Nick LaLone


This is one of a number of practice runs I recorded of my defense presentation.


My name is Nick LaLone and I am an inter-disciplinary researcher interested in how things break down during a disruption. I am driven to understand disruption by trying to answer two questions: 1). How does design influence the way things break? 2). How does disruption work, exactly? I pursue these questions across a number of different spaces using as many different methods as possible. While most often my research falls under crisis informatics, I have published work in pop culture studies, race and gender studies, video game studies, human-computer interaction, and citizen science.   

My google scholar profile can be found: here

I have recently finished my dissertation. This work was begun in order to better understand the ways that computer-mediated products disrupted network formation of contexts. The focus of this work was the creation of a research methodology that embraced the tenets of Object-Oriented Ontology and Actor-Network Theory. Association Mapping (AM) is my name for a novel adaptation of Social Network Analysis. AM maps each moment of association between people and objects within an activity. By including non-human actors in the analysis of software use, all of the disparate applications, devices, tasks, and contexts can be made explicit, numerically represented, and tested against or with similar networks.

Current research surrounds the objects we call maps and how they have shifted over time as the computer and computation come to mediate how we consume maps. Additional research has begun on creating a repository for indoor positioning systems as well as other ways to host floor plans of local buildings, residences, and other types of structures. 

Finally, one aspect of play that is essential to understand is how those within a playground, within the bounds of a magic circle, come to understand how to play. To that end, I am currently teaching and beginning research on how people interested in starting to learn to code actually do so. This research also engages how expert users - teachers, professors, tutors, and mentors - teach those who have never programmed before. 

You can find scholarly work, projects, programs I have developed or taught for, and other websites I have written for in the menus above.