Student researchers, graduate fellows, and faculty are working together on different research projects throughout the year. At the heart of our work are the collaborative spring projects. Every year, a new cohort of students produces a piece of public scholarship concerned with digital due process.
Everyday Ecologies of Scoring: An Exploratory Map
What does a human being look like through the lens of all the ratings, scores, and metrics that are supposed to represent them in their daily life? In this project, we map the ecology of scores and scoring that a person has to navigate. Credit scores, performance metrics, Uber ratings, immigration points, consumers scores, insurance risk assessments, and social media karma: we are surrounded by a web of more or less visible metrics that have far-ranging consequences for our lives. Whereas researchers usually study the implications of specific scores and metrics, we are taking a holistic view and want to find out whether and to what extent the myriad of different scoring systems shape and influence each other—and what, if anything, can be done to challenge them.
Researchers: Christopher Chandra, Carson Crane, Sam Tesfaye, Valerie Kong, Hannah Dominguez, Grace Cala, Stephen Yang, Chris Hesselbein, Malte Ziewitz
Documenting the Lived Experiences of Data Subjects
Search engines are a key example of an automated scoring system. In this project, we document the lived experiences of people struggling with web search results, from small business owners and social activists to people re-entering society after prison terms.
Researchers: Ciarra Lee, Cassidy McGovern, Amy Eng, Annika Pinch, Kyra Wisniewski, Deana Gonzales, Emma Li, Sterling Williams-Ceci, Stephen Yang, Ranjit Singh, Malte Ziewitz
Restoring Credit: How People Understand and Interact with Credit Scoring Systems
Recovering from a broken credit score can be an existential challenge. While credit bureaus, banks, and regulators tend to suggest that errors can be fixed and scores improved without the need for special expertise, especially low-income Americans and traditionally disadvantaged groups are struggling to keep up. How do people make sense of and engage with scoring systems on a daily basis? Drawing on work in science & technology studies (STS), anthropology, sociology, and information science, this project traces the credit repair journeys of a small number of people in Upstate New York.
Researchers: Ranjit Singh, Malte Ziewitz
Funding: Cornell Center for the Social Sciences (CCSS) Small Grant