ICS Lunch and Seminar Series: Sean Goggins on 1/12

Thursday, Jan. 12, 12:00pm, POST318B (ICSpace) 

Computational Intelligence Pipelines: Imagination and Reality

Sean Goggins
Computer Science Department
University of Missouri


The promise of making sense of human behavior through technology for profit is immense. If one looks at the success of online advertising, Amazon’s suggestions and Facebook advertising, indeed, monetizing human behavior related to purchasing “things” is beyond the realm of promise. What, however, about the more complex enterprises that humans undertake?

How do I seek support for a health condition, and know to trust the information? Where can I deploy my opinions and efforts so that my aim of affecting social change through social media is more than “Slacktivism”? Anywhere the influence of human beings stretches beyond transactions involving the exchange of currency for goods or services, our understanding of how social computing technologies influence, help or support our humanity we realize how little we know.

Dr. Goggins work focuses on systematic collection, reshaping and alignment of methodology and theory with data in social computing research. There are three specific threads of work that combine in Dr. Goggins endeavors, and which will be the focus of his talk. First, Group Informatics is a systematic methodology and ontology for making sense of electronic traces of human behavior. Second, Dr. Goggins empirical work examines social influence and information quality across social media platforms and subgroups. Finally, Dr. Goggins work as one of the organizers of the “open collaboration data exchange” (ocdx.io) is illuminating the challenges of collection, analysis, writing and storage of data across social computing research labs. From these 3 perspectives, Dr. Goggins outlines what he views as the most interesting social computing questions facing us in the coming decade.


Sean Goggins is an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri in the Computer Science department. He teaches, publishes and conducts research on the uptake and use of information and communication technologies by small groups in medium to large scale sociotechnical systems; from Facebook, to online course systems. Sean conceptualizes “group informatics” as a methodological approach and ontology (Goggins et al, 2013) for making sense of the interactions between people in medium to large scale social computing environments. Sean spent 12 years as a software engineering and architect in industries ranging from medical devices to online publishing before pursuing his Ph.D. After four years at Drexel University in Philadelphia, he moved to Missouri in the fall of 2013, where he as continued to get his work funded, and launched a new masters degree program in data science in the fall of 2016.