Zeynep Tufekci
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I'm an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I've completed my Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. I am fascinated by how technology and society co-evolve. I’m currently looking into the social and cultural impacts of social computing. I’m particularly interested in community dynamics, surveillance and privacy, and the transformation of characteristics of human sociality as it becomes increasingly mediated by technology. My dissertation focused on on the digital divide and gender, race and social class.

I’m also interested in the emerging cluster of new approaches to social data analysis — many people refer to these as complex systems methods. I think these methods hold great promise for tackling many core sociological questions. I think that agent-based modeling, network analysis and statistical methods used in the natural sciences to tackle systems with large number of interacting parts (i.e. statistical mechanics) could offer a lot to the social sciences.

In general, I’m interested in sociality in general and how technology fits into it all. I think that, as people, we like to imagine ourselves as a solitary lion hunting in the tall grass, or a lone cowboy riding into the sunset. In reality, we are deeply social creatures. Ironically, the combination of our sociality and our intelligence means that our best is better than anything else out there in the natural world, and our worst is unimaginably worse.

I have always been curious about questions of harm from intended consequences of technological developments, rather than just unintended consequences. For example, I wonder about how the rapid pace at which voice-recognition, natural langage processing and diagnostic systems are being developed is going to impact the structure of the labor market. I think we have seen just the tip of the iceberg in that realm, in terms of social consequences.


locked flag Lightning Session 3: Connections & Interactions; Politics & News
as author at  Lightning Sessions,
together with: Sofus Attila Macskassy, Robert West, Yana Volkovich, Cristian Lumezanu, Ramnath Balasubramanyan, Roja Bandari, Andrés Monroy-Hernández,
flag Who Acquires Friends Through Social Media and Why? “Rich Get Richer” versus “Seek and Ye Shall Find”
as author at  4th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM), Washington 2010,