Focus Areas

CTSP will has four primary areas of focus for this year. These written descriptions are intended to prompt engagement with these broad areas and their intersections with technology, society, and policy. They are not a complete description of the interesting and important intersections that CTSP might fund.

Health + Sensors

How can new sensing technologies shift what we know and are able to accomplish? How can we change our use, design, and regulation for technology to improve individual and community wellness and healthcare? Projects can include: exploring the implications of the Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities/landscapes, ambient sensors, wearables, audio/video surveillance, personal well-being, promoting healthy communities, enhancing healthcare, and providing universal designs that increase accessibility.

Example projects:


Sustaining Democracy and Building Community

Projects in this area should focus on the “public sector” broadly construed. What are mechanisms for supporting accountability, representation, and robust protection of rights and responsibilities in civic life? Topics may include: democracy, housing, elections, “fake news”, free speech, public discourse, environmental policies and governance, harassment and participation in online media, schooling, welfare, criminal legal system and its alternatives, and empowering citizens through open data and education.

Example projects:


Integrating Safety & Privacy

Questions about security are framed by many as a trade-off between safety and privacy. We welcome projects that challenge or broaden this framing and encourage integration of the two, seeking to identify how safety and privacy are facilitated or limited in multiple scenarios  and where people or groups are “differentially vulnerable.” This focus area includes reimagining cybersecurity online as well as its effects and inputs offline.

Example projects:


Just Algorithms: Fairness, Transparency, and Justice

Algorithmic processes are implicated in allocative and representational harms while driving immense value creation. Researchers are currently investigating questions of fairness and transparency within algorithmic systems, exploring whether and how algorithms are used to further the cause of justice. This focus area expands beyond fairness and transparency to consider more broadly what just algorithmic systems are and highlights the importance of looking beyond just the algorithms. Projects in this focus area may receive joint sponsorship from the UC Berkeley Algorithmic Fairness and Opacity working group (AFOG).

Example projects: