Microsoft Research – Mary L. Gray is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She maintains an appointment as Associate Professor of the Media School, with affiliations in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies at Indiana University. She also holds an Adjunct faculty position at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi, India. She studied Anthropology before receiving her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 2004. Her research looks at how media access and everyday uses of technologies transform people’s lives. Her most recent book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America (New York University Press) looked at how young people in the rural United States use media to negotiate sexual and gender identities, local belonging, and connections to broader, imagined communities. Mary’s current book project, co-authored with computer scientist Siddharth Suri, examines digital workforces and the future of employment through case studies of present day crowdwork on four different crowdsourcing platforms, comparing workers’ experiences in the United States and India.
Siddharth Suri is a Senior Researcher and one of the founding members of Microsoft Research, New York City. Before that he was a member of the Human & Social Dynamics group at Yahoo! Research led by Duncan Watts from 2008 to 2012. Prior to that he was a postdoctoral associate working with Jon Kleinberg in the computer science department at Cornell University. He earned his Ph.D. in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 under the supervision of Michael Kearns. There are two main threads to Sid’s research. Both focus on the study of networks, albeit using different techniques. He designs algorithms for analyzing the structure of large graphs using the MapReduce programming paradigm. He also conducts web-based behavioral experiments to understand the relationship between network topology and human behavior.
Deepti Desai is pursuing MA (Applied Sociology) at Christ University, Bangalore. She recently conducted a study and authored a paper on the ‘Usage of Online Educational Platforms by Undergraduate Engineering Students in Karnataka’ as part of an internship at Microsoft Research. Her major academic interests are: Impact of technology on the society, changing trends in the nature of work and workplace and gender studies. Her current project draws on the Team’s larger research comparing India and the United States, with a focus on the ethnographic study of crowdworkers in Bangalore.
Syed Shoaib completed his MA in Development Studies at Ambedkar University, Delhi. In 2012 Shoaib worked with scholars at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying the impact of decentralization on practices of democracy and collective action in rural India. Much of his work focuses on the role of social networks in dissemination of technology.
Gregory Minton is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Microsoft Research. He graduated in 2013 from the PhD program in Mathematics at MIT, where he worked with Abhinav Kumar. His thesis was in computer-assisted proof, studying problems ranging from discrete geometry in abstract mathematical spaces to gravitational orbits in outer space. Gregory is generally interested in what hands-on computation can do for theory, and he recently started working on data visualization and other applications to fields outside of his mathematical wheelhouse.
Kate Zyskowski is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Washington and also holds a M.S. in Education. Kate’s ethnographic research is based in Hyderabad, India and focuses on dynamics between local and international minority groups, higher education, and the production of identities along the axes of race, religion, and nationality in urban India. Kate is the recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Abroad Fellowship and the AIIS Junior Research Fellowship for her dissertation research. Kate will be working with Mary Gray and is primarily interested in methodologies for social media inclusion in ethnography and the uses of social media, and its attendant social effects, for minority politics and identities.
Sara Kingsley is a Master’s of Science candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a multi-disciplinarian by trade and a technologist by choice. Her primary academic curiosities range from labor and behavioral economics to communication networking technologies. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked for the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy and served as a political appointee in the Administration of President Barack H. Obama. In her spare time, she likes to write poetry, learn foreign languages, and laugh.
Andrea Alarcon is a Research Assistant at the Social Media Collective in Microsoft Research. Her interests lie in the intersection of ICTD and cultural internet studies. She is particularly interested in the appropriation of social media in developing countries, especially as gateways to the web, and the influence of socioeconomic background and entrenched inequalities on the online experience. She received her MSc degree from the Oxford Internet Institute, and her BSc in online journalism from the University of Florida. Before academia, she worked as a web producer and editor for the World Bank, and in social media for Discovery Channel in Latin America. She currently writes about digital culture for Colombian mainstream media.
Kate Miltner is a Research Consultant at the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England. She received her Masters of Science in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics in December of 2011. Her work has been featured in a variety of international media, including The Atlantic, The Guardian, Time Magazine, and The Independent. Before entering into academia, Kate worked as a global social media strategy director for Samsung.
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