Our Research Groups

CMS/W tests theory in the real world, and that’s the role our research groups play.

Civic media, digital humanities, games, electronic literature…such variety is determined not only by what faculty and students offer but also through the establishment of strategic partnerships with donors and organizations. These have included the John S. and James K. Knight Foundation, Singapore’s Media Development Authority, the MacArthur Foundation, industry groups, private donors, and others.

For the graduate program in particular, there’s something unique about CMS/W, its research groups, and its funding partners: graduate students work for the groups as research assistants and, in return, receive free tuition and a stipend. Undergraduates, too, regularly have the chance to work with our research groups, through MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Civic Media logo

Develops new tools and strategies for fostering civic engagement and strengthening social bonds in local communities.

  • Ethan Zuckerman, Director and Principal Investigator
  • Sasha Costanza-Chock, Principal Investigator
  • Mitch Resnick, Principal Investigator
  • Lorrie LeJeune, Assistant Director


Creative Communities Initiative

Using ethnographic fieldwork to explore the development of communities that link online and offline worlds to offer new solutions to old problems.

  • Ian Condry, Principal Investigator
  • T.L. Taylor, Principal Investigator


Education Arcade logoExplores games that promote learning through authentic and engaging play. Its mission is to demonstrate the social, cultural, and educational potentials of videogames by initiating new game development projects, coordinating interdisciplinary research efforts, and informing public conversations about the broader and sometimes unexpected uses of this emerging art form in education.

  • Eric Klopfer, Director
  • Scot Osterweil, Creative Director


E-Lab: The Laboratory for Public Engagement with Science

A home for members of the MIT community (and others) to engage issues of science communication in colloquia, events, conferences and other venues.

  • Thomas Levenson, Director
  • Steve Chan, Chief Technology Officer

Explores the potential of play, from entertainment to education, art to activism, science to socialization, and more.

  • William Uricchio, Faculty Committee
  • T.L. Taylor, Faculty Committee
  • Philip Tan, Creative Director


Exploring the use of media technologies (satellites, television, the internet, social media, and mobile phones) in diverse international contexts.

  • Lisa Parks, Principal Investigator


Explores the potential of new media technologies for the enhancement of education and research in the humanities. Its work focuses on questions about the integration of technology into humanities curricula within the broader context of scholarly inquiry and pedagogical practice.

  • Kurt Fendt, Executive Director


Researches and develops new forms of gaming, interactive narrative, social media, virtual reality, and new creative computing forms and analyzes social aspects of such digital media systems by inventing and using artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques.

  • D. Fox Harrell, Director and Principal Investigator


Radically reinvents and creatively designs connections between people, information and physical places.

  • Federico Casalegno, Director


Brings technologists, storytellers, and scholars together to advance the new arts of documentary.

  • William Uricchio, Principal Investigator
  • Sarah Wolozin, Director


A lab for research, teaching, and creative production, dedicated to developing new poetic practices and new understandings of digital media by considering the material, formal, and historical aspects of creative computing.

  • Nick Montfort, Director