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Robert M. Mason

Robert M. Mason: 

Professor, Information School

Dr. Robert M. Mason joined the faculty in Autumn 2005. He served as Associate Dean for Research for the iSchool from 2006-2010. His current research interests focus on the philosophy and ethics of technology management and the cultural aspects of knowledge management. His recent research examines the impact of social media on knowledge work and how organizations provide post-implementation support for enterprise systems. He is a founding member of the Social Media Lab @ UW ( and is working with a team of students on information flows related to the Occupy movement. He was previously on the faculties of the College of Business at Florida State University and the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to devoting full time to academia, he operated two consulting companies and worked in industry. He is a former president of the International Association for the Management of Technology (IAMOT) and serves as a senior editor for Technovation. He has an SB and SM in electrical engineering from MIT and a PhD in industrial and systems engineering from Georgia Tech.

Office: MGH 370F
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Emma S. Spiro

Emma S. Spiro: 

Assistant Professor, Information School and Department of Sociology

Emma S. Spiro is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Information School. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, and an affiliate of the UW Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences. At the iSchool Emma is a co-director of the Social Media Lab. She is also a co-director of the Data Science and Analytics Lab. Prior to joining UW, Emma was a Graduate Fellow of the University of California Irvine Center for Networks and Relational Analysis. Emma studies online communication and information-related behaviors in the context of emergencies and disaster events. Her work also explores the structure and dynamics of interpersonal and organizational networks in both online and offline environments. Her research has been published in PNAS, Social Networks and Information, Communication & Society. Emma earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. She also holds a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a B.A. in Science, Technology, and Society from Pomona College, as well as an M.A. from the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at University of California, Irvine.

Office: MGH 310
Phone: 206.616.7395
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Kate Starbird

Kate Starbird: 

Assistant Professor, HCDE

Kate Starbird is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) and Director of the Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation (emCOMP) Laboratory. Her research sits at the intersection of computer science and social science and falls within the fields of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). One major focus of her work examines the use of social media during crisis events, specifically looking at how the converging audience (aka, the "crowd") can contribute—and is already contributing—to crisis response efforts. Dr. Starbird received her PhD in Technology, Media and Society from the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado in 2012, where she examined both large-scale and small group online interaction during crisis events, studying how digital volunteers and other members of the connected crowd work to filter and shape the information space. As part of that research, she co-created and developed the infrastructure to support the "Tweak the Tweet" project, an innovation for using Twitter more effectively as a channel for reporting actionable information during crisis. She was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her PhD studies.

Office: 413 Sieg Hall
Phone: 206.221.8178

Advisory Board

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Lance Bennett

Lance Bennett

Lance Bennett received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 1974, and has taught since then at the University of Washington, where he is Ruddick C. Lawrence Professor Communication and Professor of Political Science. He is also founder and director of the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement ( The Center is dedicated to understanding how communication processes and technologies can enhance citizen engagement with social life, politics, and global affairs. Bennett has lectured internationally on the importance of media and information systems in civic life. His current research interests include: press-government relations and the quality of public information; communication and the organization of social movements; transnational activism; citizenship and youth civic engagement, digital media and political participation, and modeling the organization of technology enabled crowds.

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Joshua Blumenstock

Joshua Blumenstock: 

Assistant Professor, iSchool

Joshua Blumenstock is an Assistant Professor at the Information School, an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and founder and co-Director of the Data Science and Analytics Lab at the University of Washington. His research develops theory and methods for the analysis of large-scale behavioral data, with a focus on how such data can be used to better understand poverty and economic development. Recent projects combine field experiments with big spatiotemporal network data to model decision-making in poor and conflict-affected regions of the world. Prior to joining UW, Joshua was a postdoc in the Department of Economics at Yale University. He has a Ph.D. in Information Science and a M.A. in Economics from U.C. Berkeley, and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Physics from Wesleyan University. He is a recipient of the Intel Faculty Early Career Honor, a Gates Millenium Grand Challenge award, a Google Faculty Research Award, and a former fellow of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation and the Harvard Institutes of Medicine.

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Hedy Lee

Hedy Lee: 

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Hedwig (Hedy) Lee is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle. She received her BS in Policy Analysis from Cornell University in 2003 and her PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. After receiving her PhD, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health from 2009 to 2011. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Center for Research on Demography and Ecology and Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences.

Office: Savery 234
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Karine Nahon

Karine Nahon: 

Associate Professor, Information School

Karine Nahon is an associate professor in the Information School at University of Washington, and in the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya. She is the director of the Virality of Information (retroV) research group and a member of the Social Media Lab (SoMe Lab), former director of the Center for Information & Society, adjunct faculty at the department of Communication and affiliated faculty at the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement at University of Washington. Her research focuses on politics of information and information policy. More specifically, she studies five intertwined areas: (1) information flows (2) network gatekeeping; (3) digital divide/s and inequalities; and (4) cultured technology and (5) Open Government. Her academic background is rooted in multiple disciplines: Political science, computer science, information science, sociology and Management of InformaGV_Covertion Systems. Karine Nahon is the author of the book Going Viral (with Jeff Hemsley). The book won the ASIS&T Best Information Science Book Award. Her papers are published in top-tier journals like JASIS&T, ARIST, JCMC, The Information Society and Information, Communication & Society. She developed well-recognized theoretical frameworks like Network Gatekeeping Theory. Karine serves as an expert in decision-making forums (nationally and internationally) and is publicly active on topics of open government. She acts as a member of the Israeli CIO (Chief Information Officer) Cabinet, and board member of NGOs that promote transparency and accountability like the Freedom of Information Movement, the Workshop for Open Knowledge and Wikimedia in Israel. In the past she represented Israel in the UN in the committee for science and technology. She co-chairs the digital and social media track and the social networking and communities minitrack at HICSS.

Affiliated Faculty

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Negin Dayha

Negin Dayha: 

Assistant Professor, Information School

Dr. Negin Dahya is an Assistant Professor in the area of Digital Youth at the University of Washington Information School, Seattle, WA. Her research is grounded in anti-oppressive education, postcolonial and feminist theory, with a focus on girls and women of color using and creating digital media.

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Mako Hill

Mako Hill: 

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication

Benjamin Mako Hill an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. His research works to understand why some attempts at peer production — like Wikipedia and Linux — build large volunteer communities while the vast majority never attract even a second contributor. He is particularly interested in how the design of communication and information technologies shape fundamental social outcomes with broad theoretical and practical implications — like the decision to join a community or contribute to a public good. His research is deeply interdisciplinary, consists primarily of “big data” quantitative analyses, and lies at the intersection of communication, human-computer interaction, and sociology.

Office: CMU 227
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Jevin West

Jevin West: 

Assistant Professor, Information School

Jevin West builds models, algorithms and interactive visualizations for understanding the flow of information in large knowledge networks. Two particular areas of interest are scholarly communication and intellectual property. Jevin co-founded ( -- a free website and research platform for mapping science and identifying influential papers, journals and scholars. He is also a member of DataLab, the nexus for research on Data Science and Analytics at the UW iSchool.