Research

I am currently completing my PhD in the Department of Communication at Cornell University, with a minor in Science and Technology Studies.   My research interests are focused on these issues:

  • Gender and Computing.    The study of the history of computing reveals a rich history of women in programming.   Peaking in the 1980s, women’s participation has declined since then (both in academic degrees and in practice).  We also see extreme gender disparities in the domain of open source software, which presents a paradox for peer-production communities that value sharing, community, collaboration, and open participation.  I look at themes from the past to help us reflect on the present and the future.
  • Knowledge Infrastructure, Digital Preservation, and Data Sharing.    My work in this area has spanned both theory and practice.   I was the original designer and developer of a digital repository architecture known as the Flexible Extensible Digital Repository Architecture (Fedora), which evolved into the Fedora Repository open source project.    I was the founding CEO of DuraSpace, a non-profit organization providing open source software and community services focused on preserving digital content and data.  Currently I am examining issues of data infrastructure in SEAD, an NSF DataNet project based at the University of Michigan.
  • The Power of Discourse and its Relationship with Practice and Policy.  some overlapping, and others competing.    I am interested in issues of power and politics around discourse, multiple meanings,  how/why communities that construct/promote it, and possible implications.
  • Privacy and the social and technical complexities of how policy and technical design interact.  I look at issues from the perspective of Internet as infrastructure, the Web as providing platforms for data and collaboration, and mobile applications as supporting ubiquitous access.

Previously, when I was a researcher in Cornell Information Science, I produced a body of more technical work that focused on system architectures for digital libraries, digital preservation, digital repositories, information modeling, metadata, policy enforcement, and scholarly communication.    See my publications list for insight into this body of work.

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