BITlab: Behavior Information Technology

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

The BITLab is no longer operating. This webpage is for archival purposes only.

BITLab faculty members are seeking PhD students

The BITLab at MSU is seeking new PhD students to join several exciting research projects! Faculty members in the BITLab work on projects in which we design and study aspects of socio-technical systems such as:

Dr. Emilee Rader

I am currently leading two research projects looking at the role of algorithms in socio-technical systems. These projects are working to understand and evaluate the influences and implications of “black box” technologies on our everyday lives. For example, in one project we are working on how to measure systemic effects of the interaction between personalized content filters, like Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm, and the cognitive and social mechanisms behind users’ content production and consumption behavior. In another project, I am working to find ways to help users manage the privacy social dilemma that arises when algorithms in ubiquitous computing systems make new inferences from the data they collect that help the system work better, but that users might not want to disclose. My projects involve students at all levels working together on interdisciplinary teams to understand issues like these that arise as more aspects of our lives are automated. I’m looking for PhD students interested in any of these issues, from a variety of methodological and disciplinary backgrounds.

Dr. Rick Wash

I’m currently working on understanding how people think about technology as they make decisions about how to use it. Specifically, I’m studying how people think about computers as they make security-sensitive decisions like ‘do I click on this shady link?’ or ‘should I run anti-virus?’. I’m also studying how people decide whether to contribute money and/or time to crowdfunding or crowdsourcing systems, and if so, which project to contribute to? I’m looking for PhD students who are interested in how regular people make decisions in technology, how those decisions then impact how well the technology works, and how to design new technologies that enable better decisions.

Interested students should apply to the Information and Media PhD program. Students interested in working with Dr. Rader, Dr. Wash, or Dr. Susan Wyche in the BITLab should apply to the Information and Media PhD program.

For more information, contact the BITLab faculty members directly, or: Nancy Ashley
340 Comm Arts Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
Tel: 517.355.3410