What we do

The Data & Society Program at Arizona State University's New College, helps promote a critical understanding of the ethical uses of big data, automation, and artificial intelligence, through leading-edge research, collaborating with a range of communities, and educating graduate and undergraduate students.

Research

Our research is transdisciplinary, drawing on data science approaches to understanding social systems, applying social theory to understand how data is used and misused in society.

Collaboration

We work with faculty and students from across ASU to build a common understanding of how big social data can and should be used. Our work is done in the context of multiple communities and publics, locally and globally.

Learning

Through our Master's program and courses and workshops for students and the public, we foster mastery of the theories and tools of networked society.

Recent Research

The Data & Society Program produces a broad range of research related to datafication and social change. Links to more research can be found on our Publications page.
Algorithmic inference, political interest, and exposure to news and politics on Facebook

Algorithmic inference, political interest, and exposure to news and politics on Facebook

Kjerstin Thorson, Kelley Cotter, Mel Medeiros & Chankyung Pak

How does Facebook algorithmically infer what users are interested in, and how do interest inferences shape news exposure?
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What COVID-19 dashboards aren’t telling us

What COVID-19 dashboards aren’t telling us

Michael Simeone, Gracie Valdez, & Shawn Walker

These graphics and interactives are supposed to help us get a better understanding of the state of the pandemic. But too often, they offer incomplete pictures.
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Researcher views and practices around informing, getting consent, and sharing research outputs with social media users when using their public data

Researcher views and practices around informing, getting consent, and sharing research outputs with social media users when using their public data

Nicholas Proferes & Shawn Walker

Publicly accessible social media data is frequently used for scientific research. However, numerous questions remain regarding what ethical obligations researchers have in regard to using such content.
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News

Recent and upcoming events and information

April 9: Machine Learning Day

Arizona State University- April 9, 2021New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Science 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM – Registration/Check in 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Event on Zoom Open to Current College & University Read more…

“Reach the Right People”

Kelley Cotter has coauthored, with Mel Medeiros, Chankyung Pak, and Kjerstin Thorson, a new article entitled “‘Reach the right people’: The politics of ‘interests’ in Facebook’s classification system for ad targeting” that appears in Big Read more…