People

Leadership and Faculty Steering Committee

Joe Walther
  • Director
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Joseph B. Walther is the Mark and Susan Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Technology and Society, and a Distinguished Professor of Communication at UCSB. A behavioral scientist and theorist, his work concentrates on how people present themselves to one another via the Internet and how they use the Internet to shape how they want to be known to each other; how they get to know others and decide who to like or trust, and how they develop relationships online that affect their work or social roles. Applications of his work in personal relationships, online groups, education settings, and inter-ethnic conflict have had a significant influence across a number of fields.

  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Elizabeth M. Belding is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Associate Dean in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Elizabeth’s research focuses on mobile and wireless networking, including network performance analysis, and information and communication technologies for development (ICTD). Her work has focused on improving Internet accessibility in developing communities worldwide. She is the founder and director of the Mobility Management and Networking (MOMENT) Laboratory. Elizabeth is the author of over 100 technical papers and has served on over 60 conference technical program committees. She is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and an IEEE Fellow. She received the UCSB Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in 2012 and the NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award in 2015 for her mentorship of graduate students. She was the Associate Director of CITS from 2012-2015.

Bruce Bimber
  • Past Director
  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Bruce Bimber is a Professor in the departments of Political Science and (by affiliation) Communication. Dr. Bimber’s research examines the relationship between digital media and patterns in human behavior, especially in the domains of political organization and collective action. He is a founder and Director Emeritus (from 1999-2006) of the Center for Information Technology and Society. He is a fellow of the International Communication Association. 

Amr El Abbadi
  • Faculty Research Affiliate
  • Steering Committee Member

 Amr El Abbadi is a Professor of Computer Science and the former chair of the department. Dr. Abbadi’s research interests are the ever increasing amount of data being generated and analyzed. He has been involved in designing systems and database support for collaborative environments with a special interest in social media applications and issues related to privacy preservation. Professor Abbadi is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, and AAAS, and served as a board member of the VLDB Endowment from 2002 - 2008 as well as the Executive Committee of the Technical Committee of Data Engineering (TCDE). 

Andrew Flanagin
  • Past Director
  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Andrew Flanagin is a Professor in the Department of Communication and former director (2009-2012) of the Center for Information Technology and Society. Dr. Flanagin’s research focuses on how communication and information technologies structure and extend human interaction, with particular emphases on processes of organizing and information sharing and evaluation.

James Frew
  • Faculty Research Affiliate (Emeritus)

James Frew is an Emeritus faculty member in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, formerly the principal investigator at the University’s Institute for Computational Earth System Science (ICESS), his research interests lie in the emerging field of environmental informatics, a synthesis of computer, information, and Earth sciences. 

Paul Leonardi
  • Faculty Research Affiliate
  • Steering Committee Member

Paul Leonardi is the Duca Family Professor of Technology Management and the Investment Group of Santa Barbara. He was the founding director of the Master of Technology Management Department at UCSB. He holds appointments in the Technology Management Program and the Department of Communication. Leonardi’s research, teaching, and consulting focus on helping companies create and share knowledge more effectively. He is interested in how implementing new technologies and harnessing the power of informal social networks can help companies take advantage of their knowledge assets to create innovative products and services. 

Alan Liu
  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Alan Liu is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of English. His central interests include digital humanities, information culture, new media, literary theory, cultural studies, and British Romantic literature and art. Liu is co-founder and leader of the international 4Humanities.org advocacy initiative. He is directing the topic-modeling project titled WhatEvery1Says. Other digital initiatives he has led include Transliteracies: Research in the Technological, Social, and Cultural Practices of Online Reading, a University of California multi-campus, collaborative research group. 

Richard Mayer
  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Richard E. Mayer is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UCSB. Dr. Mayer’s research involves the intersection of cognition, instruction, and technology with a special focus on multimedia learning and computer-supported learning. He served as President of the Educational Psychology division of the American Psychological Association and Vice President of the American Educational Research Association for the Learning and Instruction division. He is the winner of the Thorndike Award for career achievement in educational psychology, the Scribner Award for outstanding research in learning and instruction, and the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contribution of Applications of Psychology to Education and Training Award. 

Patrick McCray
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Patrick McCray is a Professor in the Department of History. Dr. McCray’s research focuses on different technological and scientific communities and their interactions with the public and policy makers – especially newly emerging technologies. McCray was elected to be a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. His most recent book, Making Art Work examines the interactions between artists, engineers, and scientists from the 1960s to the present. 

Miriam Metzger
  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Miriam Metzger directs our doctoral emphasis program, Information Technology and Society and she is a Professor in the Department of Communication. Dr. Metzger’s work has examined how information technology alters our understandings of trust in the new media environment, with a specific focus on the credibility of information online and on how trust intersects with privacy and disclosure in online social networks. She is an internationally recognized expert on misinformation. 

  • Past Director
  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Lisa Parks is a Distinguished Professor of Film and Media Studies and Director of the Global Media Technologies and Cultures (GMTaC) Lab, which she founded at MIT and moved to UCSB in 2020. Her research is focused on human and social aspects of media infrastructures; satellite technologies and globalization; and media, militarization, and surveillance. Professor Parks is a former Director of CITS and a 2018 MacArthur Fellow.

Rita Raley
  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Rita Raley is a Professor in the Department of English, where she serves as co-director of the Literature and Culture of Information specialization. She is the author of Tactical Media and has more recently published articles on digital poetics, dataveillance, and interventionist art practices. She co-edited a journal issue on "securing with algorithms" and writing about algorithmic translations.

Laila Shereen Sakr
  • Faculty Research Affiliate
Laila Shereen Sakr is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies. With a body of work specializing in computational art, live cinema, data visualization, and media activism, her scholarship uses media analytics, specifically in Arabic, and live cinema to map how participation among networked publics have influenced the formation of a virtual body politic. This research led her to design the R-Shief media system for real-time archiving and analyzing social media content for over five years and with more than twenty five billion posts, and the cyborg representation of VJ Um Amel.
 
 
 
  • Past Director
  • Faculty Research Affiliate
  • Steering Committee Member

Cynthia Stohl is Professor in the Department of Communication, a Fellow and Past President of the International Communication Association, and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. A leading expert in globalization, networks, and organizational  processes, her most recent work addresses global organizing, collective action, and corporate social responsibility in the digital media environment. In  2012 she received the Outstanding Book award for Collective Action in Organizations: Interaction and Engagement in an Era of Technological Change (co-authored with UCSB Professors Flanagin and Bimber).