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Projects Active in 2013

Bitcoin is a digital currency and payment platform that has been the source of much media attention. The currency is not backed by a government like most conventional currencies but is part of a democratic and dencentralized movement. Bitcoin transactions are pseudo-anonymous in a similar way to cash money. Why do people use this currency? How do their political values align with their usage of bitcoin? Furthermore, how does the community regulate itself in the absence of a formal hierarchical structure? Lastly, how do anonymous users form communities?

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October 2013

Scientists are always working to determine which articles are interesting to them, timely, and relevant to their research. If working in an unfamiliar research area, searching for papers becomes even more difficult. By allowing users to vote on the prominence of links, social news sites like Slashdot, Digg, and reddit.com have addressed the issue of surfacing new and interesting content from across the internet. Moreover, they provide opportunities to provide context and comment on the content.

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October 2013

The broad goal of this project is to understand how to combine sustainability knowledge with information and communication technology (ICT) in creating sustainable communities. The Transition Movement is a global social experiment aiming to promote sustainable living and build ecological resilience in the near future at local levels. The Transition movement began in 2005 in Totnes, UK, a market town in South Devon. Today there are about 1000 registered Transition towns in 34 countries.

Project Dates: 
April 2013

The fantasy genre has captivated our attention in popular media for decades, providing us with inspiring imagery of valiant fighters and enchanting spell casters.  Guild Wars 2, a massively multiplayer online game (MMO), introduces a range of races and characters not found in the traditional fantasy genre.  When first experiencing a new fantasy world, does knowledge and information gained from previously consumed media influence players’ interpretations of new fantasy environments?

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January 2013

When a live site is down or time is of the essence, software teams mobilize to fix bugs as fast as possible. How might such important bugs be fixed more quickly? One answer is through crowdsourcing, where ad-hoc participants are each given small, self-contained microtasks that are then aggregated into an overall solution. To explore this idea, we are currently designing new techniques and tools for crowd debugging.

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January 2013

Cross-situational personality consistency has been of interest in social psychology since the 1960s. With the advent of the Internet, a new range of “situations” has been presented for investigating human behavior in online environments.

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October 2012

The development of a software system is now ever more frequently a part of a larger development effort, including multiple software systems that co-exist in the same environment: a software ecosystem. Though most studies of the evolution of software have focused on a single software system, there is much that we can learn from the analysis of a set of interrelated systems. Topic modeling techniques show promise for mining the data stored in software repositories to understand the evolution of a system.

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September 2012

Code search has become an integral part of the day-to-day programming activity with developers seeking to take advantage of the vast amount of code and advice available on sites such as Stack Overflow, GitHub, and Ohloh.  Finding the 'right' code, however, remains a serious challenge.  CodeExchange is a new code search platform that offers social-technical code search: search enriched with social-technical metadata through which targeted queries can be formulated, results quickly filtered, and code that is found easily integrated into the project at hand.

Project Dates: 
July 2012

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