Open PhD Position

Dr. Austin Toombs has an open PhD student position, starting either January 2020 or August 2020.

Austin is offering a minimum of one year of research assistantship funding to candidates interested in working with him in the C-CI Lab while pursuing a PhD in Technology from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Additional funding through teaching assistantship or research assistantship positions will be available after that. Anyone interested should contact Austin by email.

This PhD position is not tied to a specific project, but rather to the research interests of the C-CI Lab more generally. Accepted students will be expected to work collaboratively with other members of the lab, as well as pursue their own research interests and projects (with collaboration from other lab members). These projects can include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

  • Imagining and designing how online and offline social groups could be helpfully segmented into smaller, more manageable communities that better-foster social interactions.
  • Examining the changing nature of co-working, co-living, and co-housing spaces (what we have been referring to as “co-spaces”) and the sociotechnical systems associated with them.
  • Investigating how individuals with multiple social media accounts (e.g., Instagram) separate and portray facets of their identity for different audiences.
  • Exploring the potential societal roles of social robots, including: manipulating existing robots to perform social tasks that they were not intended to perform; imagining new forms of machines that perform as social functionaries; and evaluating what types of social functions could (or should) be offloaded onto machines.
  • These are just a few potential project approaches that would be relevant to ongoing projects in the lab!

Semi-Open Positions

Austin does not currently have any funded undergraduate or Master’s student research positions, but there are many opportunities through the Purdue Polytechnic Institute to create these kinds of positions. Interested students should reach out to Austin to find out if there are any such opportunities on the horizon. Alternatively, students could consult this (occasionally-updated) list from the Polytechnic Research Development Office.

Additionally, it is always possible to participate in my lab if a student has interest in participating. Unfunded students are always welcome, but they are also constantly reminded that their positions and their involvement is voluntary. Austin seeks, in every opportunity, to ensure that the commitments and expectations involved in participating in his lab are as transparent as possible.

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