Dr. Danah Boyd
Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research and Founder, Data & Society
My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder of Data & Society. I'm also a Visiting Professor at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. I am an academic and a scholar and my research examines the intersection between technology and society.
For over a decade, my research focused on how young people use social media as part of their everyday practices. I wrote It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (2014) to document my findings.
I also co-authored two books - Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (2009) and Participatory Culture in a Networked Era (2015) to highlight different aspects of that work.
More recently, I have turned to focus on understanding how contemporary social inequities relate to technology and society more generally. I'm collaborating with an amazing network of researchers working on topics like media manipulation, the future of work, fairness and accountability in machine learning, combating bias in data, and the cultural dynamics surrounding artificial intelligence. These questions are core to the mandate of Data & Society, a research institute that I founded in 2013.
Over the years, I have written many papers on topics related to social media, privacy, teen drama, digital backchannels, and social visualization design. I also blog and tweet frequently on a wide variety of topics.
In 2008, I completed my PhD at the School of Information (iSchool) at the University of California-Berkeley. My dissertation research was funded as a part of the MacArthur Foundation's Initiative on New Media and Learning. My research was supervised by a most astonishing committee: Mimi Ito, Annalee Saxenian, Cori Hayden, and Jenna Burrell. My beloved PhD advisor - Peter Lyman - lost his battle with brain cancer in July 2007. I miss him dreadfully.
I did my Master's Degree at the MIT Media Lab's Sociable Media Group with Judith Donath (supervised also by Henry Jenkins and Genevieve Bell). My master's thesis focused on how people manage their presentation of self in relation to social contextual information in online environments. As an undergraduate, I studied computer science at Brown University, advised by Andy van Dam. My undergrad thesis focused on how prioritization of depth cues is dependent on levels of sex hormones in the body and how this affects engagement with virtual reality.
Outside of academia, I have worked at various non-profits and corporations. I'm on the board of Crisis Text Line, an amazing organization dedicated to supporting young people in crisis through text messaging. I'm also a Trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian, a Smithsonian cultural heritage institution and the Social Science Research Council. For five years, I worked at V-Day, an organization working to end violence against women and girls worldwide. I helped build an online community to support activists. For a complete bio, click here.
On the web, I'm known for two things: maintaining an Ani DiFranco lyrics site and blogging prolifically. Personally, I love music, dancing, politics, reading, and all things fuzzy. At my core, I'm both an activist and a scholar. I'm also a mom to two kids.