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Social Sciences

Exploring how people use computing in their daily lives

We look at the intersection of the social sciences and technologies in both directions: to understand the underlying social dynamics driving technology usage and online communities, and to exploit technology to inform and extend social-science research.

We engage in research spanning the social sciences: anthropology, communication, media studies, ethnography, psychology, sociology, economics, and other fields of study.


r.harper, David Randall, and Wes Sharrock, Choice: the sciences of reason in the 21st century: a critical assessment, Polity Press, 3 December 2015.

r.harper, Siân Lindley, Richard Banks, Phil Gosset, and gavin smyth, Breaching the PC Data Store: What do graphs tell us about files?, Springer, December 2015.

Liwen Xu, Xiaohong Hao, Nicholas D. Lane, Xin Liu, and Thomas Moscibroda, More with Less: Lowering User Burden in Mobile Crowdsourcing through Compressive Sensing, ACM – Association for Computing Machinery, September 2015.

Richard Harper, Why Skype? Explorations in the Grammar of ‘Being in touch’, Oxford University Press, August 2015.

Hanif Baharin, Stephen Viller, and Sean Rintel, SonicAIR: Supporting independent living with reciprocal ambient audio awareness, in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interactions, ACM – Association for Computing Machinery, July 2015.

Jelte Mense, Paul I. Palmer, and Matthew J. Smith, A general riot model applied to the London Riots, Springer, 9 June 2015.

Helen J. Wang, Alexander Moshchuk, Michael Gamon, Mona Haraty, Shamsi Iqbal, Eli T. Brown, Ashish Kapoor, Chris Meek, Eric Chen, Yuan Tian, Jaime Teevan, Mary Czerwinski, and Susan Dumais, The Activity Platform, no. MSR-TR-2015-38, 8 May 2015.

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