Benjamin Mako Hill is an Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Communication His research focuses on collective action in online communities and seeks to understand why some attempts at collaborative production—like Wikipedia and Linux—build large volunteer communities while the vast majority never attract even a second contributor. He is particularly interested in how the design of communication and information technologies shape fundamental social outcomes with broad theoretical and practical implications—like the decision to join a community or contribute to a public good. His research is deeply interdisciplinary, consists primarily of “big data” quantitative analyses, and lies at the intersection of communication, human-computer interaction, and sociology.
Hill is a member of Community Data Science Collective which he founded with Aaron Shaw. At UW, Hill is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Human-Centered Design Engineering as well as Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences, the eScience Institute, and the “Design Use Build” (DUB) group that supports research on on human computer interaction. He is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and an affiliate of the Institute of Quantitative Social Science at Harvard.