Recent news from the Center for Civic Media | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Data Science for Gender Equality: Monitoring Women's Voices in the News

Can high resolution data and innovative technology help us create better representation of women in the news?

I believe so. Over the next year, my thesis project is to design for gender equity with a series of articles, artistic pieces, and technologies. I'm going beyond mudslinging and hand wringing to apply technology in constructive ways that can make a difference. And I need your help.

Today in the Guardian Datablog, Lisa Evans shared some initial results from software I created to track gender in the news. This post explains my vision for the larger project, describes our research methods, and points to other resources on gender in the media.

The News as a Social Process for Improving Society

Francis SteenFrancis Steen, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at UCLA and Director of the UCLA Library Communication Studies Archive, spoke at the Media Lab for an event organised by the ICE (Imagination, Computation, and Expression) Lab today. Denise and I liveblogged it, so let us know where the errors are and we'll fix them. 

Francis Steen begins by posing the question: why do we have news?

It's not a question of accuracy, he argues; we should look at the news as a way of thinking. Think of the news as a state space that includes what is possible and what is valuable. That is, the news take events that occur in the world and place them in terms of what is valuable and what is possible.


Hello everyone.

My name is Chris Peterson.

This is my blog. There are many like it. But this one is mine.

I'm a new research assistant here at the Center for Civic Media, as well as a graduate student in the Comparative Media Studies program here at MIT.



Though I've only recently arrived to the shiny box of awesome which is the Media Lab, I've spent a lot of time at MIT. For the last three years I directed web communications for MIT Admissions. In addition to wrangling all of our web stuff, I also read undergraduate applications for MIT, with a special focus on subaltern, first-generation, and maker students, as well as overseeing all applicants from Central Asia and the former Soviet Union. I was a MITES counselor and freshman advisor as well. It was an amazing job.

Introducing TICKLE: The Toy Interface Construction Kit Learning Environment

What do you call a cross between Tinkertoys, K'Nex, Gears, wooden blocks and a plastic boat?

TICKLE parts

My friend Eric Rosenbaum and I are trying to find out. We're inspired by Golan Levin and Shawn Sims's Free Universal Construction Kit, which allows anyone with a 3D printer to connect previously-incompatible construction toys. We love that Golan and Shawn released his designs with a Creative Commons license, but 3D printers remain far too expensive for most poeple.

Smart Customization vs. Mass Production

Liveblog of Ryan C.C. Chin's PhD thesis defense at MIT Media Lab

Ryan came to MIT in 1997, and got a Master's in Architecture, and then at the Media Lab, before entering into the Lab's Ph.D program. He took leave for 18 months to work on the CityCar project.

Ryan's thesis examines smart customization, and the scientific differences between mass customization and traditional mass production. Is one better than the other? Is one more sustainable?

The CityCar is customizable on a number of levels: its base design, its adaptability to its environment (city), and its individual parts' modularity.

Ryan hasn't only worked on cars; he's also studied customization of dress shirts. He chose shirts because of their low cost, frequency of use, and relatively easy traceability (see SourceMap).


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