Community Data Science Collective

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The Community Data Science Collective is an interdisciplinary research group made of up of faculty and students at the University of Washington Department of Communication and the Northwestern University Department of Communication Studies.

We are social scientists applying a range of quantitative and qualitative methods to the study of online communities. We seek to understand both how and why some attempts at collaborative production — like Wikipedia and Linux — build large volunteer communities and high quality work products.

Our research is particularly focused on how the design of communication and information technologies shape fundamental social outcomes with broad theoretical and practical implications — like an individual’s decision to join a community, contribute to a public good, or a group’s ability to make decisions democratically.

Our research is deeply interdisciplinary, most frequently consists of “big data” quantitative analyses, and lies at the intersection of communication, sociology, and human-computer interaction.

The group is led by Benjamin Mako Hill and Aaron Shaw.

News and Events (From CDSC Blog)[edit]

Studying the relationship between remixing & learning
With more than 10 million users, the Scratch online community is the largest online community where kids learn to program. Since it was created, a central goal of the community has been to promote “remixing” — the reworking and recombination of existing creative artifacts. As the video above shows, remixing programming projects in the current … Continue reading "Studying the relationship between remixing & learning"
— Benjamin Mako Hill 2016-07-04
Jackie Robinson Day (Re-estimated)
When major league baseball held its opening day on April 15 in 1947, a 28 year-old infielder made his highly-anticipated debut at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He would go on to record an extraordinary season and career worthy of induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1947, … Continue reading "Jackie Robinson Day (Re-estimated)"
— Aaron Shaw 2016-04-15
This quarter, I am teaching a graduate seminar called “The Practice of Scholarship” that is required for second-year students in the Northwestern MTS and TSB programs. Following Mako’s lead, I am using the Community Data Science Collective wiki to host the (editable) syllabus. In other words, I am eating to my heart’s content. We had our … Continue reading "Dogfooding"
— Aaron Shaw 2016-04-06
Back in the blogging game
Hello world! It’s been a while since I’ve done any blogging, but I’ve been wanting to return for some time now, so here we are. My old blog was a hodge podge that hovered at the edges of my research. Current events featured prominently, especially those having to do with governance in online communities, knowledge … Continue reading "Back in the blogging game"
— Aaron Shaw 2016-04-06