Our research in social and organizational informatics explores the impact of information communication technologies (ICTs) on societies and in work design and effectiveness. We study how ICTs impact interactions among community members at a local, national and global level in relation to their social, cultural, economic and community development, and how can they be an enabler for social and economic development. Similarly, we seek to understand and optimize the utilization of information technology to improve individual and organizational effectiveness, productivity, and wellbeing. Specifically, we conduct research to understand issues and seize opportunities in areas such as diversity in STEM education and the technology workforce, computer supported collaborative work, and community planning for emergency management, among many others.
Social and Organizational Informatics
Research Labs and Centers
The 3C Informatics Laboratory studies and develops strategies for how technologies could improve and empower physical communities, their leaders, and their organizations. We are concerned with the ways in which social, cultural, political, economic, and organizational structures impact and are impacted by information technologies. We are highly interdisciplinary team drawing from several academic fields, such as information science, information systems, computer science, software engineering, social sciences, planning, development studies, and sociology, to answer our questions.
The Artificial Intelligence Research Laboratory conducts research in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, information integration, and semantic web. Its projects explore applications in bioinformatics, engineering informatics, cheminformatics, materials informatics, social informatics, and related areas.
The Center for Big Data Analytics and Discovery Informatics aims to accelerate advances in a number of fields by addressing the challenges in data management, data integration, data analytics, and predictive modeling and simulation to realize the full potential of big data. Our researchers seek to understand how scientists, decision makers, and the public at large can use this wealth of information to drive not only scientific discovery but also decisions and policies.
The Center for Human-Computer Interaction is an interdisciplinary organizational unit for human-computer interaction research, instruction, and outreach within Penn State and beyond. The center seeks to leverage and integrate diverse HCI activities throughout the University to facilitate interdisciplinary faculty interaction relating to HCI issues, problems, and opportunities. Our work currently focuses on software and information design, end-user programming and design, collaborative learning, online communities, training and instructional design, community health applications, and many other areas.
The Collaboration and Innovation Laboratory works in concert with the Center for Human-Computer Interaction. Our research addresses a wide range of challenge areas in which people collectively and individually use information technology to learn and solve problems. Our work currently focuses on software and information design, end-user programming and design, collaborative learning, online communities, training and instructional design, community health applications, and many other areas.
The Human Language Technologies Laboratory aims to solve problems to enable computers to do meaningful work with large volumes of text. Natural language is crucial to how humans communicate, synthesize, and store information. Our researchers develop methods for natural language processing and apply them to a variety of domains, including privacy, online social networks, web science, and digital libraries.
The Institute for Information Policy is a joint venture of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and the College of Information Sciences and Technology. The IIP conducts groundbreaking research and innovative programs on the social implications of information technology, with an emphasis on the potential of information technologies for improving democratic discourse, social responsibility, and quality of life. Its annual workshops unite experts to share research on issues of access and security.
The Knowledge Visualization Laboratory seeks to understand the frontier issues in visual analytics, an area with a goal to augment data-driven decision-making by bridging computational capacities of computing systems and analytical skills of human beings. Our research focuses on the visualization-based tools that have become essential to human-data interaction by exploring the relevant cognitive theories, such as visual cognition, problem-solving theories, and learning theories, that impact human-computer interaction and decision-making.
The Wellbeing & Health Innovation Laboratory aims to develop novel human-computer interaction and UbiComp technologies to improve health and wellbeing at scale. Our research leverages mobile phones, sensors, and online data to passively model health behaviors and contexts. We also design data-driven and just-in-time interventions with a focus on sustained engagement. Our interdisciplinary research includes passive sensing of sleep and circadian disruption, relapse detection in bipolar disorder, and using Amazon Alexa for effective PTSD interventions.