Communication research receives university seed funding to study the 'internet of things'

December 19, 2018

The Institute for Social Science Research at Arizona State University has awarded seed-grant money to Professor Pauline Hope Cheong at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication to advance research on how individuals and populations communicate on and with internet-enabled devices.

Cheong, who studies communication technologies and culture, will serve as principal investigator on an interdisciplinary study in the new skills and digital literacies that we need to function in the age of the "internet of things." Professor Karen Mossberger of the School of Public Affairs in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions is the co-principal investigator on the project.  Pauline Cheong Professor Pauline Cheong studies communication technologies and culture. Download Full Image

Cheong explained that internet use today is no longer restricted just to our computers, tablets or smartphones: It's present in the applications, devices and sensors in our cars, homes and neighborhoods — it's even in our microchipped selves.

“Thus, the internet of things refers to the ecosystem of computing devices embedded in everyday objects that collect, interact and exchange data,” Cheong said.

Results of the study will inform how we understand new mediated communication practices, and how public policy and technology design can accommodate a diversity of actors and goals and can decrease risks, particularly for populations that are economically and socially vulnerable or excluded. 

Cheong says that the growth of “big data” and these connected devices multiplies risks for data breaches, hacking and other cyber threats.

“Additionally, decision-making, problem solving and strategic skills — deciding on potential benefits and risks, and when and how to use a technology — are greatly increased with the privacy and security concerns raised by (the internet of things).” 

“What does this mean for the human capacities and communication skills needed to function in this era of hyperconnectivity?” said Cheong.

Manager, Marketing and Communication, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication


ASU data project explores art market

December 19, 2018

Julie Codell, an art history professor in the School of Art in Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is currently researching the art market through data science.

Art Replica Networks, a project by Codell and Michael Simeone, director of data science and analytics for ASU Libraries, produces and analyzes network models and data visualizations based on transactions among private parties and vendors in the transatlantic art trade between 1850 and 2015. Given the explosion of art market studies, both historically and digitally, the project aims to use visualization to make complicated economic and geographical histories more accessible. An interactive map shows the geographical range of artworks that were actively and energetically sought in the transatlantic art trade. The digital format enables researchers to present the density of visual and documentary material pertaining to a large amount of data of sales with a clarity that would not be possible in print. Photo of maps showing data from Art Replica Networks research project. A research project led by art history professor Julie Codell includes an interactive map that shows the geographical range of artworks bought during the transatlantic art trade. Download Full Image

Learn more about the project on the ASU Library website.


Sarah A. McCarty

Marketing and communications coordinator, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts