Mariam Asad, Digital Media Ph.D. student, was featured on March 3rd in Pacific Standard’s “The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30”, which features the top young thinkers in economics, education, political science, and more.
Mariam’s work focuses on the different ways people use digital media to be engaged as citizens. Her focus is less on how this happens through electoral or formal political institutions—like e-voting, for example—and more so through grassroots organizations or community engagement, like skillshare meetups or citizen science projects. She asks the question: What are the platforms that people use to self-organize, and how does that translate to civic action?
The articles explains: “Currently, Asad is exploring these questions through the lens of Cycle Atlanta, a mobile application that her Ph.D. advisor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Christopher Le Dantec, helped develop. Since 2012, cyclists have been using the app to record their trips and report problems like potholes and blocked bike lanes. City planners are consulting the app’s crowdsourced data to strategically improve the city’s cycling infrastructure.”