CSST Announces the Call for Participation in the 2014 Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST) Summer Institute

July 8 – July 10, 2014 (arrival July 7; departure July 11 for 3 full days)

University of Missouri – Columbia, Columbia, MO

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.

CSST Group SessionThrough 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 2014 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 Missouri – Columbia on July 8 – 10, 2014:

Doctoral students, post doctoral students, pre-tenure faculty, and early career researchers – 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.

CSST Group SessionResearch 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.

Applying for CSST 2014

Applications are encouraged from all academic, industry, NGO, and public sector organizations worldwide.  To apply 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 (Sean Goggins) at gogginss@missouri.edu by March 20, 2014:

Doctoral students, post doctoral students, pre-tenure faculty, and early career researchers 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).

Lodging, meals, and other onsite costs will be covered for all Summer Institute participants.  Limited travel support is available, if needed, for participants from US and Canadian institutions (with preference given to doctoral and post-doctoral students). Travel support may also be available for other Summer Institute participants. To be considered for all available financial support you should provide the following information when you apply:

  • What college or university do you attend?
  • What is your primary department affiliation?
  • If you are applying from a Canadian university, are you a member of the GRAND network?

Materials should be sent to Summer Institute co-coordinator (Sean Goggins) at gogginss@missouri.edu by March 20th, 2014.  Applications will be reviewed by the Summer Institute Advisory Group beginning March 30th, 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

The number of participants selected will depend on the available funding and the fit between applicants’ interests and goals. 

For more information about the Summer Institute, contact the Summer Institute co-coordinators, Sean Goggins (gogginss@missouri.edu) and Diane Bailey (debailey@ischool.utexas.edu).  For information about the broader community of researchers interested in design and study of sociotechnical systems, see:  CSST (www.sociotech.net), the “Researchers of the Socio-Technical” Facebook group, or the CSST listserv (csst@listserv.syr.edu).

2014 Mentors

  • Mark Ackerman, University of Michigan
  • Diane Bailey, University of Texas (Co-Director)
  • Paul Dourish, University of California – Irvine
  • Nicole Ellison, University of Michigan
  • Sean Goggins, University of Missouri (Co-Director)
  • Erik Johnston, Arizona State University
  • Tony Salvador, Intel
  • Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Syracuse
  • Susan Stuckey, IBM
  • Steve Sawyer, Syracuse (Digital Societies RCN)
  • Wayne Lutters, UMBC (Digital Societies RCN)
  • Brian Butler, Maryland (Digital Societies RCN)
  • Andrea Hoplight-Tapia, The Pennsylvania State University (Digital Societies RCN)

2014 Advisory Board

  • Warren Allen (Florida State University)
  • Diane Bailey (University of Texas)
  • Jeremy Birnholtz (Northwestern University)
  • Geof Bowker (University of California – Irvine)
  • Barry Brown (Stockholm University, Mobile Life Center)
  • Brian Butler (University of Maryland)
  • Kathy Chudoba (Utah State University)
  • Elizabeth  Churchill (EBay)
  • Derrick Cogburn (American University)
  • Dan  Cosley (Cornell University)
  • Jonathon Cummings (Duke University)
  • Laura Dabbish (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Paul Dourish (University of California – Irvine)
  • Nicole Ellison (University of Michigan)
  • Sanda Erdelez (University of Missouri)
  • Ingrid Erickson (Rutgers University)
  • Thomas Finholt (University of Michigan)
  • Susan Fussell (Cornell University)
  • Matt Germonprez (University of Nebraska – Omaha)
  • Sean Goggins (University of Missouri)
  • Beki Grinter (Georgia Tech University)
  • Anatoliy Gruzd (Dalhousie University)
  • Caroline  Haythornthwaite (University of British Columbia)
  • Pamela Hinds (Stanford University)
  • James Howison (University of Texas)
  • Josh Introne (Michigan State University)
  • Steve Jackson (Cornell University)
  • Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi (University of North Carolina)
  • Erik Johnston (Arizona State University)
  • Nicolas Jullien (Telecom Bretagne)
  • Sara Kiesler (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Niki Kittur (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Mark Klein (MIT)
  • Joe Konstan (Minnesota)
  • Karim Lakhani (Harvard Business School)
  • Charlotte Lee (University of Washington)
  • Wayne  Lutters (UMBC)
  • Kalle Lyytinen (Case Western Reserve University)
  • Gloria Mark (University of California – Irvine)
  • Joi Moore (University of Missouri)
  • Bonnie Nardi (University of California – Irvine)
  • Mark Newman (University of Michigan)
  • Gary Olson (University of California – Irvine)
  • Wanda  Orlikowski (MIT)
  • Felipe Ortega (University Rey Juan Carlos)
  • Scott Poole (University of Illinois)
  • David Ribes (Georgetown University)
  • Lionel  Robert (University of Michigan)
  • Tony  Salvador  (Intel)
  • Steve Sawyer (Syracuse)
  • Chi-Ren Shyu (University of Missouri)
  • Susan Straus (Rand Corporation)
  • Johannes Strobel (Texas A&M University)
  • Jennifer Stromer-Galley (Syracuse University)
  • Susan Stucky (IBM)
  • Andrea  Tapia (The Pennsylvania State University)
  • Michael Twidale (University of Illinois)
  • Janet Vertesi (Princeton)
  • Mary Beth Watson-Mannheim (University of Ilinois)
  • Andrea Wiggins (Cornell / University of New Mexico)
  • Youngjin Yoo (Temple University)


Photos via Flickr/Sean Munson