STATEMENT OF RESEARCH INTERESTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
The underlying theme to all my research is that we can meaningfully enable people to connect with each other via technology. Through my drive to have a real world, meaningful impact on people’s lives, as a research scientist I have worked primarily in industry research focusing on innovation in social technologies. My approach as both a social psychologist and a technologist is to first develop a deep understanding of natural social processes in any problem space, design innovation proposals based on my observations, prototype new technologies to test key research questions, and then deploy and evaluate said prototypes. I favor triangulating on research answers by combining diverse methodologies including usage analysis, online questionnaires, lab studies, and ethnographic observation.
My early work in the Social Computing Group at Microsoft Research (MSR; 1999-2005) focused on how might communication technologies be used for improved social support when coping with health issues (HutchWorld). At that time it became apparent to me that people derive the most value from technology by connecting to their existing, real world relationships – their family, friends, and co-workers. I completed several research projects examining how people mentally model their social groups and how might we help users automatically organize their social networks based on communication behavior (Personal Map), and how might they expand their social networks through conversation around shared media at home (Wallop) and interest-based, bootstrapped networks at work (MSR Connections, Point to Point). I also performed a number of studies examining how to help people find each other by optimizing profiles and matchmaking services. At the same time, I was enraptured with the changing nature of social coordination through the emergence of the cell phone, consequently creating several technologies focused on group level hyper-communication and coordination (Swarm, S.L.A.M.), and completing an intensive deployment study of the communication and coordination challenges for ad hoc relief workers in New Orleans following Katrina.
My research at MSR led to numerous papers published in first tier conferences, and numerous patents. My projects had a meaningful impact on Microsoft technologies, particularly Outlook, Sharepoint, Windows Mobile, and Xbox Live, and two of my projects were spun out of Microsoft as their own startups including Wallop, which left Microsoft with 40,000 users and raised 25 million dollars. As a member of the HCI community I organized several workshops, contributed to the field as a chair of paper committees, mentored Ph.D. student interns, and started a Microsoft-sponsored first tier event, the Social Computing Symposium, bringing together thought leaders from academia, industry research, startups, and news media.
In 2006 I carried my passion for creating new technologies into the startup world, focusing on projects that explored how to leverage the increasing prevalence of social networking and social media technologies for real-world community development. In addition to consulting with various startups (as Waggle Labs) to help them incorporate theory, research, and best practices into their innovation processes, I started my own company, Pathable, with two co-founders. We chose to build Pathable based on my research in the professional event space, which focused on how to optimize finding similar others (through theory-based matching algorithms) in the short time available at conferences. Pathable is now a profitable business providing rich community tools for hundreds of conferences, including DELL, Microsoft, HP, NSF, and GE, and in 2009 won an international industry award (EIBTM) for best new technology for events. While in the startup world, I continued to participate in the HCI research community through publishing papers in first tier conferences, and teaching a class “Social Web 2.0” at the University of Washington.
Fundamentally, I am a research scientist, and in 2009 returned to industry research at Yahoo! where I worked directly with the communities teams to engage in forward thinking research, particularly addressing how to help users manage their increasingly integrated communication and social networking streams across the different facets of their lives.
Staff/Senior Researcher, Yahoo! November 2009 – December 2010. Researched early stage social technologies as an embedded researcher with the communications and communities teams (Yahoo! Mail, Groups), with the goals of both guiding forward-thinking products and inspiring innovation. Activities included:
Founder, Research Consultant, Waggle Labs, June 2006 – November 2009. Started consulting company where I performed early stage research and development for startups in the social networking and community technologies space. Activities included:
Founder, User Experience Architect, Pathable, June 2007 – December 2008. Spun out Pathable, one of Waggle Labs’ incubation projects, as its own company with two co-founders. Pathable continues today as a successful, profitable startup.
Adjunct Professor, University of Washington, Fall 2007. Developed and taught course on “Social Web 2.0” to students in the Digital Media and Communications Master’s program.
Researcher, Social Computing Group, Microsoft Research, October 1999 – October 2005. Researched social technologies with projects expected to impact Microsoft products two to ten years in the future. Core responsibilities included:
Developer, University of Washington, Fall 1998 – Fall 1999. Developed FIAT 2.3 using C++, an application that allowed experimenters to develop and use Implicit Association Tests, which measure implicit attitudes through reaction time data.
Research Assistant, University of Washington, Fall 1993 – Spring 1998. Developed, implemented, analyzed, and reported studies examining self-esteem, social identity, and stereotypes. Mentored undergraduates in developing and implementing their own research projects.
Instructor and Teaching Assistant. University of Washington, Fall 1993- Spring 1998. Instructor for Laboratory in Social Psychology, 2 quarters. Taught research skills and provided undergraduates with direct, hands-on experience with the experimental process. Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Social Psychology, 3 quarters, Human Sexuality, 3 quarters, Developmental Psychology, 2 quarters, Laboratory in Social Psychology, 4 quarters. Conducted discussion sections, developed exams, graded papers, and advised research groups.
