Social and Organizational Informatics

Social and Organizational Informatics (SOI) is a confederation of faculty and graduate students aimed at studying the ways in which social, cultural, political, economic, and organizational structures impact and are impacted by information technologies. We are a highly interdisciplinary team drawing from several academic fields, such as information science, business, philosophy, social sciences, planning, development studies, and sociology, to answer our questions.

Our research begins with the needs of people and communities. We seek to understand and potentially solve socio-technical problems. People lead our research, not technological opportunities. Our research is critical. Technologies advantage and disadvantage populations. Our research seeks to affect change. Our research begins with the assumption that technologies are not neutral tools. They are political, have unintended consequences, and carry embedded values. SOI develops both scientific understanding and practical tools to help communities and institutions.

Research-Active Faculty
Photo of Mahir Akgun

Assistant Teaching Professor

Learning Analytics; Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL); Epistemic Agency

Photo of Guoray Cai

Associate Professor

Geographical information science; Visual analytics; Online democracy and deliberation

Photo of Kelley Cotter

Assistant Professor

Critical Algorithm Studies; Algorithmic Literacy; Platform Governance

Photo of Fred Fonseca

Associate Professor

Data Science; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Technology

Photo of David Fusco

Associate Teaching Professor

Photo of Nicklaus A. Giacobe

Assistant Teaching Professor

Cybersecurity; Situation Awareness; Security Metrics

Photo of Edward J. Glantz

Teaching Professor

Cybersecurity; Risk Analysis; Risk Identification

Photo of Sharon Huang

Associate Professor

Biomedical Image Data Analysis; Computer Vision; Machine Learning

Photo of Johnson Kinyua

Associate Teaching Professor

Cybersecurity; Building Secure Software Systems; RFID

Photo of Priya Kumar

Assistant Professor

Privacy and agency; Digital childhood/parenting; Datafication/data power

Photo of Peng Liu

Raymond G. Tronzo, MD Professor of Cybersecurity

Computer Security; Building Secure Software Systems; Secure Internet of Things

Photo of Carleen Maitland

Professor

Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD); Social Informatics; Organizational Informatics

Photo of William Parquette

Professor of Practice

Strategic Deception; National Intelligence; National Security

Default directory image

Professor

Cognitive Modelling and learning; Cognitive Architecture; Human-Computer Interaction

Photo of Mary Beth Rosson

Professor

Human-Centered Design; Technology-Mediated Education; Online Communities

Photo of Don Shemanski

Professor of Practice

Photo of Daniel Susser

Assistant Professor

Technology Ethics and Policy; Philosophy of Technology; Science and Technology Studies (STS)

Photo of Andrea Tapia

Associate Dean for Research

Crisis Informatics; Social Data Analytics; Social Theories and Methods of Information

Photo of Urja Vora

Associate Teaching Professor

Multidisciplinary Engineering; IoT; Software Architecture

Suhang Wang

Assistant Professor

Data Mining; Social Media Mining; Machine Learning

Photo of Aiping Xiong

Assistant Professor

Human Factors; Cybersecurity and Privacy; Human Perception and Action

Photo of Lynette (Kvasny) Yarger

Associate Professor

Social Informatics; Future of Work; Critical Theory

Photo of Xiang Zhang

Associate Professor

Data Mining; Machine Learning; Big Data Analytics

Recent News

'Black box gaslighting' challenges social-media algorithm accountability

January 19, 2022

Kelley Cotter, assistant professor in Penn State's College of Information Science and Technology, examined ongoing debate between social media influencers who claim their content is algorithmically suppressed and the social media platforms that deny it but do not provide transparent information on how they operate.

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New framework could help teachers personalize their professional learning

August 18, 2021

Digital badges used as emblems to indicate an accomplishment or skill is a concept familiar to online learners seeking advanced knowledge in their profession. For many learners, digital badges have been used as a motivation to continue along a prescribed path — often through workshop attendance or completion of required online learning modules.

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Counting pandemic behaviors to inform public health decisions

August 10, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many significant changes to people's lives, but one of the most visible signals of this has been the proliferation of masks and other face-coverings in public spaces.

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IST faculty tips for post-pandemic instruction appear in EDUCAUSE Review

April 6, 2021

When remote teaching and learning abruptly replaced traditional classroom instruction at the start of the pandemic, innovations and adaptations were introduced that could be considered to continue in post-pandemic education, according to experts from the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology.

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Office of Research

411 Eric J. Barron Innovation Hub
State College, PA 16801

researchadmin@ist.psu.edu
(814) 863-6801