photo by Intel Labs

UC Irvine will anchor a new $12.5 million, Intel-funded research center that applies social science and humanities to the design and analysis of digital information.

“Technology is profoundly entangled with our everyday lives. As researchers, we can’t get a handle on what’s going on by looking at technical factors alone. We have to study them in concert with human, social and cultural aspects,” said UCI informatics professor Paul Dourish.

He and Scott Mainwaring of Intel Labs will co-lead the center, dubbed the Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing, along with UCI anthropology and law professor Bill Maurer.

Intel researchers will work side by side with academics in campus labs. The research is not proprietary and will be public, open intellectual property. Mainwaring, senior research scientist with Intel Labs’ Interaction & Experience Research group, has already moved into an office at UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences.

Read press release

Experientia has always been very interested in the work of Paul Dourish, and frequently featured it on its blog. This is a tremendously exciting development, and we wish Prof. Dourish all the best with this new Intel research center.

And as a pleasant aside, the building tiles featured on the directors photo are somehow strangely reminiscent of the building tiles of another educational research center devoted to the same theme: the well-known Interaction Design Institute Ivrea.