Disruption  –

Crisis informatics: For several years, Disaster Social Scientists have examined how people cope with environmental disruptions as caused by natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. More recently, the role ICTs play in enabling people to coordinate efforts in providing aid and assistance during disaster has emerged as an active research topic. The majority of these studies, however, have focused on the acute emergency phase during and shortly after a disaster strikes. It is still unclear what role ICTs like Facebook and Twitter can serve outside of the emergency phase. We are conducting longitudinal studies of how people and organizations use technology for resilience, and aim to identify successes and failures. To date, we have studied the use of ICTs by Israeli and Iraqi citizens who experienced long-term disruption as caused by war. Through future work, not only do we wish to continue studying populations and organizations experiencing ongoing duress, but we will apply a design science approach to develop new technologies that can help people in similar situations ameliorate the environmental stress they encounter on a daily basis.

Study for Veterans
As part of the disruption research, the BITS lab is interested in exploring how veterans transition out of the military. Our goal is to help make the transition experience easier with Information Technology.
There are a couple of ways to get involved:
Participate in a 1-2 hour focus group with Syracuse University researchers!
Help design a wearable device that serves as a resource for other veterans!

Focus groups will run from one to two hours by a member of the research team who will facilitate group dialogue. Participants will be free to talk with other focus group participants. The intent of the focus group is to discover what veterans want and desire from a wearable device. By having veterans direct the design process, our research lab can better develop an application that uses the capabilities of smart watches to assess veterans’ health and wellbeing.
We believe our work is critical to improving the veteran community. We also believe many of the ideas found in our projects are novel, making this work valuable in the research community as well. If you are interested in participating in this research study, please fill out the recruitment survey online. Sign Up:



We apply our research findings to develop real-world tools.

Poli – A new social media environment for political deliberation designed in collaboration between Syracuse University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Poli is a prototype social media environment that was designed in response to user needs in the domain of political information browsing and deliberation. Through our empirical work, we identified several challenges users face when browsing political information, disseminating political information, and engaging in political discourse, and designed Poli accordingly. The features of the environment include aggregating information across social media technologies, exposing users to diverse political information and alternative viewpoints, filtering content by topic, sentiment, geographic location and political orientation, providing feedback on the impact of posts, understanding context, and managing identity.



Software developed to support our research.