetown University)
Tony Salvador (Intel)
Steve Sawyer (Syracuse University)
Ben Shneiderman (University of Maryland, College Park)
Marc Smith (Social Media Research Foundation)
Charles Steinfeld (Michigan State University)
Susan Straus (Rand Corporation)
Andrea Tapia (Penn State University)
Michael Twidale (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign)
Youngjin Yoo (Temple University)

DSST 2013 Sponsors and Partners

DSST 2013 Sponsors and Partners

The 2013 DSST Summer Institute is offered in conjunction with the following partners:

  • The Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST),
  • The Summer Social Webshop

Financial support for DSST 2013 is being provided by the following Enabling Sponsors:

Facilities, administrative, and logistical support for DSST 2013 is provide by the following Host Sponsors:

  • The University of Maryland, College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool)
    • The Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI)
    • Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL),
    • Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC)

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