When there is a major environmental disruption such as a natural disaster or war, it is not only the technical infrastructure that needs to be repaired but also the human infrastructure. I am currently studying collaboration resilience-the extent to which people continue to work and socialize despite such a disruption. In this project we are examining the role that information technology plays in helping people repair their human infrastructure.
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?
One method of facilitating developers to understand the complex inner nature of software that we have employed is the use of information visualization. Software is often so complex that even the developers who initially created it cannot understand all of the possible runtime behaviors that it can exhibit --- specifically, all of the bugs that it may contain. In order to present large code bases with innumerable characteristics and relationships of its components (e.g., instructions, variables, values, and timings) we have developed a number of novel visualizations of software.
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.
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.
Software designers frequently sketch when they design, particularly during the early phases of exploration of a design problem and its solution. In so doing, they shun formal design tools, opting for the whiteboard of pen/paper instead. Calico is a sketch-based distributed software design tool that supports software designers with a variety of features that improve over the use of just pen-and-paper or a regular whiteboard, and are tailored specifically for early software design on tablets and electronic whiteboards.
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.
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.