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Bryan Semaan

Bryan Semaan

Assistant Professor

338 Hinds Hall | Phone: (315) 443-5441

bsemaan@syr.edu

Personal Website: https://bsemaan.expressions.syr.edu/

*I am actively seeking new PhD students to collaborate with. Please send inquiries to me via e-mail, but describe why you would like to work with me (e.g. how our research plans and goals align, how a PhD will advance your future career goals).

Overview

Bryan Semaan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University (SU). He is a founding member of the Behavior, Information, Technology, and Society Laboratory (BITS lab) here at the Syracuse iSchool. He is interested in the general areas of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), and Social Computing.

Bryan has been contributing to the broader field of HCI for over a decade, in which his work has been published in several top-tier Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and related venues, including the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), and the ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (TOCHI), to name a few. He has been invited to serve on several expert panels and give talks on topics ranging from social media use in crisis to terrorism in the internet age. Bryan has also received awards for his work, having most recently received a SIGCHI Best Paper Award and a SIGCHI Honorable Mention Award at the ACM CHI Conference--the premier conference on Human-Computer Interaction (more information is available here).

Prior to joining the iSchool, Bryan was a postdoctoral scholar (postdoc) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He obtained his Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Research

The overarching goal of Bryan's research is to examine the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in enabling resilience amongst people immersed in challenging contexts (e.g. LGBTQ-identifying individuals “coming out”, veterans seeking mental health care, and people forming a political identity). Resilience is defined as how people bounce back from threat or vulnerability. His approach to this work is sociotechnical—he considers people and their social relations to be intimately bound up in the digital and material technologies they use. Our digital experiences have material, real world impact. He seeks out contexts where he can explore the relationship between technology and resilience and that allow him to better understand how people actively use ICTs in the production of resilience. He especially focuses on those contexts where people might be unable to generate resilience with ICTs, or where the present design of ICTs can produce additional threat or vulnerability in people’s lives.

Much of his early scholarship focused on how people draw on ICTs to build resilience during environmental disasters and human-induced emergencies. More recently, he has examined resilience in less dramatic but equally critical contexts, such as when people are forming political identities, or transitioning from one life stage or condition to another (e.g. becoming a parent). The evocation of resilience can also become an everyday experience for people who are systemically marginalized across physical and digital environments; people who are pushed to the boundaries of society based on various intersections of their identity, such as race, class, gender, or sexual orientation. 

Bryan focuses his empirical, conceptual, and design work to influence and shape the discourses in the broad field of human-computer interaction (HCI). Like many in HCI, his goal is to advance ICTs for the social good. To realize this goal, he employs a sociotechnical approach whereby he explores the complex relationship between ICTs and human behavior by drawing on various social science theories and methods. Specifically, to think about the micro and macro relationships between technology and resilience, and to push for more inclusive and value-sensitive ICT design, his research draws and expands upon theories from various disciplines, such as Science and Technology Studies (STS), Feminist STS (FSTS), Organizational Sciences, Psychology, Trauma and Counseling, Political Science, and more. He integrates qualitative (e.g. ethnography), quantitative (e.g. experiments and surveys), and computational analyses (e.g. NLP, machine learning, and data visualization techniques) to understand the activities of populations immersed in challenging contexts. He also employs participatory and speculative design approaches to uncover complex social processes and effects, and to identify and pursue ICT design opportunities which empower and/or improve the lives of people. 

To learn more about specific projects, please navigate to the descriptions available on his website.

To access Bryan's articles, please navigate to his Google Scholar Profile.

Teaching

Currently, Bryan teaches a range of courses in the greater HCI space to an incredible group of undergraduate and graduate students at the iSchool:

IST 343: Data in Society

IST 449: Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

IST 649: Human Interaction with Computers

IST 830: Theories of (digital) technologies

Personal

Outside of being a professor and an academic, Bryan also enjoys the following activities (though his time for enjoying these things has been severely limited):

Video Games, Hosting Gatherings with tons of food, Cooking, Basketball, Football, Baseball, Cycling, and Surfing.

Teaching


Teaching History - 2020-2021
Semester Course Section Title
Fall 2020 IST649 M002 Human Interaction W/Computers
Fall 2020 IST343 M002 Data in Society
Teaching History - 2019-2020
Semester Course Section Title
Fall 2019 IST649 M002 Human Interaction W/Computers
Fall 2019 IST343 M002 Data in Society
Spring 2020 IST649 M001 Human Interaction W/Computers
Spring 2020 IST343 M002 Data in Society
Teaching History - 2018-2019
Semester Course Section Title
Fall 2018 IST649 M002 Human Interaction W/Computers
Fall 2018 IST830 M001 Theories of (Digital) Technolo
Spring 2019 IST449 M001 Human Comp. Interaction
Spring 2019 IST649 M001 Human Interaction W/Computers
Teaching History - 2017-2018
Semester Course Section Title
Spring 2018 IST449 M001 Human Comp. Interaction
Spring 2018 IST649 M001 Human Interaction W/Computers
Teaching History - 2016-2017
Semester Course Section Title
Fall 2016 IST649 M002 Human Interaction W/Computers
Fall 2016 IST830 M001 Seminar in Info Systems
Spring 2017 IST449 M001 Human Comp. Interaction
Spring 2017 IST649 M001 Human Interaction W/Computers
Teaching History - 2015-2016
Semester Course Section Title
Fall 2015 IST649 M001 Human Interaction W/Computers
Fall 2015 IST649 M002 Human Interaction W/Computers
Spring 2016 IST449 M001 Human Comp. Interaction
Spring 2016 IST649 M001 Human Interaction W/Computers
Teaching History - 2014-2015
Semester Course Section Title
Fall 2014 IST601 M050 Info. & Info Environments
Fall 2014 IST649 M001 Human Interaction W/Computers
Spring 2015 IST810 M001 Practicum in Research
Spring 2015 IST840 M001 Practicum in Teaching
Spring 2015 IST449 M001 Human Comp. Interaction
Spring 2015 IST649 M001 Human Interaction W/Computers
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