Dmitry Epstein

    Email Address: dmitry@uic.edu
    College: Liberal Arts and Sciences Department: Communication
    Title: Assistant Professor of Digital Policy
    Office: BSB 1159
    Webpage: http://www.thinkmacro.org
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    Under the broad umbrella of information, technology, policy, and society my research focuses primarily on Internet governance and on information technology policy.

    My work in Internet governance is twofold. First I am interested in the participatory practices in the emerging Internet governance spaces. This includes questions of authority, trust, and legitimacy of various stakeholders and different forms of participation. Second, I am interested in the discourse of Internet governance and framing of policy issues and principles (such as privacy, net-neutrality, and multistakeholderism among others). I am really fascinated with policy buzzwords.

    In the area of information technology policy, I am particularly fascinated by assumptions embedded in the framing of policy issues. You might have heard about millennials not carrying about their privacy at all or about URLs being used to assess the quality of online content, and so forth. Some of those assertions have been empirically tested, but many have not. I want to do more empirical work testing those broad assumptions. Second, focusing on policymaking practices, I am interested in expanding the notions of governance to account not only for formal policymaking, but also for technology design and use.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 3

    Qualifications of a Student:
    The main criteria I am looking for are motivation and genuine passion. You should have a clear idea for why you want to work with me, what your goals and expectations are, and what you want to contribute.

    There is no preference for a major or a year in college, but there are some experiences that could strengthen your case. Those include social science research methods course/s, basic knowledge of computational social science methods, prior experience in research, and a GPA of 3.2 and above. Again, those are not required qualifications, but they can strengthen your case.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    Depending on your background and level of preparedness, you may engage in one or more of the following activities: library research, data collection, data preparation for data analysis or data analysis itself. Ultimately, if the project matures enough during our time working together, I will be glad to discuss your involvement in preparing an academic publication. You will also be likely exposed to opportunities to present your work or engage with policy practitioners in the field.

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