TOIL logo
MSU Logo

  About the Researchers  
  Primary Investigators
Dr. Nicole Ellison

nellison(at)msu.edu

http://www.msu.edu/~nellison/pubs.html
My primary research interest is, and has been for many years, the ways in which new information and communication technologies shape social processes, and vice versa. My recent research program has focused on the social capital implications of social network site use and issues of self-presentation, relationship formation and maintenance, and impression formation in online contexts.

Dr. Cliff Lampe

lampecli(at)msu.edu

http://clifflampe.org
I study the design and effects of socio-technical systems, which I define as intersections of social systems (groups, organizations, government) and technological systems (usually computer mediated communication).  Through this work, I look at the effects of social media usage, lifecycles of online communities, the creation of socio-technical systems in new contexts, and how to shape different types of participation. 
  Other Faculty
Dr. Rick Wash

wash(at)msu.edu

http://www.rickwash.com
I study how the design of social media technologies motivate their users to contribute.
 
 

Graduate Research Assistants
Tor Bjornrud
bjornrud(at)msu.edu
I am a second-year Ph.D. student in MSU’s Media and Information Studies program. I am interested in looking at expertise in knowledge networks and how to design socio-technical systems to optimize collaborative work. Currently, I am undertaking exploratory research regarding audience of online communities, as well as how experts in these communities use behavioral trace metrics to influence other members, and support the community as a whole.

Rebecca Gray
grayreb2(at)msu.edu
I am a first-year Ph.D. student in MSU's Media and Information Studies program. My research interests revolve around social impacts of new media, specifically in communication technologies' roles in the initiation and development of friendships and romantic relationships. I am also interested in exploring the correlation between personal attachment styles and social media participation.

Chandan Sarkar
sarkarch(at)msu.edu
I am a second-year Ph.D. student in MSU’s Media and Information Studies program. My major research interests are online social networks and group dynamics, user interface design, human computer interaction, web usability and privacy, economics of online search and behavioral advertising.

Akshaya Sreenivasan
sreeniv2(at)msu.edu
I am a first-year Ph.D. student in MSU's Media and Information Studies program. Currently, I am studying how users interact with one another in online-offline communities as well as social network sites. Additionally, I am also interested in understanding the economics of socio-technical systems.

Jessica Vitak
vitakjes(at)msu.edu
http://vitak.wordpress.com/
I am a third-year Ph.D. student in MSU’s Media and Information Studies program. My research focuses on understanding how online communication technologies can enhance, detract from, and supplement existing offline relationship maintenance strategies, as well as the ways in which individuals repurpose social media to serve purposes beyond their original intent.



Brandon Brooks

brook205(at)msu.edu
My Google Profile
I am a first-year Ph.D. student in MSU's Media and Information Studies program. I bring a sociological mindset to TISM. My research interests center around larger societal impacts of social media use. I want to address how one's background affects social media use, and, more importantly, how that social media can be used to benefit entities that possess less societal power.

Chris Hamrick
hamrickc(at)msu.edu
I am a master's student in the Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media program. My research interests include social network analysis (e-governance models, recommender and tagging systems), interviewing and focus group techniques, and the effects of ICT policies on technology penetration into rural and developing areas.

Jacob Solomon
solomo93(at)msu.edu
I am a first-year Ph.D. student in MSU's Media and Information Studies program. I am interested in what people are (or aren't!) thinking and feeling when they decide to participate in or contribute to social media; satisficing in online environments; and adaptive behaviors in CMC. I hope to find ways to take things we learn about CMC and social media and apply them to the design of ubiquitous interfaces for those endeavors.

Alcides Velasquez
velasq24(at)msu.edu
I am a third-year Ph.D. student in MSU’s Media and Information Studies program. Besides my involvement in the Participation Lifecycles in Online Communities project, I am also studying the relationship between ICTs and social and political development. Particularly, I'm interested in looking at how online political participation takes place, the factors that influence different kinds of political participation, and the social and political implications of it.