I’m a PhD candidate in Computer Science at the University of Illinois. My research is in social computing, but might be better described as computer science inspired by sociology. I chose it because I find people and their social contexts much more interesting than computers alone. (That sounds a lot less banal inside a traditional CS department, trust me.) I also have a latent interest in visualization, something I hope to resurrect soon.

My research has examined tie strength, product reviewers, rural social media use and argumentation in blog comments. I’m very lucky (and honored) to have received the best paper award three times from ACM SIGCHI. I also hold the Google Fellowship in Social Computing. Right now, I’m thinking a lot about people who review products and how emotions at a massive scale might tell us something interesting about the world.

Karrie Karahalios advises me, and I’m a member of her Social Spaces group. Before coming to UIUC, I was a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab doing social & computational network analysis. Then I taught high school for two years in Chicago as part of Teach For America. In 2004, I worked for Fermilab building a collaboratory for high schools students to do real science. I’ve loved country music most of my life. Although most people don’t understand why, I really like the Midwest (grew up in Chicago). I’d also wager that I harbored the dream of playing professional baseball longer than most academics.

Email: egilber2