The NULab is delighted to announce that five NULab faculty members received tenure this year. These promotions demonstrate the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to digital research and projects. We are honored to have these faculty as part of our robust and expanding community.

Ryan Cordell, CSSH, English. Ryan Cordell is a core founding faculty member in the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. His scholarship seeks to illuminate how technologies of production, reception, and remediation shape the meanings of texts within communities. Cordell collaborates with colleagues in English, History, and Computer Science on the NEH- and ACLS-funded Viral Texts project, which is using robust data mining tools to discover borrowed texts across large-scale archives of nineteenth-century periodicals. Cordell is also a primary investigator in the Digging Into Data project Oceanic Exchanges, a six-nation effort examining patterns of information flow across national and linguistic boundaries in nineteenth century newspapers.

Daniel O’Brien, CSSH, Public Policy and Urban Affairs; School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Daniel O’Brien is a co-director of the Boston Area Research Initiative. His work focuses on the ways that researchers, policymakers, and practitioners can work together to leverage modern digital data (i.e., “Big Data”) to better understand and serve cities. His own work focuses on the behavioral and social dynamics of urban neighborhoods, particularly those that directly impact a place’s future upward (or downward) trajectory.

Dietmar Offenhuber, CAMD, Art + Design. Dietmar Offenhuber heads the Information Design and Visualization graduate program. His research focuses on the relationship between design, technology, and governance. He is the author of the award-winning monograph Waste is Information – Infrastructure Legibility and Governance (MIT Press) and he has published books on the subjects of urban data, accountability technologies and urban informatics. He is one of the founders of the Art of the March project.

David Smith, CCIS, Computer Science. David A. Smith is a founding member of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. His research interests include: efficient inference for machine learning models with complex latent structure; modeling natural language structures, such as morphology, syntax, and semantics; modeling the mutations in texts as they propagate through social networks and in language across space and time; and interactive information retrieval and machine learning for expert users. He is collaborating with interdisciplinary researchers to work on the NEH- and ACLS-funded Viral Texts project.

Brooke Foucault Welles, CAMD, Communication Studies. Brooke Foucault Welles is a faculty affiliate of the Network Science Institute and the NULab. She studies how social networks shape and constrain human behavior, with a particular emphasis on how the recall and activation of network ties influences success in personal and team goals. In the past, Foucault Welles has examined how social networks influence friendship selection in online communities. More recently, her work focuses on how people come to recognize resources within their social networks and leverage them to achieve personal, organizational and social goals. She is one of the founding members of the #HashtagActivism project.