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 with a background in sociology who focuses on human-computer interaction (HCI), citizen science, and crisis informatics. I am driven to understand two specific events: 1). How researchers come to understand contexts and 2). How those contexts are formed. To aid in the pursuit of these two questions, my research tends to use the essential component of humanity: play and games as a vehicle to understand context formation in unique and useful ways.  

My google scholar profile can be found: here

I have recently written, defended, and published my dissertation. This work sought to better understand the ways that computer-mediated products change the nature of network formation by creating a research methodology that embraces the tenets of Object-oriented ontology and Actor-Network Theory. Association Mapping (AM) is my name for a novel adaptation of Social Network Analysis that maps each moment of association between people and objects within a context. 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 below.