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. 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). Before coming to Syracuse, Bryan was a Postdoc in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He obtained his Ph.D from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). 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.