danah boyd

danah boyd

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About Me

My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder of Data & Society Research Institute. I'm also a Visiting Professor at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program and a faculty affiliate at Harvard's Berkman Center. I am an academic and a scholar and my research examines the intersection between technology and society.

For over a decade, my research focused on how young people use social media aspart of their everyday practices. My findings were documented in two books: Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (2009) and It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (2014). More recently, I have turned to focus on the social and cultural dimensions of the "big data" phenomenon, with an eye to issues like privacy and publicity, data(mis)interpretation, and the civil rights implications of data analytics.

Over the years, I have written a wide variety of papers on topics like social media, teen drama, digital backchannels, and social visualization design. I also blog and tweet frequently on a wide variety of topics.

In 2008, I completed my PhD at the School of Information (iSchool) at the University of California-Berkeley. My dissertation research was funded as a part of the MacArthur Foundation's Initiative on New Media and Learning. My research was supervised by a most astonishing committee: Mimi Ito, Annalee Saxenian, Cori Hayden, and Jenna Burrell. My beloved PhD advisor - Peter Lyman - lost his battle with brain cancer in July 2007. I miss him dreadfully.

I did my Master's Degree at the MIT Media Lab's Sociable Media Group with Judith Donath (supervised also by Henry Jenkins and Genevieve Bell). My master's thesis focused on how people manage their presentation of self in relation to social contextual information in online environments. As an undergraduate, I studied computer science at Brown University, advised by Andy van Dam. My undergrad thesis focused on how prioritization of depth cues is dependent on levels of sex hormones in the body and how this affects engagement with virtual reality.

Outside of academia, I have worked at various non-profits and corporations. I'm on the board of Crisis Text Line, where I continue to work to help use technology to support youth who are suffering.For five years, I worked at V-Day, an organization working to end violence against women and girls worldwide. I helped build an online community to support activists around the world and I continue to do volunteer work for them. For a complete bio, click here.

On the web, I'm known for two things: maintaining an Ani DiFranco lyrics site and blogging prolifically. Personally, I love music, dancing, politics, reading, and all things fuzzy. At my core, I'm both an activist and a scholar.

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