Two Georgia Tech College of Computing researchers, Munmun de Choudhury and David Joyner, have been announced as recipients of 2018H1 Mozilla Research Grants. The winning proposals support the mission of “making the Internet safer, more empowering, and more accessible.”
The School of Interactive Computing’s De Choudhury will apply grant funding to research focused on digital harassment. Her award-winning proposal, Combating Professional Harassment Online via Participatory Algorithmic and Data-Driven Research, will lead to the development of new digital tools to help make the internet a safer space.
“This project will utilize human-centered approaches and data-driven algorithms to build tools that combat professional harassment online and its psychological repercussions,” said de Choudhury. “We’re very excited about the research this grant will help us pursue.”
Joyner, an associate director for student experience in the College of Computing, has been awarded funding to pursue research focused on improving the online student experience, using the College’s online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) as a case study. His winning proposal, Virtual Reality for Classrooms-at-a-Distance in Online Education, focuses on the use of VR as a possible tool for the expanded digital student experience.
"There's a perception that scaling up the size of an online program harms the community because people are no longer in the same place at the same time, but there's a point at which that comes full circle,” said Joyner. “At OMSCS’ size, no matter when you're studying, there are likely several others working at the same time.”
“Our research task is to connect these students and use the program's large size to make it feel small and personal again. Virtual reality study lounges or lecture watching-parties are two ambitious ways we might do that."
De Choudhury and Joyner are two of just eight to earn Mozilla 2018H Research Grants. More information about these grants and the other award winning proposals is available on the Mozilla blog.