Core Philosophy

My research focuses on four themes: (1) writing on social media, (2) interface and user design, (3) fusing qualitative and quantitative methodologies on writing, and (4) the influence of automation on writing.

Credit: T-Stagg Photography http://www.tstaggphotography.com/

Research Interests

  • User experience and information design
  • Social media interactions, chiefly how writers respond to their audiences
  • Algorithms, from cultural and technical perspectives
  • Computational methods, including web-scraping, web development, data structuring, bibliometrics & scientometrics.
  • Machine learning, specifically using techniques to study audience interactions. More recently, I have been studying the types of writing machine learning scientists engage and the genres they employ
  • Science Communication, including engineering writing and the communication processes of research labs. Specifically, I am interested in how scientists disseminate their research online.
  • Writing across the Curriculum

Applications of Research

  • Creating and improving social media followings
  • Designing more civil and relevant online interactions (via comments)
  • Improving feedback on writing using automated processes
  • Better online interfaces
  • Identifying strategies for improving online discussions
  • Designing pedagogical assignments for science writing

Current Projects

Interested in working with me? Current and future plans include:

  • Case Study Research in the Digital Age (monograph; under contract)
  • Hidden Layers: How Experts Write and Communicate about Machine Learning (large scale study of the communication practices of machine learning scientists
  • (with graduate student) a study of Emojination and how they try to create more inclusive emojis for our phones through technical writing
  • A fully experimental study (a rare approach in writing studies) of generative AI technologies and academic honesty. The study documents the ways writing instructors judge machine vs. human agents, in identical scenarios with respect to plagiarism and other ethical scenarios
  • Mythologies of algorithms (monograph)
  • Analyzing comments from the NYT (14M) with respect to (a) vaccine discussions and (b) women and transgender health

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign