Your work will become the logo for the Social Computing Lab at CMU, a leading research lab studying how people collaborate online to produce knowledge, play together, build relationships, and solve problems. Over the past several years the lab has produced dozens of publications in top journals and conferences, multiple best paper awards, has been funded by several NSF, NIH, and other grants, and has been cited many times in the press ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Technology Review to Slashdot. For more details please see the personal pages of the lab founders at http://kittur.org, http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~kraut/, and http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dabbish/
Our work focuses on building a science of online communities. Online communities are the fastest-growing portion of the Internet and provide members with information, social support, and entertainment. While a minority, such as Wikipedia, MySpace, Facebook and the Apache Server project are highly successful, many others fail. Despite the occasional success, designing online communities remains largely trial and error. Our lab conducts empirical studies of how online communities operate and builds intelligent interfaces to augment those communities. We are developing theory to understand behavior in online communities and theory-based guidelines for designing these communities.