I am a computational social scientist and an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder‘s Department of Information Science. I use computational methods to identify, analyze, and theorize the structural and temporal patterns of large-scale social interaction. This work is motivated by my belief that social life rarely unfolds at a steady-state; bursts, sequences, and other dynamics play crucial roles in structuring the social world around us. My research uses large datasets from socio-technical information systems such as Wikipedia revision histories, online game user behavior logs, social media data streams, and the emerging data ecologies surrounding legal cannabis to understand the intersection of temporal dynamics and large-scale social behavior.
I was born in southern Oregon and grew up outside Las Vegas, Nevada. I attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Science, Technology, and Society in 2006. I defended my Ph.D. (jointly advised by Noshir Contractor and Darren Gergle) in the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University’s School of Communication in 2012. My dissertation examined the dynamic networks and novel roles that support Wikipedia’s rapid coverage of breaking news events. I also worked extensively with Dmitri Williams at USC and Jaideep Srivastava at Minnesota on virtual worlds-related projects and I was an affiliated researcher with NinjaMetrics commercializing this research. I was previously (1) a post-doctoral research fellow in computational social science with David Lazer at Northeastern University and then (2) a research associate at the Harvard Business School’s HBX online education platform.
I currently live in Boulder, Colorado with my wife who is also an assistant professor in the Department of Information Science. I have previously lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Evanston, Illinois.
My research on esports and community genealogies has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Oracle, and Microsoft. I collaborate with many organizations on research and consulting, including the Wikimedia Foundation, Leafly, and Colvin Run Networks.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (replace the “4”s with “a”s)