Journal articles that change how you think

Today I was running a seminar at the MIT Center for Civic Media on the journal article as form: its affordances and limitations. We talked about the shifts in how academics reach audiences, as well as the economic, political and institutional forces that surround journal publishing. Out of curiosity, I asked on Twitter about people’s favourite journal articles – what were the ones that changed your thinking? It became such a great list that I wanted to share it with everyone, in case you also find some gems you haven’t read before. As for me, I’d have to say a very influential one is Paolo Virno’s “Virtuosity and Revolution: The Political Theory of Exodus.” It’s in Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics (1996): 189-210;  or you can read it online here.

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The main interface Facilitating Information Seeking For Hyperlocal Communities Using Social Media

You hear sirens blaring in your neighborhood and, naturally, you are curious about the cause of commotion. Your first reaction might be to turn on the local TV news or go online and check the local newspaper. Unfortunately, unless the issue is of significant importance, your initial search of these media will be probably be fruitless. But, if you turn to social media, you are likely to find other neighbors reporting relevant information, giving firsthand accounts, or, at the very least, wondering what is going on as well.

Social media allows people to quickly spread information and, in urban environments, its presence is ubiquitous. However, social media is also noisy, chaotic, and hard to understand for those unfamiliar with, for example, the intricacies of hashtags and social media lingo. It should be no surprise that, regardless of the popularity of social media, people are still using TV and newspapers as their main sources for local information, while social media is just beginning to emerge as a useful information source.  We created to address this issue.

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Microsoft Research, FUSE Labs Internship Opportunities

FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research is looking for interns for 2013. For these positions, we are looking primarily for graduate students from Computer Science, Information Science, Design, and other multidisciplinary fields with a focus on social computing and social media.

FUSE Labs is a research and development lab at Microsoft Research focused on the design, study, and development of socio-technical systems. We are interested in building systems and studying them critically. Our goals are to contribute to the academic community as well as to invent the next generation of social technologies. Some of the topics that are currently of interest for FUSE Labs are communities of interest, civic media, social computing, hyperlocal media, information visualization, big data, and machine learning applied to social data. That said, we are open to a diversity of methodologies.

Next year, we are planning to have a cohort of interns working collaboratively on a civic media project. The goal of the project is to have meaningful societal impact by developing new tools to empower citizens, such as tools to visualize, aggregate, and enable collaboration among citizens locally and around the world.

The internships are 12-week paid internships in Redmond, Washington. The expected outcome of the internship is a prototype and a publishable scholarly paper for an academic journal or conference such as CHI, CSCW, ICWSM, WWW, and USIT. Interns are expected to collaborate with researchers, interns, and other members of the lab, give short presentations, and contribute to the life of the community. The goals of the internship are to help the intern advance their own career, encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, and contribute to FUSE Labs’ research efforts. There are also opportunities to engage with product groups at Microsoft.

Preference will be given to intern candidates who are interested in public-facing research and have a track record of academic publishing and/or systems building. Interns will benefit most from this opportunity if there are natural opportunities for collaboration with other interns and researchers.

Applicants from universities inside and outside of the United States are welcome to apply.

Application Process

  1. Fill out the online application form. Make sure to indicate that you prefer FUSE Labs and “social media” or “social computing.” You will need to list two recommenders through this form. Make sure your recommenders respond to the request for letters.
  2. Send us an email with the subject “Intern Application” that includes the following four things:
    1. A brief description of your dissertation project.
    2. An article you have written (published or unpublished) that shows your writing skills and interest in this area.
    3. A copy of your CV
    4. A pointer to your website, portfolio, or other online presence (if available).
    5. A short description of 1-3 projects that you might imagine doing as an intern at FUSE Labs.

We will begin considering internship applications on January 10 and consider applications until all internship positions are filled.

Previous Intern Testimonials

“My internship at Microsoft Research surpassed all of my expectations in the best way possible. I spent 12 weeks surrounded by motivated and curious students and researchers who were not only interested in helping me develop an interesting research project, but also interested in helping me develop as a researcher. Everyone I engaged with, from my mentor to team members to our group manager, spent time getting to know me and made me feel like a valued member of the MSR family. At FUSE Labs, I was able to contribute to a number of projects beyond my own intern project, all of which gave me valuable experience working with different types of groups within MSR (design, development). I left my internship with a deep respect for the research and researchers at Microsoft Research, as well as a number of new friends.” Behzod Sirjani, PhD student at the School of Communication at Northwestern University

“The summer I spent at Microsoft Research was one of the best grad school experiences I have undertaken: fun, challenging and rewarding. As someone with a computer science background with interests in big data and social media, this internship gave me an opportunity to explore the vast data sources that Microsoft Research maintains. More importantly, the experience with MSR helped me build connections with word-class scholars and fellow interns with different backgrounds. Overall, it was a terrific experience for me as a researcher as well as a thinker.” Yuheng Hu, PhD student of Computer Science at Arizona State University

FUSE Labs is an excellent place to experience the intersection of design, research, and social computing. I had the great opportunity to collaborate with a talented team who not only supported me in the development and refinement of my process and skills, but also willingly debated with me on the correct pronunciation of the word ‘gif.’ A Microsoft Research internship is the perfect balance: extremely beneficial and valuable with just a touch of nerdy!”
Sarah Hallacher, student at the Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU

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