/ People

Phoebe Sengers

I am a faculty member in Science & Technology Studies and Information Sicnece at Cornell, where I lead the Culturally Embedded Computing group. My work integrates analysis of the political and social impacts of technology with technology design. My primary current focus is a long-term ethnographic and historical study of sociotechnological change in the small, traditional fishing community of Change Islands, Newfoundland, looking at how changing sociotechnical infrastructures are tied with changing orientations to time, technology, and labor. I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1998 with a self-defined interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence and Cultural Theory.

Hrönn Brynjarsdóttir Holmer

I am a PhD candidate in Information Science at Cornell. My research focuses on information technology use in the Icelandic fishery. Employing ethnographic research methods I examine the increasing role data play in issues regarding natural resource management, sustainability as well as shifting notions of what it means to be a professional in the fishery today. In particular, my work is oriented towards answering the questions how and why fish is transformed into data and what happens to professional practice when fish is transformed into data.

Vera Khovanskaya

I am a graduate student in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University. I study how social implications are built into technology through technical decision-making, and develop methods to identify and alter underlying values in technology through critical technical practice. I am also interested in methods that integrate archival research with early stages of design research and speculative design. My current focus for this work is studying the design and implementation of new metrics for evaluating the outputs of work in relationship to organized labor, specifically in the context of workplace rationalization projects taken up by the engineering department of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union in the 1940-50s.

Samir Passi

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University with a minor in Science & Technology Studies. I study how data scientists approach, organize, analyze, and visualize the world with and through data structures, computational algorithms, and statistical techniques. In my work, I am particularly interested in the oft-invisible and under-articulated forms of human work constituting data science learning, research, and practice. I ask questions such as: what forms of human and technical work constitute data science, how do data scientists situate and evaluate data science results to make them meaningful in computational, business, and social contexts, etc. I study such question ethnographically in the context of data science learning environments as well as corporate data science teams.

Palashi Vaghela

I am a graduate student in Information Science at Cornell where I study feminist technologies. I am trying to answer the question - ‘what are feminist technologies?’ by unpacking the different ways in which technologies are situated in patriarchal societies and how women are using technologies to resist and subvert hierarchies. My inspiration for this work comes from my experience of working as a feminist activist in India. For my research, I continue to work with organizations and collectives back at home to understand the role of technology in the women’s movement in South Asian communities. I work with Phoebe Sengers and Steven Jackson at Cornell, and often find myself involved in projects at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology and Information Science.

When not absorbed in school-work, I am either experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, reading a science fiction novel, discovering new music for my playlists, binge watching TV shows or just ranting away on twitter. I am an ardent supporter of independent music in India for which I edit and write an e-zine called

Kaiton Williams

I’m a Ph.D. candidate in Cornell’s Information Science program, where I study the role computers increasingly play in our articulation of our selves: how we understand who, when, what, and why we are. I focus on the ideologies of these systems, particularly as they are deployed and debated in the developing world—areas that shouldn’t be viewed as in need of charity but instead as rich in a tradition of entrepreneurship and creativity, as places with designs, ideas, and indigenous knowledge that can only inform and nourish this idea of blah blah