UNIVERSITY AND SCHOLASTIC RECORD
Advisor: Tony Greenwald
Dissertation Title: From Implicit Self-esteem to In-group Favoritism
RELATED PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
INVITED PRESENTATIONS AND GUEST LECTURES
RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS, NOTABLE MEDIA MENTIONS
PUBLICATIONS — PEER REVIEWED JOURNALS AND CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS
Brown, J. D., Farnham, S. D., & Cook, K. E. (2002). Emotional responses to changing feedback: Is it better to have won and lost than never to have won at all? Journal of Personality, 70, pp. 127-141.
Cheng, L., Stone, L., Farnham, S., Clark, A. M., & Zaner-Godsey, M. (2000) Hutchworld: lessons learned. A collaborative project: Fred Hutchsinson Cancer Research Center & Microsoft Research. In Proceedings of Virtual Worlds Conference 2000, Paris, France, June 2000. Reprinted in J. C. Heudin (Ed.) Virtual Worlds, 2000, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg.
Chesley, H., Kawal, R., Landau, J., Cheng, L., Farnham, S., Seban, S. (2000). Scripting business social interactions. In Proceedings of SSGRR, July 2000.
Davis, J., Zaner, M., Farnham, S., Marcjan, C., McCarthy, B. (2003) Wireless brainstorming: Overcoming status effects in small group decisions. In Proceedings of HICCS-36 2003, Hawaii.
Farnham, S., Kelly, S.U., Portnoy, W., & Schwartz, J.L.K. (2004). Wallop: Designing social software for co-located social networks. In Proceedings of HICSS-37, 2004, Hawaii.
Farnham, S., Portnoy, W., Turski, A., Cheng, L., Vronay, D. (2003). Personal Map: Automatically modeling the user’s online social network. In Proceedings of Interact 2003, Switzerland, July 2003.
Farnham, S., Cheng, L., Stone, L., Zaner-Godsey, M., Hibbeln, C, Syrjala, K., Clark, A., & Abrams, J. (2002). HutchWorld: Clinical study of computer-mediated social support for cancer patients and their caregivers. In Proceedings of CHI 2002, Minneapolis,April 2002.
Farnham, S. D., Chesley, H. McGhee, D., & Kawal, R. (2000). Structured on-line interactions: Improving the decision-making of small discussion groups. In Proceedings of CSCW 2000, Philadelphia, December, 2000.
Farnham, S. D. & Churchill, E. F. Faceted identity, faceted lives: Social and technical issues in being yourself online. (2011). To appear in Proceedings of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2011.
Farnham, S.D., Keyani, P. (2006). Swarm: Hyper awareness, hyper coordination, and smart convergence through mobile group text messaging. In Proceedings of HICSS-39, 2006, Hawaii.
Farnham, S. Kirkpatrick, R., Pedersen, E. (2006). Observation of Katrina/Rita deployment: Addressing social and communication challenges of ephemeral groups. In Proceedings of ISCRAM 2006, Newark, New Jersey.
Farnham, S., Schwartz, J., Brown, P. (2009). Leveraging social software for strategic social networking and community development at events. In Communities and Technologies 2009.
Farnham, S.D, Zaner, M., Cheng, L. (2001). Designing for sociability in shared browsers. In Proceedings of Interact 2001, Tokyo, July 2001.
Farnham, S., Zaner-Godsey, M., S. Cheng, L., Stone, L., & Clark, A. M. (2001). Hutchworld: computer-mediated social support for hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients and their caregivers. In Proceedings of Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 2001, San Jose, January 2001.
Greenwald, A. G., Banaji, M. R., Rudman, L. A., Farnham, S. D., Nosek, B. A., & Mellott, D. S. (2002). A unified theory of implicit attitudes, stereotypes, self-esteem, and self-concept. Psychological Review, 109, 3-25.
Greenwald, A. G., & Farnham, S. D. (2000). Using the Implicit Association Test to measure self-esteem and self-concept. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 1022-1038.
Greenwald, A. G., Pickrell, J. E., & Farnham, S. D. (2002). Implicit partisanship: Taking sides for no reason. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 367-379.
Jensen, C., Davis, J., & Farnham, S. (2002). Finding others online: Reputation systems for social online spaces. In Proceedings of CHI 2002, Minneapolis, April 2002.
Jensen, C., Farnham, S., Drucker, S., & Kollock, P. (2000). The effect of communication modality on cooperation in online environments. In Proceedings of CHI 2000, The Hague, Netherlands March 2000.
Kelly, S., Sung, C., & Farnham S. (2002). Designing for improved social responsibility and content in on-line communities. In Proceedings of CHI 2002, Minneapolis, April 2002.
McCarthy, J., Farnham, S., Patel, Y., et al. (2009). Supporting community in third places with situated social software. In Communities and Technologies, 2009.
Ozenc. K. & Farnham, S. (2011). Life modes in social media. To appear in Proceedings of CHI 2011.
Riegelsberger, J., Counts, S., Farnham, S.D. Philips, B. C. Personality matters: Incorporating detailed user attributes and preferences into the natchmaking process. In Proceedings of HICSS, 2007.
