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Colloquium - Palen

Crisis Informatics
Department of Computer Science

My group is developing a new interdisciplinary field -- crisis informatics -- that studies and designs for disaster-related concerns in a networked world. Crisis informatics concerns itself with the extended social arena of disaster to account for the changing information space that spans disaster preparation, warning, response and recovery. Crisis informatics -- through interdisciplinary computational and real-world empirical research -- strives for socially- and behaviorally-informed development of information and communication technology (ICT) for crisis situations.

In this talk, I will discuss how ICT-enabled self-organization by members of the public around the decomposition of problems that present themselves in disaster response has already created the means for highly parallel and distributed human cognitive processing; our recent empirical work shows clear evidence of such activity by the public at large, which, independent of official news releases, produced highly accurate information in the aftermath of the April 16 2007 Virginia Tech shooting crisis. I will also discuss early results from empirical research of other recent disaster and crisis events, and describe design, systems-building, and additional empirical research projects currently underway.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)