My research focuses on augmenting human cognition using crowds and computation. While the human mind remains an unparalleled engine of innovation and discovery, individuals are fundamentally limited in the speed and amount of information they can process. To augment individual information processing, my lab studies and builds social computing systems that combine the flexibility of many human minds working together with the scalability of computational systems.
Some of the core questions I investigate include:
- How can we harness crowds to do work that is complex, creative, and innovative?
- How can we build on each others' sensemaking so that each person doesn't have to start from scratch every time?
- How can we use visualization and machine learning to make sense of the information generated by crowds?
I’m addressing these questions in domains including crowdsourcing markets, web search, scientific discovery, Wikipedia, product innovation, creativity, analogy, question answering, and even poetry translation. My research group’s effort has been rewarded with eight best paper awards or honorable mentions in top HCI conferences and journals and has been reported in venues ranging from The Economist to NPR.
I also enjoy photography, gaming, and being constantly and often literally bowled over by the neural plasticity and nefarious antics of our two-year old daughter.