Bryan Semaan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, where he serves as a co-director of the Behavior-Information-Technology-Society (BITS) Lab with his fantastic colleagues Jennifer Stromer-Galley and Jeff Hemsley. He is also a Research Associate with the Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF) and a Research Associate with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). He is interested in the general areas of computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), human-computer interaction (HCI), and social computing/social media.
Bryan’s research lies broadly at the intersection of the computer sciences and the social sciences. Fundamentally, he studies how people both appropriate, and are shaped by, technology in their daily lives. In other words, on a broad level, he is interested in understanding the ways in which technology is changing society, and the social and cultural practices surrounding technology use and design.
More specifically, his research investigates Technology for the social good. That is, his research agenda is centered around examining the role of ICTs in challenging contexts, where he operationalizes challenging contexts as working with vulnerable, underserved, and marginalized populations (i.e. veterans), or choosing domains of our social life (i.e. civic participation), through which ICTs can serve as a social good by enhancing the lives of citizens and effecting societal impact. To accomplish this goal his research integrates qualitative, quantitative and computational analysis to understand the activities of populations immersed in these challenging contexts, and he employs participatory design and design science approaches to further uncover complex social processes and effects, and to identify and pursue impactful design opportunities that empower and/or improve the lives of citizens.
Bryan and his students are currently working on (and have planned) several projects in this domain. To learn more about specific projects, please navigate to the following page: research projects. If you are interested in accessing published articles, please navigate to the publications section, or visit his Google Scholar Profile.
Before coming to Syracuse, Bryan was a Postdoc in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he collaborated with Dr. Scott Robertson. He obtained his Ph.D from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he worked with Dr. Gloria Mark. He also graduated with a B.S. in Information and Computer Science from UCI in 2005.