Judith Donath giving a talk at the EPFL, on 22 June 2009
|Born||May 7, 1962|
|Fields||Media Arts, Human–computer interaction, History|
|Known for||Educational software designer and builder, Social media research, Virtual world architect|
Judith Stefania Donath (born May 7, 1962) is a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center, and the founder of the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Lab. She has written papers on various aspects of the Internet and its social impact, such as Internet society and community, interfaces, virtual identity issues, and other forms of collaboration that have become manifest with the advent of connected computing.
She combines concepts from evolutionary biology, architecture, ethnography, cognitive science, and various other disciplines, to develop methodologies for optimizing the design of mediated virtual cities on the internet and online virtual identities.
She is a pioneer of online social media applications, including the first postcard application and the first interactive art show competition. Her work has been shown internationally in museums and galleries and recently at the MIT Museum as a major exhibit.
Her research work includes issues centered around "identity and deception in online communities" and the creation of multiple virtual personae. In 1999 she researched the presence of deception in the online identities of Usenet users, as well as the reconstruction of the personality of an individual using data gathered from both online and offline encounters.
Donath obtained her Bachelor's degree in History from Yale and her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT. Her work includes the design and development of educational software and experimental media.
On October 10, 1995, while still a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, she helped organize a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the MIT Media Lab by conceiving a mass online collaboration project which featured the construction of a large website by worldwide contributors. The event was named A Day in the Life of Cyberspace and is an early example of mass collaboration on the Internet.
Her pioneering work includes the first postcard service, named The Electric Postcard, and the first interactive art show, titled Portraits in Cyberspace.
In her 2000 book Being Real, Donath explores the problems of cognition arising from the online behavioral dynamics of the interaction between human and possibly automated avatars in a virtual world.
She has investigated the effect of online social media on society as regards the public display of the social interconnections between the members of the online communities as a sort of "Public Displays of Connection". Her work on sociable media has applications in the field of semiotics.
On the subject of telerobotics, Donath argues that the remote manipulation afforded by the discipline may act as a desensitizing agent because the identity and human characteristics of the remote subjects of the telerobotic operation remain unseen by the human teleoperator of the robot. She has also researched the ethnography of online communities.
She has investigated best practices for online communication and their relation to issues of embodiment, gender, sexuality and identity.
Donath has explored the use of artificial emotions in avatars and their potential use in online advertising. She predicts that artificial avatars will possess "suites of emotions" comparable to an emotional wardrobe, from which they can pick the emotion they need to "wear", depending on the circumstances. That way they can be used in advertising campaigns to target their intended audience more effectively.
In her essay "Mediated Faces" she analyzes the role of facial representation and interpretation in an online communication environment, suggesting that there are wider possibilities for online facial representation through the use of computer-enhanced environments than a simple linear pictorial representation of the human face.
- "Judith Donath". The Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Harvard University. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Marcus Foth; Laura Forlano; Christine Satchell; Martin Gibbs (21 December 2011). From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen: Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement. MIT Press. p. 499. ISBN 978-0-262-01651-3. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "Judith Stefania Donath CV". Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- Judith Donath at SMG
- Sociable Media Group
- Marc A. Smith (10 February 1999). Communities in Cyberspace. Taylor & Francis. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-415-19140-1. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Paul Basu (15 April 2006). Highland Homecomings Genealogy and Heritage Tourism in the Scottish Diaspora. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-84472-128-3. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Gunnar Liestøl; Andrew Morrison; Terje Rasmussen (1 September 2004). Digital Media Revisited: Theoretical and Conceptual Innovations in Digital Domains. MIT Press. p. 538. ISBN 978-0-262-62192-2. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Mark Poster (9 August 2006). Information Please: Culture and Politics in the Age of Digital Machines. Duke University Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-8223-3839-0. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Natasha Whiteman (6 January 2012). Undoing Ethics: Rethinking Practice in Online Research. Springer. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-4614-1826-9. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Carl Malamud (8 August 1997). A World's Fair for the Global Village. Carl Malamud. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-262-13338-8. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "Judith Donath on Microsoft Research Social Computing Symposium". Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- Sabine Payr; Robert Trappl (11 June 2004). Agent Culture: Human-agent interaction in A Multicultural World. Taylor & Francis. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8058-4808-3. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Paola Antonelli (1 March 2008). Design and the Elastic Mind. The Museum of Modern Art. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-87070-732-2. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Donath, J; d boyd. "Public displays of connection". BT Technology Journal. 2004 22 (4): 71–82. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- Donald A. Norman (31 October 2010). Living with Complexity. MIT Press. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-262-01486-1. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Ken Goldberg (1 October 2001). The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet. MIT Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-262-57154-8. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Tom Boellstorff (7 April 2010). Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human. Princeton University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-691-14627-0. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Richard A. Bartle (2004). Designing Virtual Worlds. New Riders. p. 484. ISBN 978-0-13-101816-7. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Mia Consalvo; Charles Ess (3 May 2011). The Handbook of Internet Studies. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-1-4051-8588-2. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- Mark Stephen Meadows (28 December 2007). I, Avatar: The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life. New Riders. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-321-53339-5. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Kelly Gates (23 February 2011). Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance. NYU Press. pp. 264–265. ISBN 978-0-8147-3209-0. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News Publishing Corporation. 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- Wilson, Chris (6/10/07). "Taming Internet Flamers and Attracting Adults to Boot New user sites find ways to add civility to the cacophony". US News. Retrieved 4 November 2012. "The anonymity [of flaming] is the same as anonymity of vandalizing in real life," says Judith Donath, an associate professor at the Media Laboratory at MIT. The Net just makes it easier to do."
- Wikimania Proceedings:JD1
- "Berkman Center Announces 2013-2014 Community". Berkman Center for Internet & Society. July 8, 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
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