BITlab: Behavior Information Technology

BITlab
404 Wilson Rd. Room 249
Communication Arts & Sciences
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

Student Research in the BITLab

Interested in gaining research experience? Want to apply your skills to solving challenging problems involving people and technology?

Students at all levels (undergraduate, masters, and doctoral) working in the BITLab contribute to research projects which focus on improving our understanding of how technology and people affect each other. The majority of our research projects are team-based and involve both technical computer science and social / behavioral components. Students working in our lab gain experience working as part of an interdisciplinary team, and help to guide the research being conducted as they design and test their own approaches and solutions to applied problems that help people deal with real, important issues.

Both paid work and work for independent study credit are available. Work-study students are encouraged to apply. We generally do not work with students on a volunteer basis. Prospective PhD students should contact the individual BITLab faculty directly.

Available positions for the 2018-2019 academic year:

Graduate Assistantships, 2018-2019

Graduate Research Assistant: User Experience and Digital Privacy Researcher  

Dr. Emilee Rader, associate professor in the Media and Information Department at MSU, seeks a highly qualified graduate research assistant for the 2018-2019 academic year. The position is part of a project to design and evaluate interfaces to help people make better decisions about digital privacy. People use technologies on a daily basis that collect data about them, without having visibility into what these systems can infer about them based on this data. The user experience grad assistant on this project will work with an interdisciplinary team to create and evaluate prototypes that help people become more aware of their data and what it can be used to learn about them.

This position is part of the Behavior, Information and Technology Lab (https://bitlab.cas.msu.edu/) at Michigan State University. The BITLab works on a wide range of projects that encompass Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Social Science. The majority of our research projects are team-based and involve both technical computer science and social / behavioral components. As an interdisciplinary lab, we provide students with the opportunity to work on research projects with the potential to improve our understanding of how technology and people affect each other.

Desired qualifications include:

Qualified applicants could be funded by a 50% graduate assistantship which includes tuition, stipend, and fringe benefits, or on an hourly basis. The stipend or hourly rate will be commensurate with the applicant’s experience. The position is available immediately.

To apply, please send a resume or CV, and a one-page statement of interest in the position to Dr. Emilee Rader at emilee@msu.edu. The statement of interest should include your thoughts about digital privacy and why this project is interesting to you, as well as your qualifications and past experience and how they relate to the position.

Graduate Research Assistant: Qualitative Computer Security Researcher  

Dr. Rick Wash, associate professor in the Media and Information Department at MSU, seeks a highly qualified graduate research assistant for the 2018-2019 academic year. The position is part of a project studying how end users make decision about potentially dangerous situations that arise when using technology. Phishing emails try to trick people by pretending to be something they are not, and are the major cause of cybersecurity breaches that make it into the news. The grad assistant on this project will work with an interdisciplinary team to help conduct and analyze interviews that seek to understand how people can identify these dangerous emails and better protect themselves from cyber attacks.

This position is part of the Behavior, Information and Technology Lab (https://bitlab.cas.msu.edu/) at Michigan State University. The BITLab works on a wide range of projects that encompass Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Social Science. The majority of our research projects are team-based and involve both technical computer science and social / behavioral components. As an interdisciplinary lab, we provide students with the opportunity to work on research projects with the potential to improve our understanding of how technology and people affect each other.

Desired qualifications include:

Qualified applicants could be funded by a 50% graduate assistantship which includes tuition, stipend, and fringe benefits, or on an hourly basis. The stipend or hourly rate will be commensurate with the applicant’s experience. The position is available immediately.

To apply, please send a resume or CV, and a one-page statement of interest in the position to Dr. Rick Wash at wash@msu.edu. The statement of interest should include your thoughts about cybersecurity and/or online safety and why this project is interesting to you, as well as your qualifications and past experience and how they relate to the position.

Graduate Research Assistant: Web Application Developer  

Dr. Rick Wash, associate professor in the Media and Information Department at MSU, seeks a highly qualified graduate research assistant for the 2018-2019 academic year. The position is part of a project testing new methods for training people to not fall for electronic scams. Phishing emails try to trick people by pretending to be something they are not, and are the major cause of cybersecurity breaches that make it into the news. The grad assistant on this project will help create a web browser plugin and experiment infrastructure for testing new ways of training people about cybersecurity issues.

This position is part of the Behavior, Information and Technology Lab (https://bitlab.cas.msu.edu/) at Michigan State University. The BITLab works on a wide range of projects that encompass Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Social Science. The majority of our research projects are team-based and involve both technical computer science and social / behavioral components. As an interdisciplinary lab, we provide students with the opportunity to work on research projects with the potential to improve our understanding of how technology and people affect each other.

Desired qualifications include:

Qualified applicants could be funded by a 50% graduate assistantship which includes tuition, stipend, and fringe benefits, or on an hourly basis. The stipend or hourly rate will be commensurate with the applicant’s experience. The position is available immediately.

To apply, please send a resume or CV, and a one-page statement of interest in the position to Dr. Rick Wash at wash@msu.edu. The statement of interest should include your thoughts about why this project is interesting to you, as well as your qualifications and past experience and how they relate to the position.

Hourly pay will be based on experience and skills, and is expected to be approximately $12-18/hr.

General Opportunities  

Students at MSU:

We are always looking for students to work with who are talented, interested in participating in research, and who want to contribute to our ongoing projects. If this describes you, please contact Professor Emilee Rader at emilee@msu.edu. Your email should include your resume or CV, an unofficial copy of your transcript (such as grades printed out from STU INFO), and a brief statement of interest. The statement of interest should include:

You should support your argument with evidence about your skills, knowledge, qualifications, interests, experience, etc. such as a code sample, github repository or portfolio. “It would be a great experience for me” is not an argument about how you would contribute to the work going on in the lab, because it does not provide any information we can use to evaluate whether you would be a good team member, or whether you would be able to make a productive contribution to our projects.

You can read about the work we are doing in the lab throughout our website. If you are unsure about how to make an argument in a job or internship application based on your background and skills, talk to the Communication Arts & Sciences career services office or the career services office in your home department or college at MSU for advice.

Hourly pay is based on experience and skills, and is usually approximately $12-18/hr.

Students at other universities:

If you are an undergraduate student at another university, there are two ways to be involved with our lab. First, most summers we offer REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) positions that will be advertised here. These are open to any undergraduate student who is a citizen or permanent resident in the United States. Second, you can apply to the Information & Media PhD program.