Princeton graduate thesis

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Studying with Ethan has been an extended masterclass in the facilitative leadership that makes everything he touches a joyful, collaborative, and inclusive endeavor. As Ethan shepherded my growth from a literary scholar and software engineer into an empirical researcher, he also modeled the kind of leader I want to be: where influence is based as much on amplifying and supporting others as sharing my own ideas.

I have found that to learn from Ethan is to grow together with the networks he so generously supports. My dissertation would not have been possible without the years of practical experience in principled, public interest work that I gained with Ethan. We live in a culture that depends on technologies to record our behavior and coordinate our actions with billions of other connected people.

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Some of these actions perpetuate deep-seated injustices by humans and machines. In my PhD dissertation, I argue that to govern wisely, we need to remake large-scale social experiments to follow values of democracy. My dissertation opens with an intellectual history of democratic social experiments. Next, using quantitative and qualitative methods, I spent time with hundreds of communities on the social news platform reddit and learned how they govern themselves.


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I designed CivilServant , novel experimentation software that communities have used to evaluate how they govern harassment and misinformation. Finally, I examined the uses of this evidence in community policy deliberation. As we develop ways to govern behavior through technology platforms, we have an opportunity to ensure that that the benefits will be enjoyed, questioned, and validated widely in an open society.

Dissertation and FPO | Graduate School

Despite common views of social experiments as scarce knowledge that consolidates the power of experts, I show how community experiments can scale policy evaluation and expand public influence on the governance of human and machine behavior. In my dissertation, I showed a proof of concept for ways that everyday internet users can understand and intervene on deep social problems.

Starting this summer, the citizen media organization Global Voices will be incubating the CivilServant project , offering advisory and administrative support as CivilServant transitions from a dissertation project into a public interest research organization.

Global Voices has deep experience in principled community building and global collaboration towards an open society. Their Advox project already plays a central role to monitor and understand the risks and benefits of digital governance worldwide. Over the next few years, I hope that CivilServant can achieve a x increase in usable, public knowledge to make our digital lives fairer, safer, and more understanding. Betsy Paluck , who will be one of my mentors, is a leading researcher on social change who has developed and tested theories for intervening on prejudice, conflict, corruption reporting, and democracy around the world.

I am working from MIT all summer and look forward to catching up with many friends before I leave, preferably from a sailboat on the Charles! Although PhDs often end with a solitary endeavor, many hands move a project forward. My chief supporter and encourager, Dr. H, has been kind, generous, and patient in uncountable ways, drawing from her own deep experience as an academic and as a supporter to thousands of other gradstudents. And you have already heard about my remarkable parents, who continue to inspire me.

One year ago, Merry Mou , an M.

Dissertations/Theses

As a collaborator on code and words , I have been delighted to see Merry grow on all fronts and imagine new ways to apply her considerable technology abilities to questions of social value. I am deeply grateful to my dissertation committee. For questions about your senior thesis requirements, contact your department's undergraduate program coordinator. For questions about access restriction requests, contact staccess princeton.

This resource enables Princeton students, faculty, and staff and other authorized users of Princeton University's computing network to access copies of senior theses online. Senior theses are not freely accessible online outside of the Princeton computing network. If you have questions about these options, please contact staccess princeton. To make a restricted access request, complete and submit a Restricted Access Form to the Office of the Dean of the College by p. If you have mathematical formulae or scientific expressions in your title or abstract that you cannot create using your keyboard, we ask you to use some basic LaTex markup in the senior thesis submission site so that the characters will display properly in our digital repository.

Westtown School Graduate’s Senior Thesis Receives Rave Reviews at Princeton

In most cases, the characters that need encoding are subscripts and superscripts, arrows and other symbols, and letters of the Greek alphabet. To find the code you need, see the ShareLaTex website, especially in their documentation of superscripts and subscripts see the Reference Guide section , and their library of codes for symbols and Greek letters.


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Another helpful site is the LaTex Wikibooks page. The Senior Thesis Submission Site contains a preview page to test how your markup will display before you enter it into the submission form. If you have trouble with your markup, make a note in the comments of the submission form and submit your thesis.

It is more important to submit your thesis on time than to have the markup exactly right! Allow roughly 20 minutes to complete the upload process. Honor Code Page You must agree to the honor code statement in order to complete your submission. Senior Thesis Information Page On this page you will enter information about your senior thesis.

Title and Abstract Enter your thesis title into the title field. Multi-author Is this a multi-author thesis? If you are the sole author of the thesis, select "No.

Getting Ready for Your Senior Thesis

Certificate Program If your thesis fulfills requirements for your home department as well as a Certificate Program, choose the program from the list. Upload Your Files Page In this step you will upload your senior thesis file.