Data, Media and Society

New Media

The Center for Data, Media and Society (formerly New Media) is interested in the human in data. It is comprised of students and faculty who are engaged in both creative as well as research practices grounded in data. We study the ways in which we can use data to understand human behavior, and we address questions about how data and data processing are shaping how we work, how we live, and what it means to be person in a networked, digitized world.

In the Center for Data, Media and Society, we use data generated by people and data about people -- from the Tweets and status updates of social media, to images and video culled online, to large quantities of text. We design and build new tools for using data collections inside and outside of the University.

Projects include uncovering the pattern of official secrecy by examining databases of declassified documents, a “personalized” news engine that creates a kind of algorithmic editorial voice, and a visual study of Thomson-Reuter’s Web of Science. Columbia has a long track record of startups in the new media field, including Newsblaster, MPEG, Dygest, and Musically Intelligent Machines.

The Center for Data, Media and Society draws on participants from the fields of Architecture, the Humanities, the Social Sciences, Education, Journalism as well as Computer Science and Engineering. We are a diverse group of creative technologists, designers and scientists. Join us!


(Data+Media): Humans in the Loop Speaker Series


Eugene Wu, Computer Science (Chair)
Susan McGregor, Journalism (Co-Chair)
Mark Hansen, Journalism
Manan Ahmed, History
Shih-Fu Chang, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Kathy McKeown, Computer Science


Peter Allen, Computer Science
Asim Ansari, Business/Marketing
Eva Ascarza, Business/Marketing
Emily Bell, Journalism
Omar Besbes, Business/Decision, Risk, and Operations
Augustin Chaintreau, Computer Science
Shih-Fu Chang, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Michael Collins, Computer Science
Matthew Connelly, History
Dan Ellis, Electrical Engineering
Steven Feiner, Computer Science
Luis Gravano, Computer Science
Eitan Grinspun, Computer Science
Julia Hirschberg, Computer Science
John R. Kender, Computer Science
Bruce M. Kogut, Business
Laura Kurgan, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Smaranda Muresan, Center for Computational Learning Systems
Suresh Naidu, Economics
Gary Natriello, Sociology
Shree K. Nayar, Computer Science
David K. Park, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Desmond Upton Patton, Social Work
Owen Rambow, Center for Computational Learning Systems
Dan Rubenstein, Computer Science
Henning Schulzrinne, Computer Science
Dennis Tenen, English and Comparative Literature
Duy Linh Tu, Journalism
Barbara Tversky, Teachers College
John Wright, Electrical Engineering


      1. This project aims at using NLP to analyze large amounts of textual and speech data (an in particular interactive data) to find relations among people, and between people and propositions (such as sentiment or belief), and to identify when such relations change in an unexpected manner.

      1. The enormous growth in the number of official documents - many of them withheld from scholars and journalists even decades later - has raised serious concerns about whether traditional research methods are adequate for ensuring government accountability. But the millions of documents that have been released, often in digital form, also create opportunities to use Natural Language Processing (NLP) and statistical/machine learning to explore the historical record in very new ways.

      1. "The Listening Machine - Sound Source Organization for Multimedia Understanding" is an NSF-funded project at LabROSA concerned with separating and recognizing acoustic sources in complex, real-world mixtures.


Center for Spatial Research
Columbia's Groups for Experimental Methods in the Humanities
EdLab -

Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theories and Empirics (INCITE)
Lab for Recognition and Organization of Speech and Audio (LabROSA)
Written Interaction and Social Relations (WISR)

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