CISE Faculty Candidate Seminar: Dr. Pamela J. Wisniewski

Date: January 25, 2024
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Host: Department of CISE
Admission: Free

Bio: Dr. Wisniewski is an endowed, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. She is a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) scholar whose research lies at the intersection of Social Computing and Privacy. Dr. Wisniewski is an expert in the interplay between social media, privacy, and online safety for adolescents. She was one of the first researchers to recognize the need for a resilience-based approach, rather than an abstinence-based approaches to adolescent online safety, and to back this stance up with empirical data. She has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications and has won multiple best papers (top 1%) and best paper honorable mentions (top 5%) at top conferences in HCI. She has been awarded over $4.73 million in external grant funding, including two prestigious career awards. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award for her innovative, teen-centric approach to adolescent online safety, “Safety by Design: Protecting Adolescents from Online Risks,” and was the first computer scientist to evever be selected as a William T. Grant Scholar for her work on reducing digital inequality in youth outcomes. Her research has been featured by popular news media outlets, including Scientific American, ABC News, NPR, Psychology Today, and U.S. News and World Report.

Title: Risk and Resilience: Promoting Adolescent Online Safety and Privacy through Human-Centered Computing

Abstract: Dr. Wisniewski’s research expertise is situated at the juxtaposition of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Social Computing, and Privacy. She views privacy as a social mechanism that helps people regulate their interpersonal boundaries with others in a way that facilitates more meaningful connections and safer online interactions with others. Her research focuses on: 1) community-based approaches for helping people (adults and teens) co-manage their online privacy with people they trust, 2) teen-centric approaches to online safety that promote self-regulation and empower teens to effectively manage online risks, and 3) online safety interventions that protect our most vulnerable youth from severe online risks, such as sexual predation. Through the research trajectories above, she has become a leading HCI scholar at the intersections of adolescent online safety, developmental science, interaction design, and human-centered computing. She has created an exciting research program that intertwines research and education to engage teens, college students, experts in adolescent psychology, experts in participatory design and research methods, community partners, and industry stakeholders in a community-based effort to build the village needed to protect our youth from online risks by empowering them to protect themselves. During her talk, Dr. Wisniewski will give an overview of her ongoing grant-funded research, as well as her career-long aspirations to empower people through human-centered computing as a “scholar-activist,” who is someone committed to scholarly research and scientific rigor, but equally committed to their situations of origin and are passionate about making the world a better place through their learned experience.

Zoom Link: