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MSU CSE Colloquium Series 2013-2014: Joshua Introne
Title:  Quantifying the impact of technology on collaborative knowledge construction

Joshua Introne
Assistant Professor, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University

Friday, Sep. 20, 11am in EB3105

What do we aim to achieve when we collaborate? One desirable outcome of a successful collaboration is the birth of knowledge that is somehow more than the sum of its parts. This is called collaborative knowledge construction,  and can be considered a kind of group creativity. The ability to rapidly measure the creativity of an online community could help researchers understand how technology influences it,  which in turn could lead to better designs for technology that supports innovation. 
In this talk,  I will introduce such an approach. My approach traces the evolution of topics in online conversation,  and compares this with a measurement of group dynamics. I will show that collaborative knowledge construction often occurs when a conversation brings many different pieces of information together,  and collaborators become more focused,  excited,  and integrated. I will then use this approach to illustrate how one form of decision support impairs collaborative knowledge construction in groups,  even while it improves their apparent rationality. Finally,  I will describe how this technique fits within the broader context of collective intelligence research.

Josh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media. Dr. Introne holds masters and Ph.D degrees from the Computer Science Department at Brandeis University.  Prior to joining TISM, he was a scientist at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, where he served as Chief Architect for the MIT Climate CoLab, a platform designed to crowdsource solutions to climate change. Though his research at TISM, Josh seeks to better understand how to measure and design knowledge processing systems that connect millions of people and computers.

Guoliang Xing