by MJM on March 18, 2008 11:05am

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that Microsoft would be sponsoring Computer and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association’s (CITASA) pre-conference and graduate workshop on July 31, 2008 in Boston, MA.  That sponsorship included the "Microsoft CITASA Port 25 Award" to recognize excellent research on open source software development.  CITASA chair, Keith Hampton of University of Pennsylvania, recently announced that Yuwei Lin from the Centre for e-Social Science, University of Manchester has received the award and will be keynoting the CITASA 2008 Pre-Conference.  Yuwei's describes her research interests as follows:

"Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) studies, Science and Technology Studies (STS), virtual communities (in connection with e-collaboration, e-learning and e-society), usability and user requirement analysis (particularly in the area of e-Social Science), digital culture (especially in relation to hacker culture), and the cultural and socio-technical dynamics in community-based innovation systems. Other research interests include gender and ICTs, the digital divide and glocalisation of information technologies, innovation and knowledge dynamics. Additionally, her research also seeks to contribute to the genre of virtual methodology and online research methods by which researchers use new ICTs as a medium for social research itself."

(You can learn more about Yuwei's research and publications at  As open source matures and diversifies as a development model, interesting and challenging issues are surfacing.  I’m very excited that Microsoft is supporting groundbreaking research to understand and address these issues.  In the modern IT environment, community is a vital part of software success.  Through the research of folks like Yuwei, community characteristics like collaboration and distributed development will become better understood and more successful.