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Leysia Palen
Alma materUniversity of California, San Diego
University of California, Irvine
Scientific career
FieldsHuman-computer interaction
Crisis Informatics
Computer supported cooperative work
InstitutionsUniversity of Colorado Boulder
University of Agder

Leysia Palen is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder where she is also the Founding Chair and Professor of Information Science. [1] At the University of Agder, she is a Full Adjunct Professor. She is best known for her research in crisis informatics, an area where she is a leader in.

Education[edit | edit source]

In 1991, Palen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego.[2]
She completed her graduate studies at the University of California, Irvine where she earned her Masters degree (1995) and PhD (1998) in Information and Computer Science.[2]

Notable Awards[edit | edit source]

In 2006, Palen was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award.[1]
In 2015, Palen won the SIGCHI Social Impact Award for her work in crisis informatics.[3]
In 2016, she was inducted into the CHI Academy.[4]

Notable Work[edit | edit source]

Project EPIC (Empowering the Public with Information in Crisis)[edit | edit source]

Palen is a co-director of Project EPIC at the University of Colorado Boulder.[2] The Project EPIC team specializes in researching how the public uses technology to share information in times of mass emergency and designing infrastructure to support those needs.[5] Their key research topics include understanding the quality and quantity of information that is transferred through computer mediated communication during crisis, means of ensuring the security and validity of the information that is transferred, uniting the formal and informal channels of information and discovering new uses for information extraction techniques.

Thin Grey Lines: Confrontations With Risk on Colorado’s Front Range (2017)[edit | edit source]

This paper was published in 2017 and it won the CHI 2017 Honorable Mention Award.[6] It details the results of a two year ethnographic observation study about the politics and science of the flood risk in Colorado to research how citizens respond to expert knowledge about flooding in that region. It concluded that the 100-year floodplain standard used to inform the public about maps created by the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s National Floodplain Insurance Program (NFIP) discourages public engagement with flood risk. To facilitate flood risk awareness amongst the public, the authors proposed a Flood Risk Game where players are given $1 million in play to spend on a house and flood risk management tools. They also propose a web-based map of Colorado that also displays the areas affected by the 2013 floods.

Expertise in the Wired Wild West (2015)[6][edit | edit source]

This paper was a Honorable Mention for "Best of CSCW" in 2015.[6] This ethnographic study details how 38 horses were evacuated from an isolated ranch in Northern Colorado after the flash floods of September 2013. The exchange of information online through social media was key in organizing and securing resources for the problem to be solved offline by over 60 people came to the horses’ rescue.

Supporting Disaster Reconnaissance with Social Media Data: A Design-Oriented Case Study of the 2013 Colorado Floods (2014)[edit | edit source]

This paper was a Best Paper Nomination for ISCRAM 2014.[6] In this paper, the researchers explored methods to use Twitter tweets and other social media data posted during the September 2013 floods in Colorado to help understand the structural consequences of the flood and to prepare for a post-disaster engineering field study of the affected area.

Microblogging during two natural hazards events: what twitter may contribute to situational awareness (2010)[edit | edit source]

This is Palen’s most cited paper.[7] Twitter tweets generated in response to the Red River Floods and Oklahoma grass fires that occurred in Spring 2009 were studied to identify key features that can be used by information extraction systems to help improve situational awareness in times of crisis. Key situational features identified include Preparation, Warning, Advice, Evacuation, Response to Warning.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 [1], Biography | Leysia Palen; accessed April 05, 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 [2], Leysia Palen's CV; accessed April 05, 2018
  3. [3], 2016 SIGCHI Awards | ACM SIGCHI; accessed April 05, 2018
  4. [4], 2016 SIGCHI Awards | ACM SIGCHI; accessed April 05, 2018
  5. [5], Project EPIC - Empowering the Public with Information in Crisis; accessed April 05, 2018
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 [6], Papers | Leysia Palen; accessed April 05, 2018
  7. [7], Leysia Palen - Google Scholar Citations; accessed April 05, 2018

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