Quantitative Study

Crowdsourcing Behavior in Reporting Civic Issues: The Case of Boston's 311 Systems

Many cities in the United States use civic technologies like 311 systems as part of their public service systems for monitoring non-emergency civic issues. These systems have enhanced the city's monitoring capability by diversifying communication channels. However, the data created through these systems is often biased because of differences in people's use of technology (i.e., digital divide) and individuals' behavioral patterns in providing types of information to the systems.

A Visualization Tool and Assessment Framework for Civic Technology Use in the DMV Area: The Case of 311 Systems During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The 311 systems that city officials currently deploy can efficiently detect non-emergency civic issues such as potholes and trash. From a socio-technical perspective, residents can re-appropriate the technology for their own purpose adding new capacities and affordances not initially intended. For example, when Hurricane Irma hit Miami in 2017, residents used 311 systems to report disaster-related issues, which led city officials to adapt the system by creating a new category.

Cultural Activity Diversity and Community Characteristics: An Exploratory Study

Cultural diversity has been conceptualized and studied in diverse ways. On the one hand, cultural diversity can be conceptualized based on people’s ethnic and national backgrounds. On the other hand, cultural dimensions are defined based on individuals' behaviors and traits. Sociologists further categorize the latter depending on the degree of typicality in cultural artifacts/activities and individuals’ omnivorousness over cultural tastes.

Local Information Landscapes: Theory, Measures, and Evidence

To understand issues about information accessibility within communities, research studies have examined human, social, and technical factors by taking a sociotechnical view. While this view provides a profound understanding of how people seek, use, and access information, this approach tends to overlook the impact of the larger structures of information landscapes that constantly shape peoples access to information.

Virtual Observatory of Innovation Communities and Ecosystems (VOICE): Advancing Big Data with Ecology Theory and Data Science

Today's digital revolution is fostering remarkable innovations. The landscape of innovation is rapidly changing and thus difficult to navigate or study. Understanding broader participation in innovation requires large datasets on the innovation participants and their activities. As organizational and industry boundaries become fuzzy in the digitized world, small data analysis cannot fully explain how boundaries shift and evolve. Open innovation leads to overlapping roles of designer and user, making it inadequate to examine innovation development and adoption separately.

Making Information Deserts Visible: Computational Models, Disparities in Civic Technology Use, and Urban Decision Making

This research will develop a foundational tool for understanding how civic technologies are used and how information inequalities manifest in a city. User data from new civic technologies that reveal inequalities in the information environments of citizens has only recently become available. Since a large portion of data is demographically or geospatially biased due to varying human-data relationships, computational social scientists have used data modeling and algorithmic techniques to adjust the data and remove biases during data-processing.

Towards Understanding Communication Behavior Changes during Floods Using Cell Phone Data

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods or tornadoes affect millions of individuals every year. As a result, governments spend millions of dollars in emergency response allocating resources to mitigate the damages. Effective resource allocation requires a deep understanding of how humans react when a disaster takes place. Due to the multiplicity of human behavior, however, it is not trivial to understand human behaviors at large scale during and after the disaster.

Exploratory Cluster Analysis of Urban Mobility Patterns to Identify Neighborhood Boundaries

Defining neighborhood boundaries within a city is a complex and often subjective task. Neighborhoods boundaries are defined by the people that visit and live in the region, and activities that occur within those boundaries. Depending on the individual or group activity being conducted, these boundaries can change substantially. Transportation and human mobility patterns offer a novel basis on which to explore and delineate neighborhoods.

A Tool for Estimating and Visualizing Poverty Maps

"Poverty maps" are designed to simultaneously display the spatial distribution of welfare and different dimensions of poverty determinants. The plotting of such information on maps heavily relies on data that is collected through infrequent national household surveys and censuses. However, due to the high cost associated with this type of data collection process, poverty maps are often inaccurate in capturing the current deprivation status.

Toward an Ecology Theory of Creativity in IT Products: A Study of Mobile Device Industry

In a creative process, divergent thinking needs to be stimulated to generate novel ideas; yet these ideas must be synthesized to produce something valuable. Hence to foster creativity in developing IT products, creators need to manage the tension between novelty and value. Since the forces affecting the novelty-value tension often exist outside a creator's group or organization, we apply organizational ecology theory to propose an industry-level, ecological model for understanding the novelty of IT products.