Mind, Technology, and Society
October 27, 2014, 3PM, KL232

Leysia Palen, University of Colorado, Boulder, Computer Science Department

Frontiers in Crisis Informatics

Crisis informatics addresses socio- technical concerns in large-scale emergency response. Additionally it expands consideration to include not only official responders (who tend to be the focus in policy and technology-focused matters), but also members of the public. It therefore views emergency response as a much broader socio-technical system where information is disseminated within and between official and public channels and entities. Crisis informatics wrestles with methodological concerns as it strives to develop new theory and support informed development of ICT and policy. I will describe the range of work we have engaged in at Colorado since 2006, and highlight the different branches of crisis informatics research through discussion of the multidisciplinary research we have conducted here.

Leysia Palen is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA. She is a faculty fellow with the ATLAS Institute and the Institute of Cognitive Science, and a Full Adjunct Professor at the University of Agder in Norway. Leysia Palen is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a BS in Cognitive Science, and of the University of California, Irvine with an MS and PhD in Information and Computer Science. Prof. Palen is a leader in the area of crisis informatics, an area she forged with her graduate students and colleagues at Colorado. She brings her training in human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work and social computing to bear on understanding and advancing socio-technical issues of societal import. She conducts empirical research in the interpretivist tradition. However, in the advancing arena of large-scale on-line interaction (the “big data” of crisis response), she adapts quantitative techniques that then allow the application of qualitative methods and the “ethnographic eye” to closely observe and describe social structures in such technology-mediated situations. Prof. Palen is the author of over 70 articles and a co-edited book in the areas of human computer interaction, computer supported cooperative work, mobility, and crisis informatics. She was awarded an NSF CAREER in 2006. She is an Associate Editor for the Human Computer Interaction Journal and for the Computer-Supported Cooperative Work Journal.