School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews
Jack Cole Building, North Haugh
St Andrews KY16 9SX
Room: JC 0.25
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I am a Lecturer in Software Engineering in the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews and a member of the St Andrews Institute for Data-Intensive Research.

At the moment, I am splitting my time between the UK and the US as I am also an Associate in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard and a Technology Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Academic Interests

My main research interest is the development, operation and use of distributed systems, especially the ways in which such systems are integrated in and supported by socio-technical arrangements. Systems that span organisational boundaries and rely on an interplay of machine processing and human work challenge traditional software engineering approaches based on a reductionist world view and I am interested in alternative approaches that take seriously both human competencies and the immense opportunities that lie in machine processing.

I am also interested in the use of new forms of data about the social world in research - be it academic research in the social sciences, investigative journalism or work conducted by other parties such as NGOs. Today’s ubiquitous use of information and communication technologies generates a vast amount of data that may tell us something about what is going on in societies. Such data have a wide range of potential applications and complement more traditional data such as those from surveys, population census programmes or healthcare incident data, to name a few examples. Using these new forms of data poses a range of challenges, from technical issues to analytical ones to ethics.

Most recently, I have revived an earlier interest in Participatory Design - which I have touched on in my earlier work while a PhD student at Edinburgh University.

You can read more about the research projects I am involved in here….


Links to some conferences that I support as a programme committee member:

Participatory Design Conference (2014, 2016)

Communities and Technologies (2015)

International Symposium on Grids and Clouds (since 2009)


I am a supporter of the recently founded Humanism in Scotland organisation, which promotes a life-enbracing, non-transcendental moral code.