Social and Organizational Informatics

Social and Organizational Informatics (SOI) is a confederation of faculty and graduate students aimed at studying the ways in which social, cultural, political, economic, and organizational structures impact and are impacted by information technologies. We are a highly interdisciplinary team drawing from several academic fields, such as information science, business, philosophy, social sciences, planning, development studies, and sociology, to answer our questions.

Our research begins with the needs of people and communities. We seek to understand and potentially solve socio-technical problems. People lead our research, not technological opportunities. Our research is critical. Technologies advantage and disadvantage populations. Our research seeks to affect change. Our research begins with the assumption that technologies are not neutral tools. They are political, have unintended consequences, and carry embedded values. SOI develops both scientific understanding and practical tools to help communities and institutions.

Research-Active Faculty
Photo of Fred Fonseca

Associate Professor


Photo of Daniel Susser

Assistant Professor


Photo of Andrea Tapia



Photo of Lynette (Kvasny) Yarger

Associate Professor


Recent News

IST faculty tips for post-pandemic instruction appear in EDUCAUSE Review

April 6, 2021

When remote teaching and learning abruptly replaced traditional classroom instruction at the start of the pandemic, innovations and adaptations were introduced that could be considered to continue in post-pandemic education, according to experts from the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology.


Canevez named 2020 Computing Innovation Fellow

December 8, 2020

Richard Canevez, a doctoral student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State, has been named to the 2020 Class of Computing Innovation Fellows by the Computing Research Association (CRA) and its Computing Community Consortium (CCC).


Adapted teaching should continue in new post-pandemic normal, researchers say

October 12, 2020

According to researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, a new, post-pandemic normal is likely to emerge in higher education.


Data Science Community discussion to focus on machine learning in education

October 7, 2020

Penn State community members interested in data science are invited to the next Data Science Community meeting — scheduled for 1:30 to 2:30 on Monday, Oct. 12 — which will be a group discussion on the use of machine learning to improve learning analytics.


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Office of Research

E339 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-6801