Riegelsberger, J., Counts, S., Farnham, S, Philips, B. C. Sounds good to me: effects of photo and voice profiles on gaming partner choice, in Proc. 20th Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2006.
Smith, M., Farnham, S., & Drucker S. (2000). The social life of small graphical chat spaces. In Proceedings of CHI 2000, The Hague, Netherlands March 2000. Reprinted in R. Schroeder (Ed.) The Social Life of Avatars: Presence and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments. Springer: London. 2002.
Short papers (4-6 pages):
Davis, J., Farnham, S., Jensen, C. (2002). Decreasing online ‘bad’ behavior. In Extended Abstracts of CHI 2002, Minneapolis, April 2002.
Farnham, S. D. & Churchill, E. F. Faceted identity, faceted lives: social and technical issues in being yourself online. (2010). Short paper In Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, 2010.
Farnham, S., McCarthy, J., Patel, Y., Ahuja, S., Norman, D., Hazlewood, W., Lind, J. (2009). Measuring the impact of place attachment on the adoption of a place-based community technology. In Proceedings of CHI 2009.
LeeTiernan, S., Farnham, S., & Cheng, L. (2003). Two methods for organizing personal web history. In Extended Abstracts of CHI 2003, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Williams, A., Farnham, S., & Counts, S. (2006). Exploring wearable ambient displays for social awareness. In Extended Abstracts of CHI 2006, Florida, April 2006.
PUBLICATIONS – NON PEER REVIEWED
Cheng, L., Farnham, S., and Stone, L. (2002). Lessons learned: Building and deploying shared virtual environments. P. 90-111. In R. Schroeder (Ed.) The Social Life of Avatars: Presence and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments . Springer: London 2002.
Cheng, L., Stone, L., Farnham, S., Clark, A. M., & Zaner-Godsey, M. (2000) Hutchworld: lessons learned. A collaborative project: Fred Hutchsinson Cancer Research Center & Microsoft Research. In J. C. Heudin (Ed.) Virtual Worlds, 2000, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg.
Farnham, S. D., Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. (1999). Implicit self-esteem: using the implicit association test. In D. Abrams & M. Hogg (Eds.), Social Identity and Cognition. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Farnham, S. (2000). Social psychology online. Observer, American Psychological Society. Dec 2000, 13, 10.
Farnham, S. D., (2002). Predicting active participation in MSN communities. It’s all in the conversation. Microsoft Technical Report MSR-TR-2002-36.
Farnham, S. D., (2007). Art in the age of social participation on the mega scale: Using crowdsourcing for your projects. ONSCREEN Magazine, May 2007, 911 Media Arts.
Farnham, S. D., (2008). The Facebook application ecosystem: Why some thrive – and most don’t. An O’Reilly Radar Report, March 2008.
Greenwald, A. G., Banaji, M. R., Rudman, S. D., Farnham, S. D., Nosek, B. A., & Rosier, M. (2000). Prologue to a unified theory of attitudes, stereotypes, and self-concept. In J. P. Forgas (Ed.) Feeling and Thinking: The Role of Affect in Social Cognition and Behavior (pp. 308-330). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Keyani, P., & Farnham, S. D., (2005). Swarm: Text messaging designed to enhance social coordination. In Harper, R., Palen, L., Taylor, A. (Eds.) The Inside Text: Social, Cultural, and Design Perspectives on SMS.
Smith, M., Farnham, S., & Drucker S. (2000). The social life of small graphical chat spaces. In R. Schroeder (Ed.) The Social Life of Avatars: Presence and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments. Springer: London. 2002.
PAPERS – WORKSHOPS AND POSTERS
Farnham, S. (2002). Personal Map: Automatically modeling the user’s online social network. Paper presented at CSCW 2002 workshop: Redesigning Email for the 21st Century.
Farnham, S. (2002). Visualizing discourse architectures with automatically generated person-centric social networks. Paper presented at CHI 2002 Workshop: Discourse Architectures.
Farnham, S., Keyani, P. (2004). Swarm: Smart Convergence and Peripheral Social Awareness. Paper presented at HCIC 2004, Winter Park, Colorado.
Farnham, S., Portnoy, W., Tursky, A. (2004). Using email mailing lists to approximate and explore corporate social networks. Paper presented at CSCW 2004 workshop: Social Networks for Design and Analysis.
Farnham, S., Turski, A., Portnoy, W., & Davis, J. (2002). Connections: Exploring who knows whom through social networks. Paper presented at HCIC 2002, Winter Park, Colorado.
Farnham, S. Cheng, L., Stone, L., Clark, A. M., & Zaner-Godsey, M. (2001) Hutchworld: Lessons Learned. A collaborative project: Fred Hutchsinson Cancer Research Center & Microsoft Research. Paper presented at HCIC 2001, Winter Park, CO, 2001.
Turski, A., Warnack, D., Cheng, L., Farnham, S., Yee, S. (2005). Inner Circle: People centered email client. Poster presented at CHI 2005.