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Colloquium - Palen

When Computer-Mediated Communication Goes Critical: Social Media, Emergency Response and the Crisis Informatics Perspective
Department of Computer Science

Growth in the capabilities of and access to Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) services brings new questions to bear on how "widescale interaction" is studied, understood, and shaped. In an area of research we call Crisis informatics, I examine social media in mass emergency contexts by extending methodological approaches and theoretical frames to explain socio-behavioral phenomena, and to subsequently shape emergency management practice and policy.

In this talk, I will offer a view of the "information space" for emergency management as a social system that extends beyond the activities of the "formal response" -- a view that lends power to understanding the present and future role of CMC in emergency response. I will present our empirical research on mass emergency events as well as consideration about the changing face of emergency management.

Leysia Palen is a member of the Computer Science faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder and a faculty fellow with the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS). Her training and interests are socio-technical, with a focus on ethnographic studies of social computing. She has published several articles and an edited book on research about the social aspects of ICT in a variety of everyday and safety-critical contexts. In 2006, Professor Palen was awarded a US National Science Federation Early CAREER Grant to study information dissemination in disaster events ("Data in Disaster"). She is also the Principal Investigator of a $2.8M National Science Foundation grant called "Project EPIC: Empowering the Public with Information in Crisis." Prior to her appointment at Colorado, she completed her PhD at the University of California, Irvine in Information and Computer Science, and her undergraduate education in Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego. In 2005-2006, Professor Palen was a visiting professor at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Hosted by Clayton Lewis.

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