In 2004, I founded the RIT Lab for Social Computing (LSC), the first interdisciplinary academic lab centered on social computing technologies. Originally housed in the Golisano College for Computing and Information Sciences, the LSC is now part of RIT’s Wallace Center, with an office located on the second floor of the Wallace Library.
At RIT, the LSC serves as an organizing unit for faculty across multiple colleges and disciplines to work together on research and development projects related to a wide range of social technologies. Outside of RIT, LSC faculty regularly speak at conferences on social computing topics, raising the visibility of RIT as an important player in social computing R&D.
Recent activities by the LSC include the development of an internationally-recognized city-wide game in collaboration with the local newspaper, participation in an NSF grant to design a social networking site for deaf and hard of hearing students in STEM disciplines, a two-year, $150,000 grant from NSF’s CCLI program to develop, implement, and assess an undergraduate course on social networking technologies (led by Dr. Susan Barnes of COLA and Dr. Chris Egert from GCCIS).
Current project area include the development of a multi-institutional database of creative technology projects in collaboration with faculty from both NYU and NYLS, a project with local doctors to explore the use of location-based tools for improving informal consultations with colleagues, and a project with Xerox to explore the use of game mechanics in enterprise software contexts.
The LSC also sponsors talks on campus by well-known authors and scholars in the field of social computing—recent speakers included Julian Dibbell, David Weinberger, and Kathleen Fitzpatrick.