Studying people through digital devices and social media

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2016-11-03 (Creation date: 2016-11-03)
Main contributor
Crandall, David
Over 2 billion people now own smartphones, which are actually sophisticated mobile computing devices that can run applications, take photos, access the internet, and collect GPS, motion, and other sensor data. Many people use these devices to access online social media sites, which have also exploded in popularity over the last few years. For example, *each day* over 1 billion people log in to Facebook, and collectively upload about 350 million photos and share nearly 5 billion status updates and other pieces of content. As people use their digital devices and services, they are (without necessarily realizing it) leaving behind "digital footprints" about themselves and their behavior, including the things they "like", the people they communicate with, the places they visit, the photos they take, and so on. This is creating huge datasets about the world and human behavior, that could potentially be used to aid studies in a range of scientific disciplines. In this talk, I'll give a high-level overview of some of our recent work that has used mobile devices and online social media to collaborate with studies in sociology, psychology, and ecology. I'll talk about some of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of analysis, including the many sources of potential bias, and very real concerns about privacy.  

Indiana University Social Science Research Commons
Data Science Meets Social Science (SSRC-SICE)
Social Science Research Commons
Related Item
Presentation slides on IU Box 


David Crandall is an Associate Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington, where he is a member of the programs in Computer Science, Informatics, Cognitive Science, and Data Science, and of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research. He received the Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University in 2008 and the M.S. and B.S. degrees in computer science and engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2001. He was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Cornell from 2008-2010, and a Senior Research Scientist with Eastman Kodak Company from 2001-2003. He received a Google Faculty Research Award in 2014 and a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2013. 

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