The Internet Rules Lab


My research happens in a lab model, which means that it’s all about collaboration! Though my Information Science PhD advisees are the major force behind our research projects, I also work with grad students in other departments, as well as undergraduates. Collectively we are the Internet Rules Lab (IRL) – website coming soon! – though we also share meetings and projects with Jed Brubaker’s Identity Lab. Here at IRL, we study rules on the internet, but also ways in which the internet rules.

For more information on all the awesome projects mentioned below, check out the research page!

Brianna Dym (Information Science PhD Student, 2nd year) has a background in English and sociolinguistics, with a masters degree from the University of Alaska. She got her start in researching online communities and their digital literacy practices, and is now looking to norms in online communities and ways in which different minority groups carve out spaces for themselves online. She is currently researching gaming communities and Archive of Our Own, and is also interested in different ways in which users push back against hegemonic structures in technology. [Current IRL projects: queer identity in videogames, safety and privacy in fandom, fandom online community migration, research ethics for public data]

Natalie Garrett (Information Science PhD Student, 1st year) is interested in ethics, privacy, and ethics education. Prior to becoming a doctoral student, she held positions as a founding team member of a Boulder software startup, consulted with international EdTech startups, and had a career in higher education administration. She is a graduate of Prescott College (BA in Environmental Studies) and University of California, Los Angeles (MA in Higher Education and Organizational change). Natalie’s career, research, and life are truly interdisciplinary and when she’s not on campus you’ll find her hiking with her dog Tungsten, scuba diving, riding her bike to local breweries, taking a ballet class, or managing the small business she co-founded. [Current IRL projects: research ethics for public data, tech ethics controversies]

Aaron Jiang (Information Science PhD Student, 3rd year) has an undergraduate CS degree from University of Minnesota where he was part of GroupLens. His research interests are social computing, online communities, and social media, using a combination of qualitative and computational methods. [Current IRL projects: practice and interpretations around GIFs, community-created rules in online communities]

Blake Hallinan (Communication PhD Student) is a student in the Communication department in CMCI, advised by Ted Striphas. Her work involves how computational technologies change culture and communication, particularly in the context of representations of emotion as information. [Current IRL projects: public perceptions of research ethics and technology controversy]

Former Graduate Student Researchers

Mike Skirpan (CU CS PhD conferred December 2017) was a student in the CS department at CU, advised by Tom Yeh. He is a data ethicist, writer, artist, and educator, particularly interested in how to develop technology in the public-interest. [IRL projects: perceptions of data risk, terms of service, ethics education]

Nate Beard (CU ICTD/ATLAS MS conferred August 2018) is interested in ethics education, data privacy, and global development through the lens of civil rights. [IRL projects: terms of service, ethics education]

Undergraduate Researchers (Past & Present)

Samantha Elkin (BA-Journalism) – Ownership of share social media

Cooper Kernan (BS-CS) – Impact of DRM/copyright on technology use

Joshua McCann (BS-CS, BA-Music) – Community-created rules in online communities, ethics education

Christine Samson (BS-CS) – Fandom, crowdsourcing, and accessibility

Darby Shepherd (BS-INFO) – Community-created rules in online communities

Keenan Wulff (BS-ECEE) – Community-created rules in online communities


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