Academic Work

I study collective action in online communities and seek to understand why some attempts at collaborative production — like Wikipedia and Linux — build large volunteer communities while the vast majority never attract even a second contributor. I am particularly interested in how the design of communication and information technologies shape fundamental social outcomes with broad theoretical and practical implications — like the decision to join a community or contribute to a public good. My research is deeply interdisciplinary, consists primarily of "big data" quantitative analyses, and lies at the intersection of communication, human-computer interaction, and sociology.

I am an Acting Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Communication in Seattle. It's an one year arrangement that means I'm effectively my own post-doc. In September 2014, I will become a normal Assistant Professor in the same department. I am also currently a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and an affiliate of the Institute of Quantitative Social Science at Harvard.

I received my PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an interdepartmental program involving the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Media Lab. My dissertation research was advised by Eric von Hippel, Yochai Benkler, Tom Malone and Mitch Resnick.

Working Papers

These papers are in various stages of preparation, review, and revision. Please do not cite or quote these papers without my permission. Contact me for copies of any papers that are listed here but are not linked directly from this page.

Refereed Articles

Other Scholarly Publications

Seminar Presentations

This section only includes information on my academic presentations. I give many presentations to non-academic audiences. These are listed on my talks page.

Panels and Talks

Lectures and Classes

I have helped teach the following classes as a teaching assistant where I, over the several years I have tought the class, have also delivered a number of the course lectures:

I have also given the following guest lectures:

Other Academic Material

  • Interdepartmental Degree Proposal (PDF): At MIT, I'm enrolled in an interdepartmental PhD program that involves faculty from both the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Media Lab. The proposal lists the faculty and requirements of my program and lays out the justification, very broadly, of what my degree is about. I wrote this proposal with members of the MIT faculty and had it approved by both departments and the Dean of Graduate Students. The program is overseen by Professors Eric von Hippel, Tom Malone, and Mitch Resnick.
  • General Exams: As part of my PhD program, I had to organize and take a series of examinations that tested my knowledged in three academic areas: (1) technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategy with an added emphasis on the study of open and user innovation, (2) organizational and economic sociology and (3) technology design for cooperation, community, and creativity. I created a page for these that includes the proposal, reading list, link to notes, and links to the exam questions and my answers. The generals committee included Eric von Hippel, Jason Davis, and Mitch Resnick
  • Open and User Innovation Conference: I coordinated the program, handled communacation, and acted as master of ceremonies for, both the 8th Annual Open and User Innovation conference held at MIT Sloan School of Management on August 2-4, 2010 and the 10th Annual conference held at Harvard Business School. Each conference had 150+ talks and 7 parallel tracks with presentations from researchers from North America, Asia, and Europe.
  • AcaWiki: AcaWiki is a wiki that hosts summaries of academic articles and books. I have written several hundred summaries of scholarly articles and books which I've shared on the site. When time permits, I try to continue summaries of articles that I read in my course of my research.
  • If you like the layout of my curriculum vitæ, thanks go to Kieran Healy for the typographical inspiration. If you'd like to use it yourself, you can help yourself to the LaTeX source code.