2013 Digital Societies and Social Technologies (DSST) Summer Institute

2013 Digital Societies and Social Technologies (DSST) Summer Institute
(a joint effort of the Consortium for Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST) and the Summer Social Webshop)

July 28 – August 1, 2013
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland USA

MOOCs, Education and learning; personal health and well-being; open innovation, eScience, and citizen science; co-production, open source, and new forms of work; cultural heritage and information access; energy management and climate change; civic hacking, engagement and government; disaster response; cybersecurity and privacy – these are just a few problem domains where effective design and robust understanding of complex sociotechnical systems is critical. To meet these challenges a trans-disciplinary community of scholars has come together from fields as wide ranging as CSCW, HCI, social computing, organization studies, information visualization, social informatics, sociology, information systems, medical informatics, computer science, ICT for development, education, learning science, journalism, and political science.

Through summer institutes (CSST), extended workshops (Social Webshop), preconference workshops at a wide variety of venues, and other activities (Digital Societies and Technology Research Coordination Network) this community of researchers from academia and industry has developed a strong focus on problems and opportunities arising from the interplay of social and technological systems which span individuals, groups, organizations, and societies.

The 2013 Summer Institute builds on this tradition to strengthen and expand this diverse community by bringing together graduate students, post doctoral students, faculty, and other researchers in four groups at the University of Maryland, College Park on July 28-August 1:

Doctoral students, post doctoral students, and pre-tenure faculty – Through mentoring, peer networking, and skill-building tutorials, doctoral students, post doctoral students, pre-tenure faculty, and early career researchers will identify substantive ways that the theories, approaches, and tools within the larger community can advance their work with the design and study of sociotechnical systems.

Established researchers – Prior summer institute/workshop participants and established researchers will network with other researchers (senior and junior), explore ideas and new directions, shape emerging research agendas, articulate critical challenges, and share knowledge about practices, tools, and approaches which have the potential to advance the design and study of sociotechnical systems.

Emerging multi-disciplinary research teams – Nascent groups of researchers seeking to develop cross-disciplinary collaborations will work with peers and mentors to refine problem statements and research goals; connect with collaborators with complementary skills and interests; and create actionable research agendas and funding proposals. Preference will be given to groups interested in designing and studying sociotechnical systems that address societal grand challenges such as (but not limited to) healthcare; energy management and climate change; cybersecurity and privacy; education and learning; disaster response; technology development and innovation; economic development and work; and civic engagement and participation.

Research infrastructure development teams – Groups of researchers interested in creating computational or analytic tools, data resources, training materials or other infrastructure to support the design and study of sociotechnical systems will work with one another, other Summer institute participants, and local developers. These infrastructure “hackathon” sessions will result in the creation of use cases, prototypes, draft materials, and when possible deployable systems and resources.

Applications are encouraged from academic, industry, NGO, and public sector organizations worldwide. Lodging, meals, and other onsite costs will be covered for all Summer Institute participants. Limited funding is also available to offset travel costs if needed. The number of participants will be determined by funding availability and the fit between applicants’ interests and goals.
To be considered for the 2013 Summer Institute, select the group that best fits your needs and situation and send the appropriate materials to the Summer Institute co-coordinator (Brian Butler) at bsbutler@umd.edu by April 5th, 2013:

Doctoral students, post doctoral students, pre-tenure faculty should send their CV and a short (~ 1 page) response to: “How does/will your work advance our ability to design and understand critical sociotechnical systems?” Several core references should be included to situate your work within the larger research community. Doctoral students should also provide a letter of recommendation from their advisor/department chair indicating their expected graduation date.

Established researchers should send their CV and a short (~ 1 page) response to: “What are the most interesting challenges and opportunities related to the design and study of critical sociotechnical systems? What activity (30 minutes to 4 hours long) could you run that would help the Summer Institute participants better engage these challenges and opportunities?” Proposed activities can be for any (or all) Summer Institute participants and might include, but are not limited to: focused presentations; brainstorming sessions; in-depth problem descriptions; method, tool, or data tutorials; or research agenda setting exercises.

Emerging multi-disciplinary research teams should apply as a group, sending their CVs and a short (~ 1 page) response to: “What is the research focus/problem domain? What types of activities/studies are needed to engage that domain? How will pursuing this agenda help advance our ability to design and understand critical sociotechnical systems?” References potential funding sources can be included, if known, to situate the proposal within the larger research community. Groups invited to the Summer Institute will have between 4-6 people. However, only 3 individuals need to be part of an application for it to be considered (assistance will be provided prior to the Summer Institute to help invited teams recruit additional participants as needed). Preference will be given to cross-institutional teams in which junior/mid-career researchers play significant leadership roles.

Research infrastructure development teams should apply as a group, sending their CVs and a short (~ 1 page) response to: “What is the problem you are seeking to address? What will you do to address that problem? How will creating these technologies, tools, materials or infrastructure improve our ability to design and understand critical sociotechnical systems?” References to examples from other domains can be included to situate your proposal. Teams invited for the Summer Institute will have between 4-6 people from multiple disciplines and institutions. However, only 3 individuals need to be part of an application to be considered (assistance will be provided prior to the Summer Institute to help invited teams recruit additional participants as needed).

Applications will be reviewed by the Summer Institute Advisory Group beginning April 6th, 2013 using the following criteria:
• Clear articulation of the hoped-for contribution to the theory, practice, or design of sociotechnical systems
• Likelihood of Summer Institute participation providing significant practical benefit for the individual/team
• Contribution to a balanced and diverse group of participants

For more information about the Summer Institute, contact the Summer Institute co-coordinators, Brian Butler (bsbutler@umd.edu) and Susan Winter (sjwinter@umd.edu). For information about the broader community of researchers interested in design and study of sociotechnical systems, see: CSST (www.sociotech.net), Social Webshop (http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/webshop2012/), the “Researchers of the Socio-Technical” Facebook group, or the CSST listserv (csst@listserv.syr.edu).

Support for the 2013 Summer Institute is currently being provided by the National Science Foundation via Digital Societies and Technology Research Coordination Network, the Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST), Summer Social Webshop, and the Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI) and Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the University of Maryland.