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Charlotte Lee and David Ribes receive NSF award to study research collaboration across the sciences


July 16, 2020

Charlotte Lee and David Ribes, associate professors in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering have received a two year, $500,000 award from the National Science Foundation to study how scientists collaborate across different fields and areas of expertise.

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Charlotte P. Lee

Scientific research increasingly relies on collaboration across many different areas of expertise. Challenges arise for scientists when they need to do convergent research that requires translation and use of diverse expertise, tools, and analytic techniques. 

Lee and Ribes seek to study the new dynamics of collaboration emerging around processes and goals for convergent research. They will study experts in ocean science, radio astronomy, and data science, among others, to understand practices, challenges, and technological architectures.

Drawing on the fields of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Science and Technology Studies (STS), and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) this new research will contribute to the sociotechnical design of tools, platforms, and infrastructure for the advancement of science.

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David Ribes

Lee directs the Computer Supported Collaboration Laboratory, where she works with students on understanding and planning design interventions for infrastructures, software ecosystems, and multiorganizational systems. Researchers empirically describe and theorize the information practices, artifacts, and coordination structures of communities of practice working towards collaborative systems. 

Ribes directs the Data Ecologies Lab (deLAB), in which researchers study scientific spaces, practices, and use of data. DeLab researchers use data science ethnography and other digital ethnographic methods to explore how collaborations function and adapt to changing norms.