I’m Andrew Schrock, a recent Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. Currently I am working as a Data and Design Research Fellow for the city of Los Angeles. My interests in communication and technology include computer-mediated communication, mobile communication, political/civic engagement, and hacking. I also have a history in computer science and online communities. I am particularly interested in “civic tech” – how technology can ethically and effectively improve community strength and foster civic engagement. Specific interest areas of Data & Democracy, and Mobile Communication (described below) inform how I approach teaching diverse groups of students and service at the departmental, university, and community levels. My research on these topics has appeared in New Media & Society; the International Journal of Communication; Information, Communication & Society; and American Behavioral Scientist.

Data & Democracy

I seek to understand how governments can responsibly use data and mobile media to improve community life and political communication. I’m especially interested in how the public can better participate in collaborating with government and shaping data policy. Right now I’m looking at the “civic technology” movement – municipal governments, organizations and “civic hackers” involved in data interpretation and software production. This work draws on communication theory from civic participation/politics, technical cultures, and data infrastructures. I also advocate for a responsive and responsible government by working and volunteering in the public sector. During the summer 2015 I was the first Civic Data Fellow for the city of Los Angeles and am on Long Beach’s Technology and Innovation Commission.

Mobile Communication

I’m also interested in how mobile social media alter the form and function of communication with core and more distant social groups. My dissertation used quantitative and qualitative methodologies to explore how mobile practices relate to social cohesion and visual communication in the context of new parents. This work extends from my MA thesis, which explored youth dependency relations with social network sites (SNSs). Theoretically this work draws from computer-mediated communication (CMC), media ecologies, and affordances. Several articles from my dissertation have been published, and I’m also working with Jeffrey Boase on a tool that combines data sets from mobile devices and social network sites.

Brief Bio

I received my BA in computer science and fine art with honors from Brandeis University. After graduation I worked as a software developer and project manager, periodically penning articles on technology and music. At University of Central Florida I majored in communication and taught in the Digital Media department. My thesis examined habitual use of social network sites among youth groups. This work led me to California, where I was a research assistant to danah boyd and assistant director of the Annenberg Program on Online Communities. In 2009 I returned to work towards my Ph.D at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, which I received in May 2015. During this time I worked closely with François Bar on community-led design and Henry Jenkins through his Civic Paths group. I was also a member of research groups including Metamorphosis, the Annenberg Innovation lab, and Open Data LA. In my spare time I work on my garden, spend time with my daughter, and explore Los Angeles’ diverse communities.