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University of Michigan School of Information

A headshot of Ben Zhang

Ben Zhang


Ben is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI), co-advised by Dr. Oliver Haimson and Dr. Michaelanne Thomas. He use ethnographic methods to study the interplay among labor, identity, mobility, and infrastructure in transnational contexts informed by the fields of HCI (Human-computer interaction), ICTD (Information Communication Technologies & Development), and Science and Technology Studies (STS). 

His dissertation explores the sociotechnical, cultural, and economic dimensions of AI/data labor and data marketplace in the context of large-scale infrastructures and ways to improve technology design and policy for digitally-mediated labor communities.



Areas of interest

Human-Computer Interaction and Social Computing 
Science, Technology, and Society (STS) 
Information Communication Technologies & Development (ICTD) 
Labor, Migration, Infrastructure, and Data

Honors & Awards

Weizenbaum fellow, Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society (2024) 

University of Michigan International Institute Student Fellowship (2023) 

Lieberthal-Rogel Travel and Research Fellowship (2023) 

Graduate Student Instructor of the Year Award (2022) 

R. Weitzel Memorial Scholar, John R. Weitzel Memorial Award for Information Systems Research (2020)


MS, in Applied Data Science, Syracuse University

B.A., in English and Literary Studies/Communication, University of Indianapolis

News about Ben Zhang

Recent publications by UMSI faculty and PhD students. ACM FAccT Conference and ICWSM 2024. Recent publications by UMSI faculty and PhD students.
FAcct 2024 and ICWSM: UMSI Research Roundup

UMSI research and workshops for the 2024 FAcct conference, as well as the AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media. 

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Rackham Graduate School. 2024 Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship. UMSI honorees. Ben Zhang, PhD candidate. Rahaf Alharbi, PhD canddiate. Shwetha Rajaram, PhD Candidate.
Three UMSI doctoral candidates earn Rackham Predoctoral Fellowships

The fellowship is highly competitive and provides tuition waivers and funding for one year. 

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