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Alexander Owen Smith

Alexander Owen Smith

PhD Student


Alexander is a second year PhD student of Information Science and Technology in the iSchool. He completed a BS in Economics at University of West Georgia in 2013. In 2017, he completed a thesis track MA in Economics at Georgia State under Dr. Paula Stephan while also completing three years of mathematics courses.Presently he his working under Dr. Jeff Hemsley, and contributing to the STACKS project with BITS Lab. His primary GA work involves co-managing the Mongo database for Illuminating and the affiliated Linux servers and scripts.


Alexander spends free time reading about miscellaneous subjects, writing, playing chess, playing guitar badly, and listening to music. He prefers to read broadly in economics, politics, socio-technical histories, philosophy of science, epistemology, mathematics, and religion. He also particularly enjoys table top gaming and RPGs, and reads way too many video game reviews to have never owned a console.Also, with 6 years of coffee industry experience, he enjoys the entire world of coffee and tea.Alexander is also a strong advocate of open source movement, and is a dedicated user of Linux.


Coming from a background in Science of Science and Economics of Science, Alexander is interested in semiotic innovation, learning, and practice. His primary interests are related to semiotic and semantic innovation on social media. Particularly, this involves considering the innovative communicative practices of memes, and how memes and people interact. Additionally, he is working on visual objects online related to political imagery, and how this informs people.He is interested in connecting these areas to theoretical developments such as informational virality, spreadable media, and other social network phenomena.Additionally, Alexander is interested in documentation practices in specialized "knowledge-interested" disciplines such as academia.

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