Jason Ellis, Ph.D.IBM Research
Social Computing Group
I'm a social computing researcher with an activist bent. My work focuses on the design, implementation, and study of computing technologies that make a difference in people's lives, from undeserved communities to senior citizens to open source developers to teachers to gamers to kids. I particularly like taking on projects that have social relevance. My artifacts have politics.
cv/resume . publications . linkedin . twitter
Social Computing // Social Activism // Videogame Culture
Social Computing for the Next Billions
Five of the the six billion people on Earth do not have access to computing technology. But that's changing. In Africa, for example, mobile phone subscribers have jumped from 10 million to 400 million between 2004 and 2009. What does it mean to make software that specifically targets these markets? Can social software empower the poor in new and meaningful ways? Social computing has the potential to play a transformative role in the developing world, but tapping that power will require a radical rethink of how we design, build, and profit.
project website . manifesto
Serious Games in Virtual Worlds
Workers are becoming increasingly distributed, from the far-flung collaborators of open source to worldwide corporations. As team members move further apart in space and time, they lose opportunities for face-to-face interaction and the rich possibilities for team building those interactions bring. This project looks at ways serious games (games that are truly fun and encourage learning) in virtual worlds (like Second Life) might help bridge the gap.
project website . nsf workshop . games on my blog
Social Visualization in Software Development
Many software development tools focus on supporting the primary technical work – writing code, managing requirements, filing bugs, etc. Yet with large teams, managing the social aspects of a project can be as complex as managing code. Visualizing social aspects of such projects can help make it easier to find problems and respond appropriately. Papers on this work have appeared in CHI and CSCW, and a key mechanism of the approach has been patented.
chi paper . cscw paper
Incentive Mechanisms and Online Community
Online communities, large and small, are pervasive yet we know little about what sustains them. I believe that novel incentive structures drive a great deal of work in such communities. But how are such incentives born? How do they evolve? How are they integrated into the fabric of communities? This research aims to explore these questions.
Palaver Tree Online
An online community that supports kids interviewing elders on the Internet to build up a shared multimedia archive of oral history. This is my PhD thesis work. My advisor was Amy Bruckman. Numerous papers have been published on this work; see the project site for more.
Babble & Loops
I spent the summer of 1998 building next-generation prototypes for the Babble/Loops project in the Social Computing Group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. Two patents have issued on this work.
Before coming to Georgia Tech, I worked at the University of Maryland in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. There, I designed and implemented ProgramFinder, a dynamic query user interface for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice that assists in the placing of troubled youth in appropriate programs. This work was published in the proceedings of CHI 97.
Dr. Jason Ellis is a researcher in the Social Computing Group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. His work focuses on the design, implementation, and analysis of social software that facilitates collaboration among diverse user populations. Examples include undeserved communities, online gaming communities, inter-generational communication, and the grassroots teams in open source. Jason is currently the technical lead for the Social Computing Group's work in developing nations -- building applications for the "next billion users" of information technology. He holds numerous patents and has published in conferences such as ACM CHI, CSCW, DIS and learning sciences conferences CSCL and ICLS. Jason earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Georgia Tech.
Complete work history including projects, publications, presentations, awards and the like.