On Wednesday, January 28th, doctoral candidate Kenneth Farrall presented work from his ongoing research project with Dean Michael X. Delli Carpini at the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education (SCUE) research fair, held at the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall.
The research project seeks to develop new tools for understanding the impact of different internet environments on public deliberation and democracy. By analyzing local structures of hyperlinks on the web in concert with standard content analysis techniques, they hope to identify conditions where extremism and polarization tend to emerge and those conditions that favor integration and deliberation among people with different issue and world views. Much of the current research involves theory development and the conceptualization and eventual testing of methodology for “web graph sociology.”
“The undergraduate students who showed an interest in our research offered valuable insights and suggested connections we hadn’t thought of before,” Ken commented. “It really shows the value of participating in such fairs, especially when research is in its formative stages.”