I'm an anthropologist who studies how people do cultural things with technology.
I’m writing a book about the people who make music recommender systems and how they think about culture. Computing Taste: The Making of Algorithmic Music Recommendation draws on several years of ethnographic fieldwork with developers in the United States and covers topics from the geography of abstract space to the design of algorithmic engagement traps. It will be done eventually.
I'm currently thinking about why we measure attention in units of time, the relationship between care and scale, kinship metaphors for academic disciplines, and why computer programmers love rock climbing so much.
I'm an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Tufts University, where I also teach in the Science, Technology, and Society program. Before that, I got my undergraduate degree in Literature at Yale University, a Masters of Science in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, and my PhD in Anthropology from UC Irvine.
You may be interested in the syllabus for my seminar, “How to Pay Attention,” in my article on the ethnography of algorithmic systems, or in the history of player pianos. If you’re a current or former student seeking a recommendation letter, you’ll want to go here.