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Technology research and design in the public interest

From “fake news” and online scams to ensuring privacy on social media, we’re moving deeper into emerging technologies without fully understanding their potential risks or benefits. It’s critical that we build a corps of future researchers and technologists to engage with these issues in partnership with community advocates, policy-makers, and technology companies. The Center for Technology, Society & Policy (CTSP) is a multidisciplinary research and design/build center that trains students to become leaders around the social and policy issues arising from the growing role of technology in our daily lives.

WHO WE ARE

CTSP student and faculty leaders support students working on interdisciplinary research projects, helping guide hands-on experiences in research that bridges academia, industry, and public service. Two PhD students from the School of Information (I School) serve as CTSP co-directors each year. I School faculty members — leading experts in privacy law, data governance, AI ethics, data-driven experiments, and the political economy of the tech industry — advise student leaders and ensure program continuity.

CTSP Fellows are graduate and undergraduate students at UC Berkeley in the School of Information, Law School, Haas School of Business, School of Public Health, Goldman School of Public Policy, Graduate School of Education, and departments including Sociology, Design, Computer Science, Bioethics, and more. They work with community organizations and advocates, non-profits, municipalities, and researchers at other institutions on year-long projects that fit into four broad research themes: Health and Sensors; Sustaining Democracy and Building Community; Just Algorithms: Fairness, Transparency, and Justice; Integrating Safety and Privacy.

CTSP Fellows have gone on to pursue careers in policy/public service (AI Now, TechCongress Fellows, Action Center on Race and the Economy); technology (Salesforce, Google, Facebook, Microsoft Research, Intel, IBM); and academia (Carnegie Mellon University, UC Berkeley, University of Washington).

A picture of Emily Paul, a white woman with medium length blonde hair, is pictured above. She is an alumni of CTSP

“CTSP helped lay the groundwork for my interest in using policy to enable more collective decision-making around tech. My team partnered with the Center for Democracy and Technology to conduct a large scale survey assessing user attitudes on algorithmic personalization online — this motivated me to work with policymakers on how technology choices impact users. I’m now supporting Congressman Mark Takano as a Tech Congress Fellow on criminal justice and technology issues.”

– Emily Paul, CTSP Fellow 2016

Box with text written in large font. Quick facts, 118 fellows over 5 years, 62 new projects funded, 5 distinguished faculty and research advisers

WHAT WE DO 

We’re proud to be a part of the broader movement for public-interest technology at UC Berkeley. Housed within the UC Berkeley School of Information in South Hall, we frequently collaborate with the Algorithmic Fairness and Opacity Working Group and the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. In addition, at CTSP we:

  • Create and support a diverse network of professionals in academia, industry, and public service who center the public interest throughout their work
  • Train emerging technologists and scholars in collaborative projects with real-world impact
  • Build skills in research, design, and systems development through constructive critiques and ongoing dialogue across
  • Amplify cutting-edge work where technology intersects with society and policy
  • Disseminate best practices

CTSP also supports public-facing panels, workshops, and lectures related to our core themes. At our annual Social Impact Un-Pitch Day, students and community advocates brainstorm ideas and forge partnerships. These connections facilitate rich collaborations that pair designers with lawyers, software engineers, social workers, journalists, and researchers to talk strategy and share creative approaches.

WHY WE NEED YOU 

Private philanthropy directly fuels the important insights and influence of our student-led research.

  • Gifts of all sizes expand the number and size of fellowships we can offer to student researchers, whose relentless curiosity and research design skills break new ground in discoveries at the intersection of technology, society, and policy.
  • Leadership gifts of $25,000+ expand our capacity to engage and fortify more student fellows and, by extension, our ability to address a broader array of issues in a quickly changing landscape. Six- and seven-figure gifts can facilitate multi-year endowments for a set term of years, or in perpetuity. CTSP student fellowships, programs, physical spaces, or faculty endowments may confer naming opportunities.
  • Corporate Supporters gain access to top talent and leading-edge researchers, and may be eligible to receive additional structured benefits through CTSP’s affiliation with the School of Information.
Our Office of Philanthropy would be happy to discuss the details of any of these giving options.
Four CTSP alumni, all women, women sitting and posing for the camera with smiles.

2020 CTSP Retreat alumni panelists

For more information contact: 

CTSP Co-Directors

Ji Su Yoo & Elizabeth Resor

jisu@nullberkeley.edu & elresor@nullberkeley.edu

ctsp@nullberkeley.edu

School of Information Office of Philanthropy

South Hall 102

Shanti Corrigan & Tia Foss

510-693-8062 or 510-642-9257

shanti@nullberkeley.edu & tia@nullberkeley.edu