Welcome to the wiki for the Crowd Research project!
NEW: Welcome summer researchers, to get started, we've created a special page where you can learn more about this project, our progress and plans!
Some research projects are too big and too important to tackle alone. Sometimes, we need to team up.
At Stanford’s Computer Science department, we've observed that people who are aiming to get research experience or launch their research career will often fall into an expertise valley. Undergraduates are assigned extremely tightly scoped activities within research projects, getting little room for creativity. Then these folks get into PhD programs, have literally the entire space of human knowledge to explore, and don’t have enough scaffolding to make quick progress.
Here in the Stanford HCI Group, we’re going to create a crowdsourced research team to tackle both these challenges together. We’ll gather as many talented folks as we can get, and work to build out that intervening bridge between tightly-scoped work and open-ended exploration. It will have far more flexibility than a typical research experience, but with a focused goal where we can bring each other back on track each week and nobody gets lost.
About the project
Whether you need help gathering data, labeling machine learning training examples, running experiments, or transcribing audio, today we use crowdsourcing platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk. However, these platforms are notoriously bad at ensuring high quality results, producing respect and fair wages for workers, and making it easy to author effective tasks. It’s not hard to imagine that we could do better.
This research will be a complete design, implementation, launch, and evaluation of a new crowdsourcing platform. What would it take to create an effective marketplace? One where workers have more power in the employment relationship, or could take additional responsibility for the result quality? How might we design such a market? Could we launch it and become the new standard? This research in human-computer interaction will involve a combination of design thinking, web development, and experimental design. This is far more ambitious than your typical project. It’s an entire marketplace design question. Thus, we’re banding together to solve it.
Well, first, there’s creating a crowdsourcing market that becomes the new standard. This could lead to a far better future for crowdsourcing and crowd work, and millions of people could eventually use it. It’s research, of course, so there’s always risk it might not work out — but if we knew it would work, it wouldn’t be research!
Second, we’ll be planning papers to top-tier conferences based on our work. If you are considering an MS or especially a PhD program, being a heavily contributing author on a paper can greatly improve your chances. How much you contribute to the project will determine author order. Last, I really do hope to build relationships with a diverse range of researchers.
Summer Meetings and slides
See Archives for winter and spring meeting videos and slides
Summer Meeting 1: Onboarding summer researchers and recap
All timings in PST (California time)
See Archives for winter and spring milestone wikis
Summer Milestone 1 - 11:59 pm 28th May 2015 for submission, 12 pm 29th May 2015 for peer-evaluation.
Infrastructure - homepage for Infrastructure related efforts, contains separate milestones.
GettingStarted - getting started for infrastructure related efforts.
General weekly plan
We’ll meet weekly over videochat and lay out our goals for the next week. At the end of the week, you’ll submit what you’ve been working on. Your peers and a Ph.D. student here at Stanford will peer critique the work, and we’ll talk about the best stuff each week in our meeting. The sky’s the limit.
I’m sure we’ll adjust this as we go. Because, this entire crowdsourced research idea is a bit of a research project in itself, too.
- Saturday morning 9 am PST: Prof meeting with participants and milestone set for the next week (over Google Hangout on Air)
- Saturday after meeting - Thursday midnight PST: participants work on their milestones (~6 days)
- Post Thursday midnight PST - Friday noon 12 pm PST: peer-evaluation by the participants (~12 hours)
- Friday post 12 pm PST - Friday evening PST: Research Assistants (RAs) check the top submissions and meet the Prof in evening. Pre-weekly meeting discussions happen. Milestones designed for the upcoming week etc.
- Saturday morning 9 am PST: Prof meets based on the input from RAs and top submissions. Participants receive their next milestone and a feedback survey after every meeting.
In research? None. Anybody who is smart and dedicated can help us envision the future of crowdsourcing and articulate how it might play out.
In terms of skills, there are many different ways that you can participate. If you want to contribute design skills, having a portfolio of past work would be helpful. If you are a CS major or enjoy programming, you’d likely need to have completed an introductory programming course sequence to succeed. We’re currently building infrastructure and implementing foundations using Djanjo, Angular.js, PostgreSQL, REST framework, so knowledge or experience in these areas would be extremely helpful. If you have experience in social science methods (e.g., surveys, qualitative work, designing controlled experiments), there will be lots to do as well to help us make sure we’re creating the right thing.
For everyone, a class in human-computer interaction (such as Scott Klemmer’s HCI Online, which you can complete as prep) will be a huge leg up.
- Slack - used for chat and discussion
- Meteor - used for voting, evaluation and comments
- Github - used for collaborating the development process
- Relevant Work - used to save relevant articles, links and papers
- Forums - discussions about this project on external sites. Note that all official announcements and communications will occur via Slack and email.
- Resources - used to index all platforms and resources as we evolve
- Archives - older meetings, slides and milestones
- Introducing Crowd Research Initiative and Recap - getting started with the crowd research initiative
- Badges - tutorial for badges, list of them and how to use
Want to share some other resources? Create a wiki page, and post it at Resources.
About this wiki
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