Fortune Magazine this month named School of Information alumna danah boyd (Ph.D. 2008) one of its "50 Smartest People in Tech". In hailing boyd as technology's “Smartest Academic”, the magazine cited her keynote speech at this year's SXSW Interactive Festival as well as her research on how young people use the Internet.
According to Fortune Magazine's profile:
“Boyd conducts research on social media, and the self-identified geek has made a career of questioning the status quo. She's not afraid to ruffle some feathers in the process. "When I hit raw nerves, I know I need to actually go deeper," she says.... She is the reigning expert on how young people use the Internet, and she's writing a book on the subject. Boyd's research is the real deal, a potent blend of theory and ethnographic data.”
While at the I School, boyd was part of the Digital Youth Project research team and one of the authors of the project's book, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. Her doctoral dissertation, Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics, continued her research into youth culture and the Internet. She is now a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center and a social scientist at Microsoft Research.
“The I School enabled me to be truly interdisciplinary and independent as a scholar,” says boyd. “I had tremendous support in following my passions.”
The magazine's runner-up for the title of “Smartest Academic” also has an I School connection: Joseph Hellerstein is a UC Berkeley professor of computer science and a faculty affiliate of the School of Information.