Doctoral consortium and PI meeting on social-computational systems

Professor Paul Resnick received a grant from the National Science Foundation to host a doctoral symposium and meeting of Principal Investigators for the Social-Computational Systems (SoCS) programs in July 2012. All PIs and co-PIs funded through 2010-2012 SoCS programs were welcome to attend. Participants shared insights and ideas with each other about research in the emerging new area of social-computational systems, with the specific goal of helping to strengthen the nascent research community. 

A doctoral symposium was held prior to the PIs meeting. Participating students experienced a full day of presentations and discussions of doctoral research, mentored by a diverse set of experienced faculty.

Start date: 11/1/2011
End date: 10/31/2013

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Many of the biggest challenges in successfully deploying computer systems in organizations result from the difficulty of adapting technology to human organizations and vice versa.  The development of the SoCS field creates new knowledge and understanding of how to manage the relationship between social (human) organizations and the computer tools they use, to work together more effectively.  This new understanding has the potential to directly benefit a wide variety of users of information technology.

As the introduction of the National Science Foundation SoCS program illustrates, there is good reason to believe that the widespread work in social-computational systems benefits from cross-fertilization and from bringing together diverse researchers into a meaningful community. The SoCS doctorial symposium and PI meeting was one step in that process.

Doctoral students pursuing SoCS research face numerous challenges, including defining research that spans computing and human elements, but also identifying meaningful evaluation for their research and positioning their research to fulfill the requirements of disciplinary dissertation committees.  Doctoral symposiums such as the one hosted by Professor Resnick help students hone dissertation projects so that they can make better contributions to the solution of these intellectual challenges. These symposiums also help them build a social network of fellow doctoral students and more senior researchers to support their careers. 

The PI meeting featured tutorials that built common ground among researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds. A series of small poster sessions allowed PIs to engage with the emerging results of other SoCS-funded projects and get feedback on their own work. As a result of the PI meeting, participants were able to build stronger positions to do SoCS research, as such gatherings often lead to new collaborations and new grant proposals.


Workshop: SoCS Doctoral Consortium and PI Meeting, National Science Foundation: $150,000


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"