Roberta Ellen Lamb Memorial Endowed Fellowship Recipient Investigates Online Democratic Discourse

February 12, 2019

Informatics Ph.D. student Eugenia Rho recently earned the Roberta Ellen Lamb Memorial Fellowship. Established through an endowment in 2007 by Bob and Mosselle Pione, the fellowship honors the memory of their daughter, former ICS Associate Professor of Informatics Roberta Lamb, who passed away in 2006 after a short battle with cancer. In a personal remembrance following her passing, Informatics Professor Bonnie Nardi wrote, “Roberta’s genius was to ask big, nearly imponderable questions and to ground them in lengthy precise field studies, sophisticated theorizing and deep understandings of technology.”

Rho’s use of computational methods and large-scale experiments to understand linguistic and social behavior in automated environments similarly tackles big questions. The focus of her research ranges from autonomous vehicles to social media news feeds.

“I like digging into problem spaces that tell a story about how people interact with technology in unexpected ways,” says Rho. “My research allows me to delve into these stories that, when pieced together, may answer some of the big questions that help theorize deep understandings of technology.”

The fellowship’s $10,000 award will support Rho’s dissertation work, which considers factors influencing democratic discourse on the web. “I’m going to investigate how news consumption on social media influences the nature of democratic discourse on political topics.”

Visit the ICS Scholarships & Fellowships webpage for more information on this and other award opportunities.

— Shani Murray