Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
"The Transmitted Self: How Identity is Established in the Mediated World" is the title of the next talk in the Media Lab's Perspectives series. The talk, given by Assistant Professor Judith Donath, will take place on Tuesday, April 14 from 5-6pm in Bartos Theater (Building E15).
Studying how identity is established in virtual environments raises many questions: What happens to the notion of individual identity in a world without bodies? How can a crowd gather in the absence of physical proximity? How does a virtual environment's technology and interface shape the way identity is established and interpreted? Understanding these issues is essential for building vibrant on-line neighborhoods, and provides novel insights into the role that identity plays in social life, both on- and off-line.
Professor Donath directs the Sociable Media research group. She received the BA in history from Yale University, and the MS in Visual Studies and PhD in media arts and sciences from MIT. Her research group focuses on the social side of computing, building innovative interfaces for the online communities, virtual identities and computer-mediated collaborations that have emerged with the convergence of computing and communication.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 8, 1998.