Bryan Semaan

Bryan Semaan

Bryan Semaan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University. Prior to joining the iSchool he was a Postdoc at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he collaborated with Dr. Scott Robertson in the Hawaii Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HI’CHI). He obtained his Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine, where he was advised by Dr. Gloria Mark. His primary research areas are in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), and Social Media/Social Computing.

Bryan has been invited to contribute to several communities such as Computer-Human Interaction (CHI), Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (TOCHI), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), the Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM), and Digital Government Society (d.Go). He has been invited to serve on several panels and give talks on topics ranging from social media use in crisis to terrorism in the Internet age. He has also received awards for his work, having most recently received a SIGCHI Best Paper Award at the ACM CHI Conference--the premier conference on Human-Computer Interaction (More information is available here).

I am looking for PhD students who are interested in...

(1) Employing qualitative (interviews and observations) and quantitative (big data collection and analysis, and experimentation) methods to explore ICT uses in critical civic context, and (2) designing new technologies to help support individuals, families and communities, in the following domains:

- Veterans and their support networks as vets transition back into civil society post-service

- Refugee migration and resettlement

- Other forms of crisis, such as political uprisings or natural disasters

- Political communication and deliberation

- Digital journalism

- Infrastructure studies and the application of infrastructure perspectives beyond the scientific domain


His broad research agenda involves understanding how people both appropriate and are shaped by Interactive and Collaborative Technologies (ICTs), like social media, in their daily lives. More specifically, he is interested in understanding how and under what circumstances people use (or do not use) ICTs in critical civic contexts--in both public and private settings--and what the effects of ICT use are on individuals, groups, and society. In other words, Bryan studies “messy social situations” such as crises, political deliberation and social movements. Focusing on diverse situations and populations, his research integrates qualitative, quantitative and computational analysis to identify and pursue potentially impactful design opportunities, policy changes and infrastructure initiatives, to improve people's livelihood and better the world.

To learn more about specific projects, please navigate to the descriptions available on my website.


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