UCI?s Dourish Receives Grant, Award

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

10.25.05 – Paul Dourish, associate director of research at Calit2 Irvine, received a welcome enhancement to his own research recently. Dourish, associate professor of informatics – along with co-PIs Simon Cole, assistant professor of criminology, law and society, and Jennifer Terry, associate professor of women’s studies – was awarded a $750,000 National Science Foundation grant to investigate the impact of emerging technologies on peoples’ lives.

Paul Dourish
Paul Dourish

The new technologies – blogging and text messaging, for example – are transforming privacy and identity in today’s society and the researchers are investigating three core questions of social dynamics pertaining to this phenomenon: How are practices of privacy and identity changing? What new patterns are evolving? How is the relationship between technical and social aspects being developed?

The research will address these questions through ethnographic studies focused on blogging and mobile technologies communication. The results will provide designers and policy-makers with a framework for understanding the mutual evolution of technology and practice in the areas of privacy and identity management. The three-year research project is titled “Privacy, Identity and Technology.”

The funding, awarded by the Human and Social Dynamics program within NSF, is considered very competitive; last year only one in 20 proposals was successful. The program requires a multidisciplinary approach to research – a minimum of three investigators from at least two different disciplines are mandatory. “We’re very excited to have a proposal that integrates computer science, social sciences and humanities,” said Dourish.

Dourish received more good news last month. IBM named him an IBM Faculty Award winner. The award fosters collaboration between researchers at leading universities worldwide and those in IBM research, development and services organizations. 

Designed to support research in areas essential to fueling innovation, these faculty awards address recommendations from the National Innovation Initiative's Council on Competitiveness to increase investment in research and create new forms of collaboration.