Monthly Archives: September 2011

Assistant/Associate Professor: Social Media/Social Computing Research

Social Media/Social Computing Research

Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media

Michigan State University

The Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media (TISM) at Michigan State University invites applications for a tenure stream faculty position in the area of social media/social computing at either the assistant or associate professor level. We seek a scholar whose research addresses social media and/or social computing practices, applications, or effects. An interest in mobile applications of social media is desirable. Teaching duties will include graduate and undergraduate courses in information and communication technologies and social media. The ability to teach courses in research methods, interactive media design, and/or human computer interaction is also desired.

Successful assistant professor candidates will have peer-reviewed works to their credit and demonstrate promise of obtaining external funding to support their research. Associate professor candidates will have a track record of successful grant seeking and have averaged two peer-reviewed publications per year over several years. We encourage individuals from a diverse range of disciplinary and methodological traditions to apply. A PhD in a relevant discipline should be completed prior to the start of the appointment, expected to be August of 2012.

The TISM department is home to a dynamic, interdisciplinary faculty internationally renowned for their cutting-edge research on the uses and implications of information and communication technologies. Our curricula address both the theoretical and practical aspects of media use, and our alumni have achieved positions of prominence in industry, government, and academia. Projects involving cross-disciplinary teams are actively pursued and encouraged. Current research foci of the department include social media, human computer interaction, digital games, ICT for development, e-commerce, communication economics and policy, the adoption and impacts of new media, and content design.

Please direct any questions to Professor Nicole Ellison, Search Committee Chair, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies & Media at Michigan State University, at nellison@msu.edu. To apply, please refer to Posting 5233 and complete an electronic submission at the Michigan State University Employment Opportunities website https://jobs.msu.edu. Applicants should submit electronically the following materials: (1) a cover letter summarizing your qualifications for the position, (2) a current vita, and (3) the names and contact information for three individuals willing to serve as recommenders, who may be contacted by the search committee. The search committee will begin considering applications November 1, 2011. The search closes when a suitable candidate is hired. Duties begin on August 16, 2012. An earlier appointment is possible.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.

Faculty Search in Social Informatics

The School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) at Indiana University Bloomington is accepting faculty applications for a position at any level in Social Informatics (SI), defined as the field of study that seeks to understand how the computational sciences and digital technologies shape society and human experience, and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology.

We are especially interested in senior applicants who are internationally recognized leaders in SI and can help us develop the program further by building on our existing strengths in social studies of computing, in which they should have a strong research and teaching profile.

The successful senior candidate should also have interest in at least one additional area of social informatics in which we are active (organizational informatics, social media and Internet research, policy, or social computing). We are also interested in junior applicants who can move the social studies of computing in new directions to take it beyond analytical critique and toward the design and development of new technologies.

The position will begin in Fall 2012. Additional information on the SoIC and Bloomington, and application requirements and submission instructions, are available at http://hiring.soic.indiana.edu/.

To receive full consideration applications must be received by November 15, 2011. Inquiries can be directed to John Paolillo (Assoc. Prof. Informatics), SI Search Committee chair (paolillo@indiana.edu)

Social Informatics, 9/11 and ICJS: an opportunity for research

From: Social Informatics: Principles, Theory, and Practices

(Sawyer and Tyworth)

We see integrated criminal justice systems (ICJS) as one area that presents a significant opportunity for social informaticists to both develop theory and contribute to practice. E-Government, or digital governance, is both an emerging area of scholarship and a fast evolving phenomenon in society. This is particularly true for issues of law enforcement and national defense where there is increasing pressure to computerize or modernize existing information and communication technology (ICT) given the recent attention to international terrorism (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, 2004). And, for at least the United States, it may be that there is no other area where the consequences of adhering to the deterministic view of ICT are as potentially catastrophic. In spite of these risks, the deterministic model continues to be advocated.

For example, in his article on improving intelligence analyzing systems Strickland (Strickland, 2004) focused exclusively on technological change as the solution to the problems of information sharing among agencies. Strickland identifies data disintegration, problems in analytical methodology, and technological obsolescence as the primary areas of concern. Yet, as Richard Shelby noted in his addendum to the Senate Select Committee investigating pre- and post-9/11 intelligence (Shelby, 2002):

The CIA’s chronic failure, before September 11, to share with other agencies the names of known Al-Qa’ida terrorists who it knew to be in the country allowed at least two such terrorists the opportunity to live, move, and prepare for the attacks without hindrance from the very federal officials whose job it is to find them. Sadly, the CIA seems to have concluded that the maintenance of its information monopoly was more important that stopping terrorists from entering or operating within the United States.

Though Senator Shelby’s language is polemic, the message is clear: without significant changes to the organizational cultures, simply implementing new technological systems or updating existing ones will in many instances fail to achieve policy goals. It is exactly this type of problem for which social informatics theory is particularly applicable. An e-Government policy area directly related to the issue of intelligence sharing is the problem of integrating information systems among law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Prior to, but especially after 9/11, there has been a significant movement within government to integrate ICT across law enforcement and criminal justice agency boundaries in order to facilitate cross-agency communication and information sharing. See for example (General Accountability Office, 2003).

Criminal justice information systems have historically been developed in an ad hoc manner, tailored to the needs of the particular agency, and with minimal support resources (either fiscal or expertise) (Dunworth, 2000, 2005; Sawyer, Tapia, Pesheck, & Davenport, 2004). As a result federal and state governments have begun the process of trying to develop and implement integrated criminal justice systems that allow agencies to share information across organizational boundaries. Examples of such systems are Pennsylvania’s Justice Network (JNet), the Washington D.C. metro area’s Capital Wireless Integration Network (CapWIN), and the San Diego region’s Automated Regional Justice Information System (ARJIS) among others.

We find ICES s to be ideal opportunities to conduct social informatics research for three reasons. First, law enforcement is a socially complex domain comprised of and embedded in multiple social institutions (Sawyer, Tapia, Pesheck, & Davenport, 2004). Such institutions include organizational practice and culture, societal norms and values, and regulatory requirements. Second, law enforcement agencies have long been adopters of ICT to the point where ICT are now so ubiquitous that they are viewed as integral to policing (Hoey, 1998). This remains true in spite of a decidedly mixed record of success (Baird & Barksdale, 2003; Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2002). Third, the historical practice of ad hoc and siloed systems development suggests that law enforcement is an area where new systems development approaches are needed.

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